Huawei case: Economic retaliation not effective leverage on Warsaw

Huawei in Poland

Espionage is actually a minor issue when compared to the problem of Huawei’s presence in Poland and steps Chinese authorities can take in response. Beijing will not retaliate to protect a Huawei mid-level manager, but it might if its top tech company is forced out of Poland. Huawei is China’s national champion and actions against the Shenzhen company are treated by Beijing as an act of unfriendliness to China. In its promotion of the global expansion of its tech brands, Beijing can retaliate if the Xi administration’s pet projects get into trouble. The Polish side’s accusations of posing a threat to national security can irk Beijing, as they debunk the cherished myth of Huawei and other Chinese giants as enterprises with purely commercial background and strategic goals. Huawei’s reputation can be harmed and its ability to penetrate foreign markets can be significantly limited. There are, however, fears in Poland that such a blunt move against Huawei could, if decisive actions are taken, worsen relations with China and bring economic losses. The key questions to be answered are: is Poland vulnerable? How much can Poland actually lose by supporting US and challenging Beijing over such issues as cybersecurity?Read More …