How Taiwan Plans to Go 5G Without China

Date: 2020-09-18 07:35:28

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The wireless industry has long hoped that the arrival of 5G-enabled devices, including Apple’s flagship iPhone, will fuel a massive upgrade cycle. Taiwan plans to go 5G without components from mainland China.

Shenzhen-based Huawei is the market leader in 5G, the next generation of wireless broadband that could catalyze a new industrial revolution of smart cities and factories. The U.S. claims Huawei’s proximity to Beijing’s government constitutes an unacceptable security threat, which the company denies. Through lobbying and sanctions the U.S. has pushed allies such as the U.K. to exclude the company from mobile networks, to mixed success.

Digital Minister Audrey Tang, Taiwan’s youngest and first transgender cabinet minister, discusses the risks of mainland 5G equipment in Taiwan’s networks.

“We built entire 4G system,” says Tang. “And now we are talking through my 5G connection, obviously, with no PRC components.”

Taiwan accused Chinese hackers of infiltrating government agencies in an effort to glean citizens’ sensitive information, part of ongoing attempts to influence the democratic society.

Groups, likely backed by Beijing, infiltrated the systems of Taiwanese companies that provide information services to government bodies, the deputy director of the Taiwan Investigation Bureau’s cybersecurity unit, Liu Chia-zung, said at a briefing in Taipei in August. The attackers were after government information and citizens’ personal data and have been making these efforts “for a long time’, Liu said.

Taiwan has long been wary of Chinese hackers’ attempts to infiltrate its systems. In the runup to January’s presidential election, the government’s director general of cybersecurity Jyan Hong-wei, estimated Chinese agencies attempted around 30 million cyberattacks against Taiwan a month.
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