U.S. advises against Brazil’s usage of Huawei 5G equipment

The U.S. has expressed its support toward Brazil’s proposal of becoming a NATO partner but stressed its concerns regarding the Latin American country’s business with Chinese telecoms titan Huawei within its 5G telecoms network, White House officials told reporters on Monday. 

During a trip to Brazil last week, U.S. National Security Advisor notified President Jair Bolsonaro of the state’s concerns in partnering with Huawei citing cybersecurity worries. 

The move came as a continuation to the ever-rising tensions between two of the largest powerhouses in the tech and telecoms realms. Many have perceived this to be the U.S.’ latest move in imposing yet another venture to halt back China’s swift rise in the 5G equipment market. 

Back in 2020, former U.S. President Donald Trump had previously developed a friendly relationship with Bolsonaro in an unprecedented move to drive a wedge between the Chinese telecom titan and the Brazilian government.  

With the former president’s move to stop Brazil from further investing in Chinese telecom, the country’s telcos would be forced to extract and substitute Huawei equipment. This would occur on an immensely large scale as Brazil represents one of the biggest economies in South America, and largely relies on the Shenzhen-based company for its 4G telecommunications.  

Ultimately, the Trump Administration’s actions were met with sheer failure as Brazilian regulator watchdogs Anatel proceeded with plans of establishing rules for a 5G spectrum auction with various telco companies, including Huawei in February. 

However, during a conference call with reporters, the National Security Council’s senior director Juan Gonzalez pushed back against these claims, highlighting that the U.S. played no role in offering its support for a NATO partnership with the Latin American country.   

It was suspected that the U.S. offered to give Brazil its support regarding a NATO partnership in exchange for withdrawing from its cooperation with China’s Huawei 5G equipment. However, Gonzalez discredited such allegations saying that both matters are not connected.   

“We do support Brazil’s aspirations as a NATO global partner as a way to deepen security cooperation over time between Brazil and the NATO countries,” Gonzales addressed the rumors during the call.   

Gonzales took a bigger stance concerning the Latin state’s commitment to Huawei, saying that the country “made no commitments to us” and that the Chinese firm is faced with some of its most arduous challenges.   

He further elaborated that despite the U.S. government’s NATO support, the bid should not be received as “an exchange” to expel Huawei from the country’s 5G network, as there is “no quid pro quo, and these are two separate issues.”  

“We continue to have concerns about Huawei’s potential role in Brazil’s telecom infrastructure,” he added.   

In respect to the U.S.’s strict opposition of China’s 5G equipment in Brazil, the country is endorsing its decision under the pretense that Chinese telecoms firms could impose potential security threats.  

The U.S.’ predicted move did not come as surprise for Chinese authorities, as it is not the first nor will it be the last act the U.S. will take to deteriorate China’s tech influence around the globe. 

“We express strong discontent and vehement objection to such behaviors of publicly coercing and intervening in other countries’ 5G construction and sabotaging normal China-Brazil cooperation,” the Chinese embassy in Brazil addressed the issue on Saturday.