GZERO Media logo

Europe's China Tech Conundrum

Europe's China Tech Conundrum

Last week in Signal, we looked at how the US is increasing pressure on the Chinese tech giant Huawei as part of a broader push to address national security concerns around China's technology ambitions.

But the tech cold war isn't just a US-China thing. Europe has been dragged into the conflict, too, and it's facing some tough choices about how to respond.

Just take the example of its decision about whether to work with Huawei.


Quick background: The US has effectively banned Huawei from building its sensitive data networks, and it's pushing Europe to take similar steps. It's concerned that a Chinese presence in Europe's 5G infrastructure could give Beijing new ways to spy or even shut down important systems. But while European allies like the UK, Germany, and Poland share some of the US's security concerns, their calculations are more challenging.

Europe faces three big dilemmas:

First, unlike in the US, where Huawei has virtually zero share of the market, the Chinese company already has a big footprint in existing European data networks – especially in the UK and Germany.

Second, although freezing out Huawei would satisfy Europe's main security partner, it would simultaneously antagonize its second-biggest trading partner.

Third, shunning China's relatively less expensive networking gear would be costly. The extra time and expense required to build a China-free network could delay the rollout of innovative new technologies like advanced manufacturing that will run on top of new, ultra-fast 5G data connections.

Which way will the Europeans go? They could ban Huawei outright and risk China's ire. They could allow Huawei into their networks, perhaps under tightened scrutiny, reasoning that the commercial advantages outweigh the national security risks. Or they could seek safety in numbers by pushing the EU to agree to a bloc-wide policy on Chinese telecom suppliers.

The debate over how to proceed is likely to rage in Europe's capitals in the coming weeks and months. The answer will not only have important commercial implications but could also determine Europe's long-term geopolitical allegiance.

Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.

Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.

As we enter the homestretch of the US presidential election — which is set to be the most contentious, and possibly contested, in generations — Americans are also voting on 35 seats up for grabs in a battle for the control of the Senate. The 100-member body is currently held 53-47 by the Republican Party, but many individual races are wide open, and the Democrats are confident they can flip the upper chamber of Congress.

Either way, the result will have a profound impact not only on domestic policy, but also on US foreign relations and other issues with global reach. Here are a few areas where what US senators decide reverberates well beyond American shores.

More Show less

On September 23, GZERO Media — in partnership with Microsoft and Eurasia Group — gathered global experts to discuss global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a livestream panel. Our panel for the discussion Crisis Response & Recovery: Reimagining while Rebuilding, included:

  • Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
  • Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media
  • Jeh Johnson, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and former Secretary of Homeland Security.
  • John Frank, Vice President, UN Affairs at Microsoft
  • Susan Glasser, staff writer and Washington columnist, The New Yorker (moderator)

Special appearances by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, and comedian/host Trevor Noah.

More Show less

Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on the Supreme Court vacancy:

Will Senate Republicans, who stopped a Supreme Court nomination in 2016, because it was too close to an election, pay a political price for the change in tactics this time around?

Not only do I think they won't pay a political price, I think in many cases, they're going to benefit. Changing the balance of power on the Supreme Court has been a career-long quest for many conservatives and many Republicans. And that's why you've seen so many of them fall in line behind the President's nomination before we even know who it is.

At this point, do Senate Democrats have any hope of stopping President Trump from filling the ninth seat on the Supreme Court?

More Show less

In a special GZERO Media livestream on global response and recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media president Ian Bremmer discussed the difference between Europe's unified approach to economic stimulus and the deeply divided and political nature of the current conversation in the US. While initial stimulus support was bipartisan, there is little chance of Democrats and Republicans coming together again ahead of the November 3 presidential election. "It's red state versus blue state. President Trump's saying that coronavirus isn't so bad if you take the blue states out. He's president of the blue states, you can't take the blue states out," Bremmer told moderator Susan Glasser of The New Yorker.

UNGA banner

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's Newsletter: Signal

Panel: How will the world recover from COVID-19?

UNGA Livestream