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Huawei vs. the U.S. government: Why words may not be enough

Huawei is fighting a giant: The United States government. Over the past few months, the mobile phone company has made headlines with plans to bring its products to the United States. It’s not so easy. This week, several government agencies including the CIA and the FBI alerted the citizens of this country not to buy products from Huawei. The motive? The agencies express distrust of this Chinese company, and the fact that it could “spy” on the owners of these devices and become a security risk.

But is it a real risk? In theory, the software included in a device might be able to spy on certain things — who a person calls, and when and from where, for example — but these data points could be detected by these same intelligence agencies already. And really when these statements were given, there was no evidence that any spying was happening. “Concerns” were expressed. (It should be noted that these phones are already on sale in American territory.)

However the arrival of Huawei a few months ago was abysmal. It was rumored that cell phones would be sold through one of the major mobile operators, but the agreements were cancelled at the last minute, and therefore they phones can only be purchased unlocked. It is not yet known why the negotiations failed, but some analysts indicate that political motives might have had something to do with this.

If there is a real risk, these agencies should do an investigation to convince the public that it exists. This should not be so difficult, having access to the products right here in the United States. If this does not happen, what we are seeing is more of a case of protectionism or paranoia rather than something tangible and real — and in the long run, all it does is further polarize the global political environment.

On the other hand, Huawei’s flagships have been sold for years not only in Latin American countries but also in Europe, and at no time have there been any signs of Chinese surveillance through these cell phones.

Also, let’s remember that there are other Chinese technology companies present in American territory, such as Lenovo, which bought Motorola several years ago. And since then, there has been no statement from government officials about mistrust of either of these two brands.

Huawei should demonstrate with solid evidence why, despite being located in a country that according to history does not have the best Interests of the United States in mind, American users have nothing to fear. It seems that simple statements are not enough from Huawei, even though the US government makes these kinds of statements itself.

Wait to see if the Huawei Mate 10 Pro manages to conquer the hearts of Americans in a market where the iPhone and the Galaxy are the kings of mobile telephony. But the Chinese New Year just passed — you may have wait for the next one.

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