Making sense of the war on Huawei

In an opinion piece, Wharton dean Geoffrey Garrett weighs in on the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei, and argues it is only the beginning of what is clearly becoming the U.S. government’s war on the Chinese tech firm.

Last week was a wild ride for China-United States relations and for global markets. What began with the optimism of a 90-day truce in the trade war ended with market turmoil surrounding the arrest at the request of the U.S. government of Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the founder of one of China’s biggest tech companies, Huawei, where Wanzhou is CFO.

Huawei signage on top of building
(Photo courtesy: Knowledge@Wharton)

The immediate media and market reactions speculated that the arrest might derail a U.S.-China trade deal next March. The arrest’s impact on the trade war is only the beginning of what is clearly becoming the American government’s war on Huawei. And that war has very little to do with the ostensible reason for the arrest last week—the violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The Trump administration’s confrontational stance on Huawei is not about trade, either. Rather, Huawei exemplifies America’s two biggest worries about China [economic competition, and cybersecurity and cyberwarfare].

Read more at Knowledge@Wharton.