US ban on Huawei ends up backfiring on itself

Despite the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, which prohibits U.S. government agencies from contracting with any entity that uses Huawei components, the Pentagon is pushing for an exemption from the ban on the Chinese tech giant, with defense officials warning it could compromise national security if not resolved, according to a Bloomberg report Wednesday.

Ironically, the US used “national security” as an excuse when it imposed the ban on Huawei. It is clear that this ban was not based on real national security concerns, but was a political decision to suppress China’s high-tech industry by targeting Huawei. The US imposes restrictions on various Huawei products, but does not consider the specific situation in different departments and areas. Now, in the implementation stage, various problems are beginning to emerge. The Pentagon’s appeal fully proves that the unilateral ban on a Chinese company, especially a company of immense size and influence like Huawei, was an immature and ridiculous decision made on impulse.

Bloomberg noted that Huawei is “so firmly entrenched” in the systems of the countries where it operates, given that the company accounts for nearly a third of all global telecom equipment revenue, that finding a replacement would be “impossible.” This shows that the US ban on Huawei has begun to undermine some of the core parts of the country’s system.

Huawei’s products are competitive and popular in terms of price and quality. Therefore, it is almost impossible for the US to find complete substitutes. Washington can only choose to accept more expensive products or products of inferior quality to Huawei. Moreover, the process of finding substitutes would be long and such substitution would bring more economic burden to the US.

Zhang Tengjun, deputy director of the Department of Asia-Pacific Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, believes that in the current US environment, it is unlikely that the ban on Huawei will be completely lifted nationwide. However, the reality is that the US may have to consider continuing to use some Huawei products. This will obviously further highlight the US’s double standards on this issue. In other words, the “national security” excuse cited by Washington is untenable, which simply demonstrates the US’s own hypocrisy.

Ultimately, the Huawei ban failed to achieve Washington’s hope of halting the Chinese company’s technological development. Instead, it provided an opportunity for the company to work on improving its self-sufficiency. An article published by the Economist titled “America’s assassination attempt on Huawei is backfiring” on June 13 states that Uncle Sam’s attacks have failed to kill Huawei, but have only “empowered it.”

Washington’s control may have brought some problems for Chinese companies in the short term, but in the long term, the US really has no chance of winning the “wars” it has unleashed.

The US crackdown on Huawei is arguably unprecedentedly severe, but the company’s resilience is also extremely strong, setting an example for other Chinese companies. Under extreme pressure from Washington to force Chinese companies to “withdraw from the US market,” Huawei is a prime example of how far a Chinese company can go.

There will gradually be more backlash against the US itself, because Huawei’s competitiveness is obviously increasing, said Lü Xiang, a researcher of American studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He noted that the US has restricted Huawei’s products in the name of national security to protect its own related manufacturers, but this kind of protection only keeps the US’s production capacity backward. In this case, such protection blocks the US’s progress, and the backlash against the US will become increasingly clear in the long run.

By Global Times
Published on July 6, 2024, 8:51 PM


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