HUAWEI – Huawei silently launched its first fifth-generation (5G) service development center in South Korea. This comes amid the still-looming US-China trade war.
This comes after the United States banned Huawei, which is also the world’s biggest telecom equipment maker.
The banning of Huawei in the US puts it effectively trapped between two fighting economic superpowers.
The 5G lab is in the Junggu District in central Seoul. Huawei aims to use the service center to accelerate the development of Korea’s 5G and information and communications technology (ICT) industries.
It could also provide optimum testing environment and services, including 5G network-based test and verifications to Korean SMEs (small-and-mid-sized enterprises).
“We are pleased to work with industry partners for the development of 5G ecosystem,” said Yang Chaobin, Huawei president for 5G product line.
According to the company, officials from various telecoms global standard agencies, associations, companies and SME heads attended the opening ceremony.
“Based on the philosophy of ‘in Korea and for Korea’ and the strength of its own 5G network, Huawei will build a 5G ecosystem through cooperation with a number of South Korean ICT companies and especially small-and-medium enterprises,” said Huawei’s Korea office in a statement.
Huawei’s Status Amid a Worsening Trade War
Huawei had originally planned to hold a media event for the opening.
However, after the US imposed ban on the company, it scaled down and opted for a low-key launch, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The Chinese telecoms giant has become a target of US anti-campaign after Uncle Sam suspected the company of illegal activity.
The US has since called for other countries to follow suit and block the Chinese company.
“Huawei wanted to promote the launch to as many Korean small-and-medium enterprises as possible, but it decided to keep the press out after the ban to avoid any damage to its Korean partners in case they are shown in the media,” said one source.
The launch highlights Huawei’s dependence on South Korea for chips and screens.
The US-China trade war, along with the US’ campaign against Huawei, has put South Korea in a bind.
SoKor economy relies heavily on exports, with China as its biggest trading partner. However, the US is one of its most crucial security allies.