torsdag 15. oktober 2020

China’s Bid to Conquer Russia’s 5G Market Should Worry the Kremlin

Russia-China relations are at their highest level today with expanding mutual trust and increasing political cooperation. This was reinforced during an in-person meeting (a rare occasion amidst COVID-19 realities) by the Russian and Chinese foreign ministers on September 11 in Moscow. In a very comprehensive joint statement following the meeting, alongside many other areas of full-fledged cooperation, a separate paragraph is dedicated to developing digital economy and information technologies, which speaks to the high importance both countries allocate to their technological partnership.

Within that field, one questions looms large: Is Russian 5G to be “made in China”?

Such news recently occupied the front pages of Russian media, with reports of the national leading telecommunication company MTS’s plans to purchase 5G equipment from Huawei for 7.5 billion rubles ($93.5 million). In July, the company became the first telecom provider in Russia to be granted a license for deploying 5G all over the country with a mandatory deadline for completion by July 2022.