Chinese firm is a queen on tech chessboard, but Beijing will just tell its whiz-kids to reach the next level
Declaration of war, by Antonio Rodríguez, Mexico
It’s geopolitical, geoeconomic war. Cold, so far, but now about to descend to deep freeze. The US National Security Strategy unmistakably spells it out. China is a strategic competitor and must be contained, no holds barred, on all fronts: economic, military and most of all, technological.
Enter the current, concerted offensive across the spectrum, from 5G and AI to moves attempting to prevent the coming of globalization 2.0. Add to it maximum pressure all over the world to prevent nations from joining the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the organizing foreign policy concept for China in the foreseeable future and the strategic road map for Eurasian integration up to 2049.
It’s all interconnected; the Trump administration’s trade war, Google blocking Huawei from the enhanced Android OS, the demonization of Belt and Road. It’s all about control of global supply chains and technological infrastructure.
Huawei is not a pawn but the Queen in the tech-war chessboard. In an environment where Chinese IT companies are fast climbing the ranks in terms of registering scientific patents, Huawei is already first among equals. From techno-scientific knowledge to applied research and creative market solutions, China tech is posing a concerted “threat” to American tech. This is the heart of the geopolitical and geoeconomic clash between the hegemon and the aspiring superpower.
Pressure over Germany, UK and Italy, for instance, based on a fuzzy “economic aggression” concept, won’t force these industrialized nations to discard Huawei, because they can profit from Huawei’s leadership on 5G to create their own ‘smart’ or safe cities.
Fragmenting global supply chains – as the Trump administration is aiming at – also does not cut it, as interdependence still rules. Some 22% of Huawei products carry US components, and the Snapdragon chip from American Qualcomm is featured in most Chinese smartphones.