Skip to main content

Huawei: Executive Order Will Handicap U.S. in 5G Race

Chinese telecom Huawei says that Trump Administration efforts to restrict its business in the U.S. will backfire, impeding the country's progress toward 5G and saddling it with more expensive and inferior telecom equipment.

The President issued an executive order Wednesday (May 15) giving the Commerce Department the power, and the mandate, to block suspect telecoms from doing business with U.S. networks. White House officials on background said the order was company and country agnostic, but at about the same time the President was issuing the order, declaring protecting U.S. networks from suspect tech a national emergency, Commerce put Huawei on a list of suspect companies that will require a license to do business, a license Huawei is unlikely to get.

Huawei responded in a statement that the U.S. was essentially kneecapping the 5G tech front-runner at the same time it was trying to win the race to next-gen wireless.

"Huawei is the unparalleled leader in 5G," the company said in response to the order. "We are ready and willing to engage with the U.S. government and come up with effective measures to ensure product security."

The U.S. Government does not appear ready to work with Huawei. State Department and Homeland Security officials at a Hill hearing this week praised the major U.S. carriers for pledging not to use Huawei in their networks, and called on U.S. allies to follow suit.

But Huawei made it clear it thought shunning the company was not the way to protect the supply chain.

"Restricting Huawei from doing business in the U.S. will not make the U.S. more secure or stronger; instead, this will only serve to limit the U.S. to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the U.S. lagging behind in 5G deployment, and eventually harming the interests of U.S. companies and consumers. In addition, unreasonable restrictions will infringe upon Huawei's rights and raise other serious legal issues."

It did not elaborate on what those issues might be and what it planned to do about it.