If you had a neighbour who came over and rummaged through your garage tools every day, occasionally slipping silverware from your kitchen, would you trust him to redo the locks on your house? How about to install a state-of-the-art new security system? Of course not.
Yet when it comes to updating telecommunication networks to 5G, some countries are considering doing effectively that with Huawei, a Chinese state-directed company with a history of alleged intellectual property theft and enabling the spread of digital authoritarianism. Despite warnings from its own experts, I am alarmed to see the UK framing its decision on 5G as a false choice between Huawei today or lagging behind forever. Compelling market alternatives to Huawei exist, despite Beijing’s best efforts to tilt the market toward Huawei through subsidies and political pressure.