Huawei announced today an agreement with Russia to build a 5G network for the latter’s largest mobile operator, reported BBC today. The company made the announcement during China President Xi Jinping’s three-day visit to Russia.
According to Huawei Deputy Chairman Guo Ping, Huawei will build out the network over the next year for MTS. According to its annual report for 2018, the carrier has 78 million subscribers and 31 percent of the market in Russia.
Neither China’s nor Russia’s leader specifically mentioned the Huawei deal, but President Putin was quoted as saying that the cooperation between China and Russia “reached a very high — and without any exaggeration — an unprecedentedly high level.”
The announcement couldn’t come at a better time for Huawei, which has faced a tumultuous past few weeks. In May, U.S. President Donald Trump added Huawei to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Entity List through an executive order. Since then, numerous corporations either cut or suspended business ties with Huawei
However, Russia adds an interesting wrinkle to the matter. The relationship between the U.S. and Russia is just as fractured as its relationship with China. As such, Russia and China elevating their supposedly close relationship can be seen as the two countries trying to offset pressure from the U.S.
We’ll keep our eyes open to see how the U.S. responds to the partnership. In the meantime, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.