The USA and China are locked in a devastating trade war and the markets are jittery.
Each country has a nationalistic reason and they’re stuck behind their guns. The USA wants market reforms in China, accusing the communist country of tweaking its economy and currency to gain unfair advantages over trading partners.
It also accuses China of stealing technology to gain unfair advantage over trading partners. There is no end in sight to this dispute. Trump as usual, remains Trump.
For China to accept Trumps demands, it will have to make fundamental changes in it’s body politic. Communism is about absolute control and the Chinese know by accepting the USA demands, the USA will be reforming the entire Chinese system through the backdoor.
Caught in the crossfire are tech- companies like Huawei. China has a policy of ensuring all chinese and foreign firms give the government a backdoor through which it gleans information from the rest of the world.
In simple terms, all businesses doing trade in China must hook up with the communist party through a portal of sorts. A portal from which information is stolen and used to the advantage of China.
The same goes for Chinese companies in the global arena. Huawei has faced accusations of spying for China over the years. It partners with the communist party in many ways leaving foreign governments worried.
Repatriation of all manner of information back to China is a requirement and Huawei is accused of doing the same with zeal.
The launch of signature 5G technology takes this activity a notch higher. The technology is as scary as it sounds to security operators. And the USA is not willing to accept this technology in its backyard, moreso on a platform supported by its own technologies.
Google has Android, an open source platform on which almost all phones run. It has a user friendly interface and this helps drive phone sales.
Huawei has been growing in leaps and bounds and Android has been the fire behind this growth. The USA also charges the company with stealing information and spying on behalf of the communist party.
It has therefore sanctioned it. Furthermore, it is putting pressure on allies to do the same. Huawei is in the process of signing multi billion deals in Europe riding on the back of the 5G technology and this only serves to irk the Trump administration.
By sanctioning Huawei, the USA also locks it away from free acces to U.S. technology. And that’s the reason behind Google’s move to limit Huawei’s full acces to its Android platform.
This move will force Huawei to develop a homegrown phone operating system and nobody knows whether the platform will be a hit as Android has been.
By being an open source platform, Android globalised itself. From India to Argentina to Iceland to mainland China to Macau to Russia, to remote African enclaves, Android has been a roaring success.
The move on Huawei will definitely hurt the company and going by population numbers in this Asian country, a move by this tech giant to develop a homegrown and parallel operating system would definitely roll back globalization of the tech world.
Globalization of technology is without doubt a good thing and anything that rolls it back, rolls back the idea of commonality of the human spirit. Because of Android, a youth in Africa can play a pool game against another in Nepal, that being just one example of the benefits humanity can accrue by globalizing technology.
Let’s wait and see how the Huawei story plays out