The countries that have banned products by the Chinese smartphone and wireless technology company Huawei represent approximately one third of the world’s GDP, according to reporting by Bloomberg. As of May 2, 2019, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan and the U.S. have decided to ban and phase out the company’s products within their mobile networks, futher reporting by The Guardian and CNBC suggests. Meanwhile, the UK has proposed a ban of Huawei products for core parts of its new 5G network and Germany and France will increase security measures to safeguard against backdoors into communication channels that are feared are part of Huawei’s technology.
Several European countries including Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands are still on the fence about possible bans. An outright ban might prove especially difficult in Europe, where Huawei is now supplying a third of telecommunication systems, up from next to none a decade ago. Dutch telecom provider KPN has, similar to the limited ban in the UK, excluded the Chinese company from the core of its 5G network upgrade.
Czech, Italian, Belgian, Russian and Brazilian governments have all come forward saying that they will not attempt to limit the company’s role. Despite initial worry, South Korea, The Philippines, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries have already implemented Huawei technology for 5G networks, if in limited capacity. Huawei has said that it has signed 5G contracts with companies in upwards of 25 countries, though it did not detail all countries included.
After the U.S. unveiled a high profile case against Huawei in January, which includes allegations of fraud, stealing of trade secrets and skirting U.S. sanction against Iran, many fear that the company is not independent enough from the Chinese government and might be an entryway for spying.