Europe and the U.S. are clashing over Huawei's role in the future of 5G.
While Donald Trump's administration has tried to pressure allied countries, including those in Europe, to ban the Chinese firm from being included in the rollout of the next generation of mobile networking technologies, nations including the U.K. and Germany aren't listening.
Germany's 5G spectrum auction began on Tuesday — a process in which carriers bid for certain radio frequencies in order to provide the new version of high-speed mobile internet.
The U.S. alleges that Huawei's networking equipment could be used for espionage by the Chinese government. Huawei has repeatedly denied that it poses any risk and said it would never allow Beijing to get its hands on customer data. Experts are skeptical, however, about Huawei's assurances because Chinese national security laws appear to compel companies operating in the country to comply with all government requests for such info.
What's at stake is control over what experts describe as one of the most important technologies in recent times. 5G is not just about making mobile internet faster: It will underpin other technology from driverless cars to so-called smart cities. The U.S. wants to be a leading player — and so does China.
Despite Washington's protests, Germany is not excluding Huawei from becoming part of its national 5G infrastructure. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier this month that the country will define its own security standards.