The pressure is seemingly mounting on China’s largest telecommunication network company Huawei, as it seeks to allay pressure from the United States and Europe upon the allegation of it using hardware equipment’s to spy on the countries citizens.
President Donald Trump has publicly condemned the company and instructed all American agencies from using Huawei products and prohibited mobile operators from signing any contracts on network supplies. The President has even called upon his allies in Europe to be wary of the tech firm and advised to impose similar restrictions, Germany and Britain have so far reacted to the call. Over in these parts, New Zealand and Australia have also raise suspicion and will be calling on blocking new deals until further notice. When asked by reporters during a press conference on Malaysia’s position about Huawei, Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir stated he has no reason to ban the telecommunication equipment supplier as they have not committed any wrong doing thus far, however this doesn’t mean there will be no scrutiny on the company moving forward.
Huawei of course has refuted all claims of being involved in espionage work on the behest of the Chinese government, with the arrest of one of its employees in Poland for spying and the number of high profile arrests, the denial position is slowly eroding and continues to raise alarm of whether there is any truth to all this cloak and dagger tales. The suspect known as Weijing has been detained by Polish police on the account that the Public Relations manager spied and extracted sensitive data, Huawei has since sacked the employee. We live in a time where a War is won not by how much weapon the armoury has but how much data you have of that country, we witnessed how social media was manipulated to generate a preferred outcome. Case in point US Presidential Election and Brexit, these the just two high profile cases that we are aware about but what about the countless go unchecked, suppressed or blocked from emerging in developing and third world countries?
With 5G just around the horizon, operators around the world will be inviting tenders from suppliers for the roll-out, Huawei who has been on the forefront will be vying for big chunks of the contracts, since they do have the technology and is regarded to be very competitively priced compared to their European counterparts like Nokia and Ericsson. On the other hand, with serious allegations of espionage hanging over their heads, would country heads including Malaysia be comfortable handing over their telecommunication infrastructure that will not only connect mobile phones but also cars, building and cities to a company that is battling these accusations? Ministry of Communication and MCMC will be acutely monitoring this development and proceed with caution, while we need to protect our sovereignty and the peoples privacy, we cannot act on unfounded allegation or face the risk of further souring our relationship with the largest trading partner to Malaysia.
Huawei is in a precarious position ‘between a rock and hard a place’ to be more descriptive, its rise to glory within a span of a decade is astonishing, the trajectory is off-course for now and seen as temporary by the low profile Chairman Ren Zhengfai. The fate of the company is now left to the Premier of China and the President of United States when they meet again in March. A monumental outcome awaits.