The Trump administration has moved to punish Huawei on national security grounds. That is because of a bitter trade misunderstanding with China. But, in Europe, the telecommunications equipment maker has received a different reception.
Netherlands’ leading wireless carrier chose Huawei to provide equipment for its next 5G wireless network. The carrier, KPN, insisted the choice was based on quality. However, Huawei had another advantage: price.
Huawei beat the existing vendor, Swedish firm Ericsson, by 60 percent. This is because it has a silent partner: the Chinese government. Huawei gets millions of dollars in annual subsidies . Together with another Chinese firm, it’s guaranteed a majority share of the domestic market. At the same time, Huawei’s customers in the developing world take advantage of loans at below interest rates. Huawei is drawing on a $100 billion line of credit at state owned banks. This is a level of government financial support that is unheard of for a Western company.