Huawei, Russian Telecom Firm Ink Deal to Build 5G Network

Huawei has signed a deal with Russian telecommunications firm MTS to help develop the country's 5G technology.

As reported by The Guardian, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to the deal just before the former started a three-day visit to Russia. The arrangement will result in "the development of 5G technologies and the pilot launch of fifth-generation networks in 2019-2020," MTS said in a statement.

Huawei is currently dealing with a number of restrictions in Western countries after a trade-related executive order from President Trump required US suppliers to suspend their work with Huawei. They have since been given a 90-day reprieve, but Huawei's relationship with Google, Qualcomm, and Intel is still on the rocks. Even UK-based ARM severed ties because its designs contain "US origin technology."

The Trump blacklist comes at a time when Huawei is facing attacks on its reputation due to security concerns. Huawei says it would never use its telecom equipment to spy on other countries, but the US and many of its allies are concerned that the Chinese government could compel Huawei to do its bidding whether the company wanted to or not. Huawei has said it is willing to sign a "no spy" agreement with Western govenments to ensure it can continue operating in those countries, but has not yet had any takers.

The United States is also currently locked in a battle with China over trade, and Trump appears to be using Huawei's business as leverage for a better deal.

China and Russia have similar approaches to internet services. Russia is currently in the process of testing ways to better control its internet, including censoring VPNs, developing a unified CCTV system, and possibly disconnecting from the global web altogether. China, of course, has the "Great Firewall," which does not allow residents of the country to access the wider internet.

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