[M]uch of the world is organizing to roadblock China's march to dominance in 5G telecommunications. That is, to get China's spying out of our system – although we are far from done, there is a lot of 2020 to build on in 2021.
Early in 2020, Huawei announced it had 91 commercial 5G contracts outside of China, including 47 in Europe and 20 in Asia.
China's goal was threefold: to broaden its capabilities in domestic spying, to broaden its worldwide ability to steal Western technology -- and, in particular, to infiltrate Western defense capabilities
Beijing inserted itself, often illegally, into American research institutions. And inserted spyware – hardware and software – into computers made in China and exported to the West. In the case of Super Micro Computers, providing services to Amazon, investigators discovered that extra microchips were implanted on boards in Chinese factories by operatives of the People's Liberation Army.
As the year ended, 26 of 27 EU member countries had joined the Clean Network initiative, along with 180 telecom companies and such important tech players as Israel, Japan, Australia, Singapore, Canada, New Zealand, India – and Taiwan, which is building a 5 nanometer chip production facility in Arizona. Partners in South America include Brazil, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic.
This has been a (literally) breathtakingly awful year in so many ways that most people are thrilled to see it gone. But do not write off 2020 entirely. With the United States in the lead, much of the world is organizing to roadblock China's march to dominance in 5G telecommunications. That is, to get China's spying out of our system – although we are far from done, there is a lot of 2020 to build on in 2021.