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Sunday, April 14 2024
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Science & Technology

Is Huawei thinking of selling Access to its 5G Technology?

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Shenzhen (China): Is Ren Zhengfei, chief executive of Huawei extending an Olive branch to the west? Speaking to The Economist in his China Headquarters, he has apparently offered complete access to its 5G technology that will run its Internet-of-Things (IoT) – the ultra-swift, and ultra-coveted, mobile-phone networks that will soon connect everything from cars to homes to industrial robots.

For a one-time fee, the transaction would give the buyer perpetual access to Huawei’s existing 5G patents, licenses, code, technical blueprints and production know-how.
The acquirer could modify the source code, meaning that neither Huawei nor the Chinese government would have even hypothetical control of any telecoms infrastructure built using equipment produced by the new company. Huawei would likewise be free to develop its technology in whatever direction it pleases.

Mr Ren’s stated aim is to create a rival that could compete in 5G with Huawei (which would keep its existing contracts and continue to sell its own 5G kit). To his mind, this would help level the playing field at a time when many in the West have grown alarmed at the prospect of a Chinese company supplying the gear for most of the world’s new mobile-phone networks. In the new setup envisioned by Mr Ren after the technology is given for independent use to the buyer, both Huawei and the buyer would retain separate independent control of their projects, installations and manufacturing wherever the technology would be used. One reason may be to allay western fears that China will interfere in projects set up by Huawei.

“A balanced distribution of interests is conducive to Huawei’s survival,” Mr Ren says. The Economist has reacted to this offer stating that it is “the boldest offer to have surfaced. It is hard to come up with similar precedent in the history of technology.”

Who will take the bait is yet to be seen but one thing is clear, the technology competition between the Chinese firm and western Corporations is bound to get interesting quite soon.

 

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