In the battle over subsequent generation of telecommunications, China is winning. On Jan. 28, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided to not ban hardware made by the market-leading Chinese firm Huawei because the U.K. builds out its infrastructure for 5G wireless technology. the selection was a blow to the Trump Administration, which has waged a monthslong campaign to influence allies to shun Huawei–and just lost its closest ally.
Although Johnson needs a post-Brexit trade affect the U.S., he also promised voters a revolution in Internet speed and coverage. His decision to not ban Huawei–despite warnings of the danger of spying by Beijing–reflects the importance states are placing on the competitive advantage in Internet infrastructure. Huawei is to be limited to a maximum 35% role within the periphery of the U.K.’s 5G network, faraway from “sensitive” sites like nuclear plants. But on Jan. 29, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo still urged Britain to reconsider its decision.
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