Cyril Ramaphosa backs Huawei amidst US trade tensions - Stuff

Cyril Ramaphosa backs Huawei amidst US trade tensions

Cyril Ramaphosa backs Huawei amidst US trade tensions

Huawei has had a particularly rough few months, from Donald Trump placing the Chinese tech company on the US ‘Entity List’, barring any trade with US firms, to Google and Facebook unsure about their applications on future Huawei phones. Rough is actually an understatement. 

Luckily, it’s not standing alone against the Trump administration. Even after Trump retracted his proposed sanctions at the G20 Summit this month, South Africa has pledged its support for Huawei. Especially considering the imminent rollout of 5G in the country. 

Yes, Mr President

“Telecoms companies got together and wrote me a letter saying that this tussle happening between China and US around the company called Huawei is going to hurt us, because we can’t go to 5G and only Huawei can lead us to 5G,” Ramaphosa said at the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) summit in Midrand, Johannesburg last week. “The US has been unable to imagine a better future which goes beyond 4-plus-1 G.”

Earlier this year, data-only network Rain, in partnership with Huawei, announced it’s going to start offering 5G commercial services in South Africa from September 2019. With Huawei spearheading the entry of 5G devices in the country for this rollout. 

Other operators and telecoms in South Africa haven’t commented on the matter yet, but they want to bring 5G to SA and coincidentally Huawei was, and still is, the current leader in 5G, the president said. “We support a company that is going to take our country and the world to better technologies, and that is 5G. We support them.”

It’s comforting knowing that South Africa is backing Huawei and that the country’s road to 5G that’s still under construction isn’t likely to be hampered by Huawei’s global turmoil.

Marce is the Deputy Editor at Stuff Magazine.

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