Sens. Seek Report on China's Impact on 5G Standards

Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) want the public, and U.S companies, to see an intelligence report on Chinese participation in 5G standard-setting so they can "assess any existing threats to fair competition and push back against them."

Warner and Rubio, vice chairman and a member, respectively, of the Senate Intelligence Committee, have asked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to issue an unclassified and comprehensive China's participation in 5G wireless broadband international standards-setting bodies (ISSBs).

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They are looking for something like the 2012 report by the House Intelligence Committee on Chinese telecoms Huawei and ZTE, both of whom have since been identified by the intelligence community as potential national security threats due to their alleged coziness with, or susceptibility to influence by, the Chinese government.

Sens. Warner and Rubio said they called for the report based on anecdotal evidence that the Chinese government was attempting to politically influence the process.

The Trump Administration, joined by bipartisan members of Congress, have said winning the race to 5G—China is the chief competitor—is a priority.

Among the things they want the report to address are "[s]pecific examples of attempts by China and other foreign adversaries to exert pressure or political influence within the ISSBs or at major telecommunication conferences to secure standards that are favorable to Chinese companies and patent holders, or that might introduce deficiencies into 5G networks; and, how Chinese-led standards for 5G technologies will affect U.S. economic and security interests, including efforts by U.S. companies to sell and scale its technologies, the ability of the U.S. to position itself for future generations of wireless technology, and to protect against cyber intrusions and security vulnerabilities."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.