‘How Washington Chased Huawei Out of Europe’

Huawei "is giving up on Europe," writes Politico, saying the Chinese telecommunications company is "retrenching its European operations and putting its ambitions for global leadership on ice." "The reasons for doing this have little to do with the company's commercial potential — Huawei is still able to offer cutting-edge technology at lower costs than its competitors — and everything to do with politics, according to interviews with more than 20 current and former staff and strategic advisers to the company." Pressed by the United States and increasingly shunned on a Continent it once considered its most strategic overseas market, Huawei is pivoting back toward the Chinese market, focusing its remaining European attention on the few countries — Germany and Spain, but also Hungary — still willing to play host to a company widely viewed in the West as a security risk. "It's no longer a company floating on globalization," said one Huawei official. "It's a company saving its ass on the domestic market...." Huawei's predicament was summed up by the company's founder Ren Zhengfei in a speech to executives at the company's Shenzhen headquarters in July. He laid out the trifecta of challenges the company has faced over the last three years: hostility from Washington; disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic; and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, which upended global supply chains and heightened European concerns about over-dependence on countries like China. "The environment we faced in 2019 was different from the one we face today," Ren said in his speech, which wasn't made public but was seen by POLITICO. "Don't assume that we will have a brighter future." "We previously had an ideal for globalization striving to serve all humanity," he added. "What is our ideal today? Survival....!" The company is also retrenching elsewhere, according to Ren. "We will give up markets in some countries," the firm's founder said in his speech this summer. "For example, we will give up markets in the Five Eyes countries and India." The "Five Eyes" refers to an intelligence-sharing arrangement between the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. All five countries have banned or are in the process of banning Huawei and other Chinese companies from their critical infrastructure because of security concerns. Thanks to Slashdot reader fbobraga for submitting the article.

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