Things continue going downhill for China’s controversial tech giant, Huawei as days after the Trump administration threatened the very survival of Huawei by imposing semiconductor (chip) export restrictions on the company, and now British daily, The Times has reported that the United Kingdom is pursuing the idea of a club of 10 democratic nations dubbed “D10” to avoid reliance on Huawei for 5G technology.
The D10 alliance would include the G7 countries- Japan, Italy, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada, and three other countries namely- India, South Korea and Australia. The idea of this alliance could be to channel investments into the telecommunication companies of these countries.
This is a huge blow for the Chinese 5G telecom major as the UK was one of the few countries that had allowed Huawei notwithstanding a US-led pushback against the telecom major.
According to SCMP, the “D10” proposal is expected to come up during the G7 summit that the United States President Donald Trump will hold next month. This could further raise the heat on China during the G7 Summit at a time when Beijing is already facing fierce criticism over the Coronavirus Pandemic from these seven advanced economies of the world.
Initially, the United Kingdom had allowed Huawei, but according to Spectator, Downing Street now describes its previous Huawei decision as a ‘legacy issue’. Hostility towards China has grown among all sections in Britain in the COVID context, and now the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is taking certain concrete steps against the Chinese tech giant Huawei.
Initially, Britain did allow Huawei to build upto 35 per cent of infrastructure in the country to roll out the 5G speed network, but The Telegraph has reported that Boris Johnson has now instructed officials to formulate plans to reduce Huawei’s role in the country’s 5G network as the United Kingdom plans reduce China’s involvement in 5G network to zero.
Johnson’s decision was preceded by Washington’s anger over the UK allowing Huawei despite Trump administration’s security concerns and espionage accusations against the Chinese telecom giant, Huawei.
It is clear that the Johnson administration wants to cut Huawei out of the 5G network and this is why new entrants and players in the telecom sector are needed. In this context the “D10” club can channelize investments in the telecom players among these ten democratic countries which would create a united front against China’s telecom major.
Currently Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson are Europe’s only alternatives in terms of supplying 5G technology equipment- antennas and relay masts. This is why the United Kingdom is reaching to its allies- the democratic countries in the “D10” Club to search for a Huawei alternative.
A Downing Street spokesperson said, “We (are) seeking new entrants into the market in order to diversify and that is something we’ve been speaking with our allies about, including the United States.”
This development could very well mean curtains for the Chinese 5G leader, and the focus now shifts to the G7 Summit scheduled to be held in the month of June. If the “D10” Club does materialise, it will be a decisive moment that will automatically mean that Huawei conclusively loses some of the biggest markets in this sector.
Within the “D10” alliance, if and when it comes up, it will be a historic opportunity for the telecom players to freely work towards introducing indigenous 5G technology backed by channelized investments.
The digital arm of the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), Jio Platforms, is already working towards indigenous 5G technology giving tough competition to Huawei. Recently, Ambani had proudly announced, “We’re going to do 5G. We are the only network in the world that doesn’t have a single Chinese component.”
The “D10” Club could just be the moment that Reliance Jio needed, as the United Kingdom pushes an alliance of ten democratic countries to counter China on the 5G Network technology front.