US-China battle over Huawei comes to head at tech show

Updated February 26, 2019

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Huawei has an outsize presence at MWC Barcelona.— AFP/File
Huawei has an outsize presence at MWC Barcelona.— AFP/File

BARCELONA: A global battle between the US government and Chinese tech company Huawei over allegations that it is a cybersecurity risk overshadowed the opening Monday of the world’s biggest mobile industry trade fair.

Huawei has an outsize presence at MWC Barcelona, from its displays in three separate show halls down to its red sponsorship logo adorning visitor pass lanyards. The focus at this year’s meeting is new 5G networks due to roll out in the coming years. But the dispute over Huawei, the world’s biggest maker of networking gear, is casting a pall.

The United States government dispatched a big delegation to press its case with telecom executives and government officials that they should not use Huawei as a supplier over national security concerns. US President Donald Trump’s administration says the Chinese government could use Huawei equipment to snoop on the world’s internet traffic accusations Huawei has rejected, saying there has been no proof of a cybersecurity breach.

In a fresh salvo, 11 US senators on Monday called for the federal government to ban solar power inverters advanced control systems made by Huawei, saying they pose a national security threat to US energy infrastructure.

Published in Dawn, February 26th, 2019