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Cisco CEO suggests fears of Huawei 5G dominance may be overblown

Huawei Canada. (Raysonho/Wikimedia Commons)

Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins suggested Sunday that governments shouldn’t worry that Huawei Technologies will dominate the race to build 5G wireless networks.

“The current infrastructure around the world is built on a combination of communication suppliers from Europe, from China, from the U.S., everywhere,” Robbins said on CNN. “And I think that despite everything that we hear, I think that’s going to be the case in the future as well.”

The U.S. is seeking to discourage purchases of equipment from Huawei and is pressing European governments to do the same, saying it’s a gateway for Chinese spying. China rejects U.S. allegations that its laws require companies to help collect intelligence.

While major Western equipment manufacturers specialize in different areas of next-generation mobile gear, Shenzhen-based Huawei competes in both wide-area radio technology and core network equipment, Robbins said. Even so, “there’s not going to be one manufacturer” providing 5G equipment, he said.

President Donald Trump’s administration has stepped up its campaign in Europe, Huawei’s biggest market outside China, where governments in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and elsewhere are deliberating whether to restrict its equipment from the network upgrade.

In Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has declined to impose an outright ban on Huawei equipment.

On another front, Canada began extradition proceedings last week for Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on U.S. charges that she lied to banks to trick them into processing transactions for Huawei that potentially violated Iran trade sanctions.


© 2019 Bloomberg News

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