February 17, 2019

The 5G Promise and the Huawei Threat

“Federal prosecutors unsealed a pair of indictments Monday, charging the Chinese technology company Huawei with crimes including bank fraud, sanctions violations and theft of trade secrets. Huawei’s behavior is finally being recognized for what it is. Beijing is using companies like Huawei and ZTE as an extension of its intelligence network, engaging in criminal behavior to advance not only the bottom line but the interests of the Chinese state. With the 5G future close at hand, this realization can’t come a moment too soon.

This isn’t a new problem. In 2012, after a yearlong investigation, the House Intelligence Committee raised the alarm about Huawei and ZTE in a bipartisan report. The report focused the attention of the intelligence community on the criminal and espionage threat.

Huawei calls our concern “little more than an exercise in China-bashing,” but it’s widely shared internationally. From Poland to Canada, Australia to France, Western countries are waking up to the threat of Chinese state and commercial espionage, and are taking countermeasures.

Why does this matter to you? Because the next-generation communication network, 5G, will revolutionize the way we use technology, and China wants dominance from the start. Rather than operating from a central location, 5G network sensors are pushed to endpoints such as networked refrigerators, thermostats, aircraft, factory machines, autonomous vehicles and things we haven’t yet conceived that will be tied into the 5G network.”

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