The Powers That Be would rather consign us to mediocre mobile connectivity than allow 5G networking equipment from China. Boo.
Ostensibly we’re worried about China using Huawei’s equipment to spy on us. (Hi, where were you guys when we outsourced all our manufacturing to China?) Funny, the Chinese government uses the same excuse to ban Google and Facebook in their own country. It’s not about censorship, they say. China bans American internet services to shield its citizens from foreign surveillance!
It’s protectionism. If China hadn’t preemptively banned Google and Facebook, Baidu and Tencent might not have gained enough market share to grow into massive conglomerates.
So we’re blocking Huawei to give Qualcomm, Nokia, and Ericsson a chance to catch up. I don’t know, I’d rather roll the dice and gamble on the off-chance China might spy on me, than the guarantee that the US government will. Remember PRISM? Germany seems more amenable to having Huawei build their 5G infrastructure after the NSA was caught monitoring Angela Merkel’s cell phone.
Besides, Chinese surveillance is less concerning than the NSA because there’s a distribution of power. China can’t punish an American for wrongthink the way it disappears its own citizens. On the other hand, political incorrectness in the US can result in the loss of bank accounts and other privileges. When it comes to domestic service providers, the witness is in cahoots with the judge, jury, and executioner.
Plus, if Chinese telecoms ignore USG subpoenas the way Chinese banks ignore FATCA, that’s a big win for data privacy.
Either way, we’ve already been infiltrated by foreign spies. Our biggest tech companies aren’t US companies. As far as accounting goes, Apple’s IP resides in Ireland, Facebook’s platform is owned by an Irish subsidiary, IBM and Google’s profits are booked by a Dutch company in Bermuda, and so on with Microsoft, Intel, and Oracle. Why are we okay with Irish and Dutch companies spying on us, but not Chinese companies? Clearly the US government is racist. I, for one, welcome our Chinese overlords.