Huawei has come under fire from countries throughout the West, with allegations the telecommunications equipment company engages in spying for the Chinese government. The United States, Britain, Australia and Germany have expressed concern in some cases, and gone as far as to ban the company in others.
In spite of Huawei’s reputation, at least one major country is undeterred: Brazil. Bloomberg is reporting that the Chinese government is confident Huawei will be chosen to build out Brazil’s 5G mobile network.
“I am confident in terms of the cooperation between China and Brazil over 5G technology”, China’s Ambassador to Brasilia Yang Wanming told Bloomberg in response to emailed questions. He added that Brazil “will take into account its own development interest” when analyzing Huawei’s bid.
Yang also indicated that Brazil has remained objective and had not been moved by what he described as the United States’ campaign of “bad faith and defamation.”
Nonetheless, if China’s assessment is correct, and Huawei is chosen, it could ratchet up tension between the U.S. and Brazil. The U.S. has been warning allies of the dangers of relying on Huawei and has already informed Brazil it may downgrade security cooperation if Huawei is chosen.
Telecom companies in other countries have already been sounding the warning regarding the added cost and time that will be incurred building 5G networks without Huawei’s equipment. Countries, especially ones with limited options, will no doubt be watching closely to see who blinks in this game of 5G brinksmanship.