Kagan: Will President Biden continue to block Huawei, ZTE?
Will Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE, who have been blocked from doing business in the USA by the Trump administration because of security issues, now be cleared under the Biden administration? Many have wondered whether this problem was real or political. Biden won’t answer that question, but are changes in the air regardless?
Huawei and ZTE have been under the microscope of the U.S. government for a decade or longer because of these security issues. They missed out on much of the 4G opportunity in the United States a decade ago. However, worldwide they still grew.
Now that 5G is becoming a rapidly growing sector, they want a piece of that pie as well. Even here in the USA.
President Trump continued the blockage, keeping them out of the 5G growth opportunity in the United States. In fact, the blockage increased. It started with larger wireless carriers and now it has expanded to all players, large and small.
Small U.S. wireless carriers may sell out to larger ones
The 5G expansion itself puts enormous financial pressure on smaller carriers. Now mix in the Huawei factor and it’s even harder.
That’s one reason many smaller carriers may ultimately sell out to larger carriers, who have the deep pockets to upgrade their networks.
Many think the Chinese government helps Huawei offer discounts which make them more attractive in a competitive world.
One reason is to allow Huawei to continue to grow and be one of the dominant companies in the wireless industry.
Does Huawei, ZTE gear give China ability to monitor communications?
Another second reason many are concerned, is the question about whether this would give them the ability to monitor communications in the countries they operate.
This concern is not new. According to the U.S. government, this has been on our radar for more than a decade. There are plenty of worries, plenty of stories, but we still don’t seem to have any proof. That being said, it puts the U.S. government in a precarious position.
That’s why since there is no proof either way, the U.S. government is taking the only safe position and blocking any potential threat.
U.S. government blocked potential security threat from Huawei, ZTE
Now, if Joe Biden is our next president, will he relax the pushback and let Huawei and ZTE back into the U.S. markets to one degree or another? Or will he keep up the blockade?
That’s an interesting question that I do not have an answer to. In fact, no one has an answer. So, we will have to simply wait and see what happens next.
Many say if the Biden administration allows Huawei and ZTE back in without any proof either way, they could put us in a dangerous position.
If Joe Biden has been doing business with China for decades, he would have a softer view of the threat.
Is Huawei, ZTE security threat real or just political?
There has been strong pushback against companies like Huawei and ZTE for many years and that only continues. It didn’t start with the Trump Administration. It just continued.
I have met with Huawei executives several times at analyst and media briefings. I have learned they are nice people.
That being said, the question of whether they are a real threat or just a political threat is still unanswered. We’ll just have to keep our eyes open to see what happens in the next chapter of this ongoing story.