SA’s Ramaphosa backs Huawei 5G rollout, slams protectionismJuly 8, 2019
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 8 – South Africa will be turning to Huawei to implement 5G network, despite the US action against the Chinese technology giant.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Huawei was a victim, adding that the action was an example of protectionism, which would affect South Africa’s telecommunications sector.
“This standoff between China and the US where the technology company Huawei is being used as a victim because of its successes is an example of protectionism that will affect our own telecommunications sector, particularly the efforts to roll out the 5G network, causing a setback on other networks as well,” he said.
Huawei, the world’s largest telecommunications equipment maker, has become a focal point in a protracted war with the US. The US has been working to thwart the company’s global 5G ambitions, which it sees as a national security threat to other nations.
Ramaphosa was speaking during the 4IRSA digital economy summit in Johannesburg, where he said several telecommunication companies had written to him to express their concerns about trade restrictions that had been imposed on Huawei by the US government.
“We support a company that is going to take our country and indeed the world to better technologies, and that is 5G. We cannot afford to have our economy to be held back because of this fight. We are pleased that at the G20 Summit, China and the US were able to meet and they said they will relax some of the constraints being imposed on Huawei so that it can continue to deal with other various companies,” Ramaphosa said.
According to the Guardian, the US intelligence services believe Huawei is backed by the Chinese Military and that its equipment could provide Beijing with a backdoor into communications networks of rival countries.
Chinese law requires companies to cooperate with the government on national security issues. As a result, Washington has pushed its closest allies to reject Huawei technology.