Huawei Signs 5G Contract In Russia With Xi Jingping And Putin Support

Huawei 5G
China's Xi and Russia's Putin take part in economic forum
(Photo: Reuters / Dmitri Lovetsky)

Despite accusations of being China's tool for spying on other countries and its ongoing trade ban with the United States, Russia has now chosen Huawei as the company to build its first 5G wireless network.

During Chinese President Xi Jinping's meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Huawei was able to bag a deal with Russia's largest telecommunications carrier, MTS. 

The agreement to build Russia's 5G infrastructure was celebrated with a ceremony that was attended by both Xi and Putin. Signing the deal were Huawei executive Guo Ping and MTS CEO Alexei Kornya.

Russia apparently doesn't share the same national security concerns as the United States, as indicated in its warm welcome of Huawei during Xi's visit. According to MTS' CEO, Russia believes that Huawei will be able to help the country transition into the new technology, which will certainly lead it into the future.

The Russian executive also pointed out that the presence of both presidents during the signing of the deal is a clear indication that both countries recognize the importance of the partnership.

At the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) that was held on Friday, Putin had some choice words aimed at President Donald Trump's campaign against Huawei. The Russian president mentioned that Huawei was being "unceremoniously" pushed out of the global markets. Putin also recognized that the US' attempts may lead to the world's first "technological war of the new digital era."

The deal with Russia's MTS is a big win for the Shenzhen-based tech company, given its slew of losses following the United States trade ban against it. The US' campaign against Huawei has resulted in the company losing some of its biggest chip suppliers, including US firms such as Intel, Microsoft, and Qualcomm.

Huawei has had to resort to domestic suppliers to compensate for the component exports it had lost, which it badly needed to manufacture its telecommunications equipment and smartphones.

The United States had also been urging its allies to follow suit and ban Huawei from building 5G networks in their respective countries. Huawei has adamantly denied all of the US' accusations against it.

The firm also lost its commercial license for Google's Android operating system, essentially removing the ability of its smartphone's users to get updates and access to several Google apps. Google had reportedly been ordered by the US government to cut ties with the Chinese company as part of its trade ban.

Huawei had stated that the US' trade ban would have little effect on it globally. However, this hasn't really been the case as Huawei has experienced massive drops in its bottom line.

The company's competitors have also benefited from the ban by stealing away contracts which would have otherwise gone to Huawei had the US not tarnished its reputation. Finnish telecom company Nokia had recently bagged 12 new contracts to build 5G networks in the last two month, overtaking Huawei which only closed three contracts over the same period.

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