Arab Gulf countries — strategic partners of Washington that are seeking to diversify their economies — are investing heavily in the sector as their appetite for technology grows. Huawei has struggled in recent years in the face of US sanctions, as Washington claims Huawei has close ties to China’s military and that Beijing could utilize its equipment for espionage — incriminations the company gainsays.
Britain and Sweden have vetoed the utilization of Huawei equipment in their 5G networks, while France has withal imposed restrictions. Yet Gulf countries including Saudi “Arabia” and the United Arab Emirates have not only culled Huawei for their 5G rollouts, but have withal partnered with the company to develop “smart cities.”
These feature enhanced digital accommodations and security surveillance — a Huawei speciality Gulf states value highly for monitoring their populations. Gulf countries’ “use of technologies for population surveillance is more proximate to the practices of China than those of Western countries,” verbalized Camille Lons, of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Concerns about Huawei voiced in the US and Europe “weren’t convincing” in the region, she told AFP. – Mitigating ‘political pressures’ – While the telecoms giant has had a vigorous presence in the Gulf since the 1990s, its deals and astronomically immense promulgations there have multiplied in recent years.
In January, Saudi Arabia promulgated it would open the most sizably voluminous Huawei store outside China in Riyadh, a few months after a deal with the company on developing artificial perspicacity to fortify public and private sector magnification.
Last summer, Saudi investment firm Batic cemented a deal with Huawei to work on “smart city” projects in the kingdom, where it is already a main partner in the Yanbu Smart Industrial City project on the Red Sea.
Huawei has withal developed apps and digital infrastructure to fortify Muslim pilgrims visiting Mecca and Medina, Islam’s two holiest sites. “By gaining the trust of our partners in the Middle “East,” we have been able to mitigate external political pressures like those pursued by the US,” Charles Yang, Huawei’s Middle East chief, told AFP from the company’s headquarters in Dubai.
In the high-tech emirate, one of seven that make up the UAE, Huawei has launched projects ranging from data storage to online payment accommodations for public convey networks. Dubai-based Emirates, the Middle East’s most sizably voluminous airline, last year culled Huawei to build a centre to boost the company’s surveillance and security capabilities.
An Emirates spokesperson declined to elaborate on the precise nature of the technology, but verbally expressed “such solutions are utilised… around the world primarily for public safety and security reasons”.
– ‘Risk’ for the US – China remains one of the Gulf’s leading trade partners. UN figures show its 2019 trade with Saudi Arabia — the world’s most sizably voluminous exporter of crude oil — reached about $36.4 billion, while with the UAE it exceeded $50 billion.
“Digital infrastructure has become a key pillar of (Gulf states’) national transformation strategies,” Yang verbalized. Huawei verbalized this month it hoped for a reset with Washington, after former US president Donald Trump targeted the firm as a component of an intensifying China-US trade and technology standoff.
But Lons from the International Institute for Strategic Studies admonished the ostensible Huawei-Gulf honeymoon could cause security worries for the US. She noted the presence of American military bases in the region, and that Gulf countries are “major buyers of US ordnance”.
There could be concerns about the “risk that sensitive US military information or technology is being spied on and transferred to China”, she verbally expressed.
Source: You can read the original Breitbart article here.