Is Huawei paying the price for its high profile? The case serves to create attention to Europe’s hard choices for 5G infrastructure. 5G brings with it unprecedented possibilities of applications, including healthcare, education, autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, industrial production, public services. But it does come with risks.

Donald Trump’s decision to forbid American companies from trading with Huawei is a game changer, with repercussions exceeding by far the US-China confrontation. European companies will inevitably be faced with hard choices, and the Chinese company’s long standing 5G offer suddenly poses a much more critical dilemma.

In its quest for the status of global leader in telecommunications network equipment, Huawei's strong presence in European 3G/4G has compensated for its absence in American networks. Indeed, Huawei is already at the heart of Europe’s telecommunications networks. But will it be able to maintain its offer without its American suppliers?

For the time being, France and several European countries have excluded a ban against Huawei and are opting instead for a regulatory approach aimed at securing sensitive data. Will such an approach be sufficient?

Institut Montaigne has decided to address the issues related to 5G deployment at a European level. The growing dilemma around Huawei sheds light on European weaknesses in digital networks.

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This policy paper was originally published by Institut Montaigne.