Huawei E220 HSDPA USB modem. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So, this week the US rattled a few sabers again with a report claiming ZTE and Huawei were not to be trusted. Apparently, using their kit could allow the Chinese to spy deep within US networks and pose a threat to national security.
ZTE has now also confirmed that its long-standing relationship with Cisco, which involved a level of part supply, has been canned, even though it was Cisco giving ZTE kit, not the other way round.
This isn’t a US-only issue. The UK itself has freaked out about the companies which are rumoured to be state sponsored, but with new publicly funded research involving Huawei and large UK companies installing their kit for mobile networks, it seems fears this side of the pond are settling.
It is unsurprising that the US is posturing quite so much about companies that are growing at an exponential rate and starting to take business away from an area like networkin,g which has been dominated by a US player for so many years. But this is the way the world is heading.
The Chinese and others in the Asia Pacific region are coming up with the best innovations, have the strongest economies to fund them and globalisation is breaking down trade walls like never before.
Scaremongering about technology’s origins is foolish. More and more products, both technological and otherwise, will be coming from this part of the world, alongside other emerging economies such as India and Brazil. Even Russia is growing on the world stage and what will that make the US do? Write a report that another cold war is coming?
The US claims to be embracing trade, innovation and globalisation, but to revert to the Chinese government spy defence when a rival company gets some momentum and threatens a strong homeland market is suspect to me. It also just happens to be a few weeks before an election.
I may be wrong, Huawei and ZTE might end up being proved as a cunning ruse to bring down the western governments, but I don’t see Europeans panicking that the White House is monitoring our networks full of Cisco gear.
I think I will withhold judgments for a while and look at what is the best technology for the job, not at the address of the company’s headquarters.