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5G: Beijing will survive ban on Huwaei, concur experts


Huwaei

NEW DELHI: India banned 59 Chinese apps and various states announced no Chinese participation in their projects following the violent face off between Indian and Chinese troops along the LAC.

The telecom ministry hinted that China-based Huawei could be excluded from the 5G roll-out in the country. The US, UK have already announced similar bans and countries like Australia, Vietnam and The Philippines, who perceive China to be an aggressor, are likely to follow suit. 

These changes are likely to change the global geopolitical scenario. However, experts feel that the consequences of the ban on Huawei would not have major effects on China, both strategically and economically.“

5G technology is at the centre of the emerging technology and will drive the fourth industrial revolution. It relies on a series of technologies, including semiconductors, optical fibres and rare earth materials. China has begun to localize all these elements.

"In five years, it is estimated that 5G market will reach around $668 billion. A breakthrough in the download speed may enable nations to bypass 5G. The biggest issue Huawei faces at this time is the chips for its platforms from the US which will effect its global sales. Nevertheless, owing to price sensitivity, most countries along the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) are likely to opt for Huawei,”  B R Deepak, Sinologist and Chairperson of the Centre for Chinese and South Asian Studies at JNU, said.

Russia-based political analyst Andrew Korybko feels that the ban on Huawei is a result of pressure from the US as Washington understands the importance of 5G technology.

“By pushing its primary competitor out of major markets, the US hopes to ensure that it retains full surveillance control of their governments and people. American companies can’t compete with the Chinese as the latter are more affordable and technologically advanced. That’s why Washington has had to intervene in manipulating the marketplace through its information warfare narrative against Huawei,” he said.

The Moscow-based analyst predicts that China will not suffer too much in the short term. “Whether geopolitically or economically the effect will be mininal, as long as Beijing manages to entrench its influence more firmly in the countries where the US has been unable to seriously compete with it,” he said. Korbyko goes on to add that 5G technology is inevitable and many Western countries would bend towards the US.

“While this might worsen their relations with Beijing a bit, it’s unclear whether the damage is irreparable since both sides have an interest in continuing and even strengthening their trade and investment ties.

The post-COVID trend of restructuring global supply chains might end up damaging them in the medium- and long-term much more than those countries’ decisions on not purchasing China’s 5G technology,” he said. A tech expert at a leading Indian telecom company said that affordability is one of the major criteria of procurement.

“In the short term, many countries could afford to avoid Chinese technology but it is not sustainable economically unless there is an alternative. In the current scenario, countries would be forced to rely on Chinese 5G sooner rather than later,” he said.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)