Sunday, July 5, 2020
Home Business China's Race to 5G Raises National Security Implications Between US and China

China’s Race to 5G Raises National Security Implications Between US and China

When standards are created, controlled, and sold by other countries, there is enhanced pressure on the U.S. to adopt those standards, which would have significant economic and national security costs

Michael R. Wessel is a commissioner of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a U.S. government organization that investigates the national security implications of trade and economic relationship between the U.S. and China.

He recently discussed with VOA his concerns about China’s race to 5G, the next generation of wireless connectivity being built worldwide. With a 5G network, users will be able to send and receive more data in less time, which could have implications for self-driving cars, smart cities and other technologies.

Q: How much does it matter which country is first to fully functioning 5G?

Wessel:
 It does matter. First mover advantage is crucial in any new technology, but it is particularly important in 5G because it is foundational for cutting-edge innovation and applications including smart cities, network manufacturing, and integrated warfighting capability.

When standards are created, controlled, and sold by other countries, there is enhanced pressure on the U.S. to adopt those standards, which would have significant economic and national security costs.

For example, U.S. 4G leadership contributed to around $125 billion in U.S. company revenue from abroad and more than $40 billion in U.S. application and content developer revenue, and created 2.1 million new jobs from 2011-2014. And, from a national security perspective, the “control” of technologies raises unacceptable risks.

china, 5G
FILE – A banner of the 5G network is displayed during the Mobile World Congress wireless show, in Barcelona, Spain, Feb. 25, 2019. VOA

Q: How far ahead is Huawei or China on 5G?

Wessel: China’s leadership in 5G depends on how we define competition. Some U.S. companies are already offering 5G devices and are running pilot projects in select cities, so they have beat China to the punch. However, Chinese investment into 5G is vast.

As of early February 2019, Huawei owned 1,529 “standard-essential” 5G patents, the most of any company, according to data-analytics firm IPlytics. By comparison, Qualcomm, a U.S. company, owned 787 standard-essential patents. All Chinese companies together own 36 percent of all 5G standard-essential patents, while U.S. companies (Intel and Qualcomm) own 14 percent.

In terms of 5G network build out, China is also racing ahead: China Tower, a monopoly created by the Chinese government to build the country’s 5G infrastructure, said it would likely cover the country by 2023. One estimate said China Tower built more sites in 3 months than U.S. did in 3 years. In the United States, the process is likely to take much longer, with each company handling its own networks, and will need to negotiate with local governments for tower locations.

Q: The U.S. is urging its allies to not work with Huawei in building their 5G networks out of concern that the Chinese technology giant could give the Chinese government access to the new network for spying. Some countries such as Germany say they won’t rule out working with Huawei. Why is this a problem for the U.S.?

Huawei
A staff member stands in front of a Huawei shop in Beijing, China, March 7, 2019. VOA

Wessel: We tend to focus on the economic cost and not consider the national securiy cost of something as significant as a nationwide 5G network rollout.

ALSO READ: British Airways to Launch its Shortest Flight with only 40 Minutes Spent in Air

Huawei products, services and activities have already raised significant concerns and our allies have to consider how much more investment they are willing to make into their technology.

No amount of risk mitigation or false attempts at transparency are adequate. The problem is Germany and other allies have already incorporated some Huawei equipment into their tech infrastructure. Much like a virus, our allies can choose to inoculate themselves against this danger now, or run the risk of painful and costly treatment later. Unfortunately, this is a great risk to intelligence-sharing among allies and partners. (VOA)

STAY CONNECTED

18,999FansLike
362FollowersFollow
1,779FollowersFollow

Most Popular

Country of Origin of Products: A Concern For Indians

As the government orders e-commerce players to display the "Country of Origin" of products sold on their platforms, a survey reveals three in ten...

JioMeet, A Make in India App to Compete with Zoom

With Reliance Jio launching a Make in India free video-conferencing application JioMeet that directly takes on Zoom, the US-based company said on Saturday they...

Instagram to Redesign it’s Story Feature

Facebook-owned Instagram is preparing to launch a huge redesign that would make it easier to watch favorite Stories in one place. Follow us on our...

In Conversation with Annu Rizvi

Annu Rizvi is a lyricist and a writer who has worked in several big projects including 'transparency', 'meri saheli’ and many others. He worked...

WhatsApp Launches First Brand Campaign in India

WhatsApp on Saturday launched its first brand campaign in India that narrates real stories about how Indians communicate daily on WhatsApp with their closest...

Government to Propose Triple Solar Manufacturing Capacity

The central government has proposed a major push to domestic manufacturing of renewable energy equipment in the country that would completely eliminate the need...

Here’s Why some Covid-19 Patients can Breathe Well with Low Oxygen Level

Researchers have found possible explanations for Covid-19 patients who present with extremely low, otherwise life-threatening levels of oxygen, but no signs of difficulty in...

Morning Walk can Help Heart Bypass Surgery Patients Get Sound Sleep

Just half an hour of morning walk can help heart bypass surgery patients get a sound sleep at night, says a study. "Many patients have...

Recent Comments