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US to tap US$60 billion war chest to beat out Huawei 5G in LDCs

A NEW agency, called the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), plans to tap some of its US$60 billion budget to help lesser developed countries avoid buying China's Huawei Technology's 5G mobile phone gear

05 December 2019 - 19:00

A NEW agency, called the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), plans to tap some of its US$60 billion budget to help lesser developed countries avoid buying China's Huawei Technology's 5G mobile phone gear.

The DFC was created last year to provide development financing for much faster 5G devices to lower income and middle-income countries, which covers about half the world.



The Trump administration has said Huawei gear could be used for spying, an allegation the companies have denied.



'The US is focused on ensuring there's an alternative to Huawei. We don't want to be out there saying no. We want to be out there saying yes,' said DFC chief executive Adam Boehler told Bloomberg.Plans call for boosting Sweden's Ericsson AB and Finland's Nokia, which compete with Huawei and associated ZTE equipment that's cheaper and just as good.



The US could bankroll Huawei alternatives through loans or loan guarantees to developing nations and companies, or even acquiring minority stakes in emerging makers of competing gear.



The US Government is concerned about Chinese companies dominating the rollout of faster wireless networks known as 5G. Many countries, including Germany and France, are reluctant to ban individual vendors like Huawei.



Shenzhen's Huawei and ZTE 'are state-owned enterprises or government-driven companies that subsidise their gear in some cases.



'The price is decent,' Mr Boehler said. 'Longer term, what is the cost of that? You shouldn't think as a sovereign country from a short-term pricing perspective. Our focus is having people understand what they're giving up and whether it's worth it to save some money in the short term. It's not.'


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