Why is the US scared of Huawei?
Communication technology is a prized possession and no country wants to lag behind in this field. A Chinese telecom company has become a threat to other superpowers who want to win in this game.
Huawei (pronounced as Wah-Way) is China’s largest information technology and telecom network company and one of the largest in the world. It not only works in telecom network field but also manufactures smartphones. As of now, Huawei has surpassed Apple to become the largest smartphone seller in the world. Huawei is also developing 5th generation cell phone network technology.
This data transfer network technology would be fastest ever. In simple terms, if you have 5G in your device, you could download videos much faster, watch movies without buffering, and transferring data too would be faster with more bandwidth. Right now, we are using 4G in our devices but with speeds of up to 100 gigabits per second, 5G is set to be as much as 100 times faster than 4G!
The American opposition
Since Huawei is Chinese company, countries like the US, the UK, Australia and few European nations are worried that with its technology China would spy on them. The use of foreign technology is a risky affair as we share a lot of information on the internet. These companies think that China may use their information for its own gain through Huawei. The US has banned the use of Huawei cellphones since 2012 and this year President Donald Trump even stopped usage of any technology relating to the Chinese company. The US even issued warrant against Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer and daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei. Canada arrested Meng on December 1 last year at the request of the United States.
Supporters of Huawei claim that the US doesn’t want China to lead in developing the 5G technology and hence is creating hurdles. Huawei also protested the ban saying other countries can’t stop its right to do business freely.
Huawei has lost trust of its allies too. Even Google has prevented it to work on Android operating system in view of the security threat.
What is India’s stand?
India has still not taken a call on China’s request to start 5G trials in the country. Even the Indian government doesn’t want to risk its cyber security but at the same time there’s pressure from both the US and Chinese ends. Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said India has its security issues over allowing Huawei to participate in the upcoming 5G trials. Prime minister Narendra Modi is supposed to host Chinese President Xi Jinping in October, till then any decision on this issue seems dicey.