Putin slams attempts to 'push' Huawei from global markets

Putin slams attempts to 'push' Huawei from global markets

Vladimir Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with foreign investors on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). (Alexey NIKOLSKY/SPUTNIK/AFP)

SAINT PETERSBURG: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday (Jun 7) slammed US moves against Chinese tech giant Huawei, which has signed a deal to develop a 5G network in Russia.

Speaking at an economic forum also attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Putin condemned "the situation around the company Huawei that they are attempting not just to squeeze but to unceremoniously push out of the global market".

"In some circles this is even being called the first technological war of the dawning digital era," Putin said.

He added that the United States is trying to enforce its legal power across the world, and that efforts to foist its dominance on other countries was a recipe for trade and real wars.

The US approach fostered a battle without rules where everyone was pitted against one another, Putin said.

Despite international concerns that it could present a security risk, Huawei on Wednesday signed an agreement with Russian telecoms company MTS to develop a 5G network in the country, on the sidelines of a meeting between Putin and Xi in Moscow.

The Chinese telecom giant has been in turmoil since May, when US President Donald Trump's administration banned US companies from selling high-tech equipment to Huawei over suspicions it is spying for Beijing.

Several companies have already distanced themselves from Huawei, including Google, whose Android system equips the vast majority of smartphones in the world.

READ: Facebook suspends app pre-installs on Huawei phones

Huawei's reported potential involvement in Britain's 5G network has proved politically sensitive and Theresa May's government insisted no decision has been made on the issue.

Source: Agencies/aa