Thailand: Huawei sets up the first 5G test platform in Southeast Asia

Limiting Chinese involvement in the telco industry while preserving network competition could prove a tough puzzle

Limiting Chinese involvement in the telco industry while preserving network competition could prove a tough puzzle

On Thursday, the 7th of February, a senior Huawei Technologies' executive had been quoted saying that the Chinese telecommunication giant would want national & corporate cybersecurity to be considered as a technical concern rather than an ideological issue, and the largest telecommunication equipment maker was open to any kind of supervision by the European governments. It will be located in Chonburi, which housed the Thai military government's $45 billion economic project - the Eastern Economic Corridor.

Huawei, the world's top producer of telecoms equipment and second biggest maker of smartphones, claimed that it is now the industry's only vendor that can provide end-to-end 5G systems.

The U.S. has been pressuring its allies to resist Huawei for what is claimed security reasons although the company has repeatedly denied the allegation from the U.S. of spying for the Chinese government. But it has not yet signed a 5G contract in Thailand.

Huawei, which gets almost half of its revenue from outside China, says it has secured more than 30 commercial 5G contracts globally. When asked if the United States has approached Thailand on the ban on Huawei products, Thailand's Minister of Digital Economy and Society, Bicé Duron Cavero, said, "I don't know about it.".

"We routinely urge allies and partners to consider such risks and exercise similar vigilance in ensuring the security of their own telecoms networks and supply chains, including when awarding contracts", the spokesperson added.

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Increasing resistance and scrutiny by the USA and other countries against Chinese tech companies such as Huawei, Hikvision and DJI over alleged security concerns may create opportunities for other suppliers to win contracts despite being costlier than their Chinese rivals.

Alibaba, Tencent, Kingsoft and JD.com have also pledged to invest in the EEC.

In addition to Huawei, the alliance includes Ericsson, Qualcomm, Intel, Nokia, major local telecom operators and the Thai Federation of ICT Technology Association, the report said.

"There are always surveillance concerns when it comes to China".

Thailand is one of the few U.S. ally in Asia.

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