U.K. opens a door to Huawei, but not all the way

Business & Technology
The Long March 3B rocket.

pasted image 0 2

Photo credit: SupChina illustration by Derek Zheng.

The U.K. opened a narrow door to Huawei 5G, with the government’s decision to designate “the Chinese technology firm a ‘high-risk vendor’ and impos[e] a cap on its involvement in building the UK’s 5G telecoms network,” the Guardian reported.

Although “Boris Johnson appears to have averted a full-blown confrontation with the White House over Huawei [by placing restrictions on use of the company’s products],” the U.S. reportedly “remained disappointed with the decision to allow ‘an untrusted vendor’ into the UK market.” 

Was it a win for Huawei? “For Huawei, the decision is a mixed bag, which will raise the costs of compliance, and circumscribe the firm’s role in the rollout of 5G networks in a major European market,” writes the Eurasia Group’s Paul Triolo on SupChina. Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, the director of the European Centre for International Political Economy, says the decision is “not a win [for China] by any measure — it’s damage control.”

Meanwhile, Huawei overtook Apple as the world’s second-largest smartphone brand in 2019, according to a new report.