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  • Men work on lights next to a sign for 5G at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, China June 25, 2019.

    Men work on lights next to a sign for 5G at the Mobile World Congress in Shanghai, China June 25, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 June 2019

The U.S. veto of Huawei is neither having major commercial effects nor preventing new 5G-related ventures.

The leading tech companies are gathered at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Shanghai, the most important Asian telephony fair where the 5G tech is being displayed as a reality.

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The main telecommunications companies have focused their efforts on exhibiting their advances in this technology which will transform societies in areas ranging from medicine to transportation.

The 5G tech goes far beyond mobile phones and that is why the telecom giants seek to diversify and position themselves in this technology which will allow data exchange at a speed up to ten times higher than the 4G-based infrastructure does.

Applications of the 5G tech include, for instance, trucks being moved remotely without human direct assistance and robots performing surgical operations with millimeter precision.

"Today everything is in front of us, a year ago we dreamed about what could happen but now I firmly believe that the 5G is already here, it is coming", the Huawei tech vice president Ken Hu said.

The Chinese CEO revealed that many countries have already started to develop 5G networks and there are "more and more telephony terminals and electronic devices developed for this new technology".

Hu also mentioned that Huawei has managed to sign 50 business contracts for 5G so far, 28 of them in Europe, 11 in the Middle East, 6 in Asia Pacific, 4 in America and 1 in Africa.

These new ventures show that the U.S. veto on the Chinese company, which is in effect since May, is not having major effects.

"I can clearly say to everyone that, regarding the 5G issue, we are not going to be affected at all, neither in the contracts we have signed nor in those we are going to sign," Hu said and recalled that Huawei began to investigate the 5G tech a decade ago and has invested more than US$4 billion since then.

The struggle for 5G leadership seems one of the hidden reasons behind the U.S. trade war against China. The U.S. President Donald Trump targeted Huawei as part of his broader drive to rebalance trade with China, last month imposing export controls on the Shenzhen-based networks market leader.

Such measure has forced key Western suppliers, such as UK-based chip designer ARM, to curb deliveries and led Huawei's founder, Ren Zhengfei, to warn that revenue could take a US$30 billion hit this year as a result.

On June 6, the Chinese government decided to start a "new era" in the telecommunications industry and granted the first licenses for the commercial use of 5G networks to China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and China Broadcasting Network.

"I believe that all industries will benefit from a change in the use and approach of all these technologies, 5G will be an important foundation for China's digital economy," Hu said.

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