Huawei to launch “5G” in the Philippines and Thailand

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — China Telecom (Huawei) said on Sunday it was ready to start work on infrastructure linked to the launch of high-speed 5G services across Southeast Asia, regardless of US warnings that the technology could be used to collect data for Beijing.

The company has emerged as a key player in the trade war between the United States and China, which has seen reciprocal tariffs on billions of dollars worth of products.

The administration of US President Donald Trump warned that Huawei equipment could allow China to spy on other countries and prevent US companies from selling technology to it.

But the Chinese giant has repeatedly denied the accusations.

Thailand and the Philippines ignored US warnings about cyber security and rushed to exploit the high-speed 5G networks promised by China’s biggest smartphone maker, while Vietnam distanced itself from Huawei.

“China and the United States are currently engaged in a trade war and there was some kind of technological warfare that Huawei is focusing on right now,” Huawei Vice President Edward Go said at a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Sunday.

“We are here to help ASEAN to develop 5G + networks.”

The 10-member bloc, representing hundreds of millions of people, is seeking sophisticated Internet networks to help businesses, infrastructure and transport sectors compete globally.

Host country Thailand welcomed the summit and allowed it to set up a test site at a major university near Bangkok.

A Huawei spokesman earlier told AFP the group had invested $ 5 billion in testing and had been invited to conduct similar tests in other markets in Southeast Asia.

Globe Telecom, the main telecom operator in the Philippines, announced during the summer that it will launch the first 5G Internet service in Southeast Asia using Huawei technology.

Thailand and the Philippines have long been among US historical allies, prompting some to view the disagreement over 5G services as a challenge between Washington and Beijing.

But not all countries showed enthusiasm for Huawei services.

Vietnam has quietly sided with the United States on the issue, ignoring the Chinese company for other 5G providers, including Ericsson and Nokia.

Vettel, the military’s mobile operator in Vietnam, hopes to be the first to launch 5G services in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and has said it plans to do so without Huawei, citing security concerns.

But Joe stressed that “there are no issues of online security for us. There is no evidence the United States has to say that.”

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