A hot potato: China is able to pump out mass quantities of inexpensive tech products, but cellular networking equipment produced by Chinese companies is on the brink of a total ban from the United States according to administration insiders.
Multiple sources speaking with Politico have confirmed that President Trump is ready to issue an executive order that will place a ban on Chinese hardware being using for upgrades of cellular networks. The order is part of a series of announcements leading up to Mobile World Congress designed to showcase what the United States is doing to prevent cyber attacks from being harmful to the nation.
Huawei has been under great scrutiny in recent times, but remember that ZTE was also heavily put under the microscope not long before. Accusations against the Chinese telecom companies have ranged from theft of trade secrets to violations of trade embargoes. As charges mount against Huawei executives, there is compelling reason to believe that the United States will not be awarding any contracts to Chinese businesses.
As contracts for the installation of 5G networks are in the works, the White House is looking to send a message that security must not be compromised for the next generation of wireless connectivity. Mobile World Congress will have plenty of shiny new phones to look at, but lest we forget what is needed to make those glass sandwiches usable on a daily basis.
A spokesman from the National Security Council advised that the U.S. is "working across government and with our allies and like-minded partners to mitigate risk in the deployment of 5G and other communications infrastructure." Should the ban on Chinese networking hardware go into full effect, the statement indicates that there will be great pressure on Europe to follow suit in avoiding the use of Chinese cellular equipment.