Emerging technologies and geopolitical contestation
The roll-out of the 5G network, the next generation of global communications, has turned into a geopolitical confrontation between China and other western countries, led by the US. Of the few telecommunications companies that are ready to deploy 5G on a large scale, Huawei promises to provide the most affordable and technologically advanced alternative. Many nations consider this as a security risk and have flagged legal, political and economic concerns for sourcing the new communications infrastructure from a Chinese company. What is at the heart of this contestation is an attempt by the western nations, particularly the US, to prevent China from gaining global and economic clout as a first mover of the next gen technology. And as a result, the battle for setting up the 5G network has become the latest flash-point for geopolitical competition between the US and China.