5G and the US–China Tech Rivalry – a Test for Europe’s Future in the Digital Age



Daniel Voelsen, Tim Rühlig, John Seaman | SWP, UI, Ifri

Excerpt: Until late last year, most Europeans only knew Huawei as one of many smartphone manufacturers gaining ground in stores across the continent. But in recent months, the tech giant has turned into a symbol of a high-stakes wrestling match between the world’s premier superpower, the United States, and its increasingly ambitious and capable challenger, China. Indeed, the impending rollout of 5G infrastructure has become a key battleground in a broader struggle for control over the industries of the future. Europe has meanwhile been caught on its back foot and urgently needs to develop a strategy to not only guide it through the current 5G debate, but also the tech rivalries that are still to come.

Dr Tim Nicholas Rühlig is a Research Fellow with the Europe and Asia Programs of The Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI). John Seaman is a Research Fellow in the Center for Asian Studies at the French Institute of International Rela­tions (Ifri). Dr Daniel Voelsen is an Associate in the Global Issues Division at SWP.



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