TROUBLED TECH FIRM Huawei has found an unlikely lifeline in Russia after signing a deal with MTS to deploy the country's 5G infrastructure over the next year.
Huawei chairman Guo Ping and MTS boss Alexei Kornya signed the agreement on the sidelines of a meeting between Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Wednesday.
The deal will see "the development of 5G technologies and the pilot launch of fifth-generation networks in 2019-2020", MTS, which serves 78 million mobile users in Russia, said in a statement.
Ping said he was "very happy" with the agreement "in an area of strategic importance like 5G," according to AFP.
It's hardly surprising that Huawei is cosying up with Russia - both firms have a strained relationship with the US, the latter having been accused of meddling with the presidential election.
In Huawei's case, it has ended up on an "entity list" that prohibits US firms from doing business with it; several companies have already distanced themselves from the firm, including Google, the WiFi Association, Bluetooth SIG and the SD Association.
The US is also warning allies, including Blighty, to block Huawei kit from their 5G networks, reiterating its well-peddled claims that the Chinese government could use the equipment for surveillance and to even incapacitate devices such as components of manufacturing plants.
The US gov said that ignoring its warning could damage intelligence sharing, and reports claim it's even considering increasing financial aid for telecommunications development in countries that shun Chinese-made equipment.
The UK has so-far said, albeit in a leaked document, that it could allow Huawei to provide equipment for "non-core" parts of 5G infrastructure, though it warns that no final decision has yet been made. µ
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