03/12/2021, 15.46
UNITED STATES – CHINA
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Biden follows Trump and puts the squeeze on Huawei's 5G

The ban mainly concerns semiconductors, antennas and batteries for the production of Chinese smartphones. Ren Zhengfei's company's worldwide sales have plummeted. Another European telephone operator gives up on China’s 5G. Quad countries will cooperate on the next generation internet.

Washington (AsiaNews) – The Biden administration has imposed stricter conditions on the sale of  electronic components supplied by US companies to Huawei, Bloomberg reported today, citing US government officials familiar with the file.

The measure, which comes into force this week, includes a ban on exporting state-of-the-art (5G) internet equipment to the Chinese tech giant. The ban concerns semiconductors, antennas and batteries for Huawei smartphones. mainly

Considered a threat to national security for its ties to Beijing intelligence, Huawei is on a black list of  Chinese companies monitored by Washington.

To do business with the company founded by Ren Zhengfei, US suppliers must apply for a special government licence.

The US ban has had a major impact on the sales of Huawei smartphones, which have fallen in the last year from 3rd to 5th place worldwide with Apple first. Huawei has also been overtaken by Chinese competitors Xiaomi and OPPO.

It is now increasingly clear that Biden wants to follow his predecessor Donald Trump who took a hard line against China. In Congress, Democrats and Republicans agree on the need to limit technology transfers to the Chinese.

When in office, Trump launched an international campaign against Huawei. Many European countries decided against getting 5G products from the Chinese company; some countries, like the United Kingdom, have taken steps to remove all Huawei components from their national systems.

The latest countries to defect are in Eastern Europe where the United Group announced that it wants to completely or partly remove Huawei equipment from its network.

For Beijing this is a real setback. The telecom operates in Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece and Serbia, all partner countries in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, Xi Jinping's great plan to boost China’s strategic and trading footprint.

United Group president Nikos Stathopoulos said the best approach for his company is to “switch to something that is more US-approved”.

At today's Quad (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) summit, the US, Japan, Australia and India will announce a common approach to 5G and global technology standards.

The group, which meets for the first time at the head of government level, is seen by China as a potential Asian NATO.

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