It is often said “may you live in interesting times”. These last few months and particularly these last few weeks and days have certainly been interesting times.
It is now clear that, after shall we say, a slightly unusual American election, there will be a new US Administration in January.
It’s still too early to tell what the policies of President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will be, but it looks like we may be returning to a world of multilateral cooperation and engagement.
We have only to look at this year’s experiences to see the fruits of such multilateralism. With the last decade of global collaboration in the ICT sector, the quality of the networks has enabled important aspects of our lives to continue; like teleworking, remote medicine, home education and business continuity.
Specifically, the ability to make high-quality video conference calls is a direct result of global efforts and cooperation to develop a single 4G network standard - before the out-going US administration came to power.
During the last administration’s term though, we saw attempts to threaten others through the US’ technological dominance. This has had the effect of encouraging Europeans to talk about their digital sovereignty, and the resilience of their networks.
"For me, it would be enough that in the coming weeks and months, we here in Europe, and in Huawei, live through a period of greater communication, more collaboration, and increased cooperation across countries and continents. That we live in slightly less interesting times!"
Did you know for example that the overwhelming amount of your data storage, cloud services, semiconductors and technological infra-structure is from the United States? Of the top ten cloud providers in the EU, only three can truly be classed European in origin.
Huawei on the other hand, does not deal in your data, or have access to it, nor do we monetise it.
Apple products have European and Chinese components. Nokia products have Chinese and US parts. Huawei kit has European and US elements. The notion that you have to choose between Chinese and US or European is false – you are already choosing Chinese in everything you buy.
It is as a direct result of this connected and interdependent technology supply chain that many European and American companies are also being damaged by the policies of the current US administration.
I am hopeful that this message will resonate with new lawmakers in the US, and their counterparts here in Europe, because there are so many benefits that the new technological developments in AI, quantum and cloud computing can bring - not least to Europe’s environmental protection goals as spelled out in its Green Deal, and its recovery plans.
It’s probably too optimistic to conclude that a new US administration will overturn or change the most restrictive policies towards Huawei in the short term - or even in the medium term. But while we are planning for the worst, we are hoping for the best.
For me, it would be enough that in the coming weeks and months, we here in Europe, and in Huawei, live through a period of greater communication, more collaboration, and increased cooperation across countries and continents. That we live in slightly less interesting times!