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Magda Skrzypek
Media development worker

Prague-based media development worker from Poland with a journalistic background. Previously worked on digital issues in Brussels. Piqs about digital issues, digital rights, data protection, new trends in journalism and anything else that grabs my attention.

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piqer: Magda Skrzypek
Thursday, 28 February 2019

The 5G Race: China and U.S. Battle to Control The Future

The dramatic arrest of Huawei's CFO and the daughter of its founder at the request of the U.S. in Vancouver late last year laid bare tensions between the hardware giant and the U.S. administration. Politically, Huawei has not been welcome on the other side of the Pacific Ocean for some time.

Donald Trump's administration has effectively shut Chinese telecoms giant out of the U.S. market, urging its allies around the globe to follow its lead. Washington has seen Huawei as a national security threat, fearing that its products could serve as a tool for spying by Beijing. As a response to political pressure, European leaders are allegedly devising a "third-way" approach, one that would avoid a blanket ban, but, at the same time, would enforce some restrictions on Huawei equipment.

The feud is more than just a spy spat. There’s a major issue at play that is far more consequential for the global future: it's the race to own 5G technology “that will connect the Internet of things, the billions of different devices we’re now attaching to the Internet", from autonomous vehicles to water systems, as The New York Times's The Daily explains.

You have to think of the Internet as just another domain” in which the battle over dominance between East and West is being fought-out, says NYT national security correspondent David E. Sanger. As a result of that battle, "we could end up with a new Berlin Wall but one that is built around these networks: a highly controlled part of the Internet that’s run by the Chinese, and then, a Western Internet that’s more than what we’re all accustomed to.

Despite The Daily harbouring a clear U.S. bias, the episode is a great way to stay on top of the fight over Huawei and how it fits into the broader China-U.S. power struggle. Plus, the same scenario of the potential split into two opposing Internets has also been discussed in a recent New York Magazine's podcast, meaning, there might be something there, and you better wrap your head around it.

The 5G Race: China and U.S. Battle to Control The Future
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