China’s 5G technology a ‘trojan horse’, warns Taiwan digital minister

Taiwan’s Digital Minister Audrey Tang has sounded an alarm on countries looking to incorporate Chinese 5G technology in their infrastructure, equating the move as implanting a trojan horse in digital infrastructures.

The Digital Minister, in an interview with Nikkei, described how private companies in China are controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CPP), indicating that at any given time, they can be instructed to compromise systems of countries China deems unfriendly. Tang continued by saying, this could be carried out during the upgrade or update of the infrastructure where they can be able to install vulnerability into the system.

Compromise in 5G technology from China

While describing the control that the CPP has on companies such as Huawei and ZTE, the leading 5G technology companies in China, Tang said that the Chinese government had the power to change the leadership of these companies if it fits their agenda. She described this as very risky for countries looking for long term solutions for their 5G infrastructure.

Tang also praised her government for having been able to deal with insecurity arising from integrating Chinese technologies in Taiwan’s infrastructure. She noted that six years ago in 2014 when the country was upgrading to 4G technology, they were savvy enough to reject offers from China for the infrastructure of Taiwan.

Efforts to safeguard 5G technology infrastructure around the world

Tang continued by speaking on the current events that have put the US, the UK, Germany and other European countries on edge over reports that China might compromise the Huawei 5G technology being installed in these countries, to gain access to valuable information.

She said that the world was waking up to the threat that China poses in the digital world reiterating that integrating Chinese technology would allow China to gain access to systems used by these countries and their citizens.

Countries around the world have also joined Taiwan in resisting 5G technology from China in favor of other alternatives. The UK, for instance, has reversed its policy on Huawei technology and is now looking at phasing out the technology completely by 2027 in the 5G technology networks.

The Trump administration has also pushed hard against the 5G technology from China, calling on other countries to join them in ensuring that Huawei does not supply their 5G technology infrastructure. The US also placed sanctions on Huawei.

 

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