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U.K. Bars Huawei as Tech Battle Between China and the West Escalates

LONDON — Britain announced on Tuesday that it would ban equipment from the Chinese technology giant Huawei from the country’s high-speed wireless network, a victory for the Trump administration that escalates the battle between Western powers and China over critical technology.

The move reverses a decision in January, when Britain said Huawei equipment could be used in its new 5G network on a limited basis. Since then, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced growing political pressure domestically to take a harder line against Beijing, and in May, the United States imposed new restrictions to disrupt Huawei’s access to important components.

Britain’s about-face signals a new willingness among Western countries to confront China, a determination that has grown firmer since Beijing last month adopted a sweeping law to tighten its grip on Hong Kong, the semiautonomous city that was a British colony until 1997. On Tuesday, Robert O’Brien, President Trump’s national security adviser, was in Paris for meetings about China with counterparts from Britain, France, Germany and Italy.

Huawei’s critics say its close ties to the Chinese government mean Beijing could use the equipment for espionage or to disrupt telecommunications — a point the company strongly disputes.

Arguing that Huawei created too much risk for such a critical, multibillion-dollar project, the British government said Tuesday that it would ban the purchase of new Huawei equipment for 5G networks after December, and that existing gear already installed would need to be removed from the networks by 2027.

“As facts have changed, so has our approach,” Oliver Dowden, the government minister in charge of telecommunications, told the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon. “This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one for the U.K.’s telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed in the long run.”

After the British government announced its decision, President Trump took aim at Huawei during a news conference at the White House, saying the United States has “confronted untrustworthy Chinese technology and telecom providers.”

“We convinced many countries, and I did this myself for the most part, not to use Huawei, because we think it’s an unsafe security risk,” Mr. Trump said.

Mr. Trump also announced that he was issuing an executive order formalizing a declaration from late May that the United States would treat Hong Kong in the same manner as China rather than as a semiautonomous territory and would impose the same tariffs that it applies to China. He also said he was signing into law a bipartisan congressional bill that encourages sanctions against Chinese officials and entities that take part in the repression of Hong Kong, as well as financial institutions that do business with those parties.

The dispute over Huawei, the world’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment, is an early front in a new tech cold war, with ramifications for internet freedom and surveillance, as well as emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics.

“The democratic West has woken up late to its overdependence on a country whose values are diametrically opposed to it,” said Robert Hannigan, a former head of the British digital surveillance agency GCHQ, who is now an executive at the cybersecurity firm BlueVoyant. “Huawei and other Chinese companies present a real cybersecurity risk, but the primary threat comes from the intent of the Chinese Communist Party, as we see in Hong Kong.”

Huawei described the announcement on Tuesday as a disappointment and “bad news for anyone in the U.K. with a mobile phone.”

“It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane,” said Ed Brewster, a spokesman for Huawei U.K. “Regrettably our future in the U.K. has become politicized; this is about U.S. trade policy and not security. ”

Until the latest turn of events, Britain had been welcoming of Huawei. In 2005, it was the first country to offer Huawei a foothold in Europe, now the company’s largest market outside China. Huawei financed university research and a charity started by Prince Charles. And just last month, Huawei announced plans to spend 1 billion pounds (about $1.25 billion) on a new research center in Cambridge.

The British experience shows the challenges nations face navigating the United States-China rift. In moving forward with the ban, Britain risks retaliation from China, one of its largest and fastest-growing trading partners, when it is trying to craft a more open trade policy outside the European Union. China’s ambassador in London, Liu Xiaoming, recently warned that Britain would “bear the consequences” of treating China with hostility.

“The Huawei issue is the first of many complicated decisions we’re going to have about striking the right balance between our commercial and economic engagement with China, and our security concerns about how China uses its power,” said John Sawers, a former chief of the British intelligence service MI6.

Huawei is the leading provider for towers, masts and other critical equipment needed to build new wireless networks based on fifth-generation wireless technology, known as 5G.

New 5G networks are seen as essential infrastructure in an increasingly digital global economy. The networks will provide faster download speeds for phone users, but offer even more important potential for commercial applications in industries such as manufacturing, health care and transportation.

Image
Credit…Pool photo by Wpa

Huawei’s technological dominance in this field is viewed as a failure of industrial policy in the West. American authorities have spent more than a year pressuring allies to keep Huawei out of communications networks, warning that the company is a proxy for Beijing and a threat to national security. The Trump administration encouraged the use of other telecom equipment makers, including Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia.

At first, countries were resistant, unconvinced that Huawei posed a grave risk. Britain argued that it had a security system in place to ensure all Huawei equipment was reviewed before being put inside its communications networks. The announcement in January stipulated Huawei would be limited to “noncore” parts of the network.

A turning point came in May, when the Trump administration announced a rule that would bar Huawei and its suppliers from using American technology and software. The decision, slated to take effect in September, could throw Huawei’s supply chain into chaos.

In Britain, the American announcement added to pressure Mr. Johnson faced from members of his own Conservative Party to take a harder line against China, especially after the events in Hong Kong. The government announced a review of its January decision after the American punishments were announced.

“American sanctions left the U.K. with little choice,” said Priya Guha, a former British diplomat who represented the country’s interests in Silicon Valley. “There was a bit of checkmate by the U.S.”

The Trump administration has taken other steps, some conducted with little publicity, to undercut China’s position in communications networks.

The U.S. government on Tuesday published an interim rule that will bar Pentagon and NASA contractors from using technology from Huawei and other Chinese telecommunications companies. Some government contractors say the ban, passed into law two years ago, is too onerous, and the administration estimates it will cost some $12 billion.

In April, a group of agencies that calls itself Team Telecom, led by the Justice Department, moved to remove China Telecom, another big wireless company, from its operations inside the United States. It has long been operating “points of presence” in U.S. networks that help maintain internet connections. In a series of classified briefings, American intelligence agencies accused it of experimenting with rerouting American traffic through China — though the purpose of that rerouting was unclear.

The same group moved last month to block the Pacific Light Cable Network — a partnership involving Facebook and Google among others — from operating an undersea cable linking Hong Kong and the United States, in what was supposed to be the highest-capacity undersea Pacific connection for internet traffic.

The Trump administration asked the Federal Communications Commission to block the connection in Hong Kong, citing concern it “would expose U.S. communications traffic to collection” by China, through a Chinese firm operating where the cable landed. Instead, it wants the commission to approve only direct connections to Taiwan and the Philippines, undercutting China’s effort to make Hong Kong a key data transfer hub. It cited the new national security law for Hong Kong, which at the time was still being drafted.

But it remains unclear if the steps involving Huawei and others will achieve Washington’s objective. Chinese firms will still control much of Asia’s traffic, and that means calls, data and searches will still move through Chinese switching systems. At best, the U.S. moves can make it harder for China’s leaders to cut off communications in times of conflict. But it cannot protect the United States from what Sue Gordon, the former deputy director of national intelligence, called the process of “living in a dirty network.”

Still, Robert B. Blair, a senior Commerce Department official who until recently served as the Trump White House’s chief telecommunications adviser, told a meeting of the Council on Foreign Relations on Tuesday that “we scored a major victory” with Britain’s decision.

In Britain, officials warned its ban would add significant costs, and delay the rollout of 5G by around two years. The new 5G wireless systems must be built atop existing networks that Huawei had a major role in constructing. In setting a 2027 deadline, the British government said moving any faster to remove Huawei gear would produce a greater risk to the security and resilience of the network.

The ban does not apply to smartphones and other consumer products made by Huawei, or equipment used in 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Many see the Huawei dispute as foreshadowing future conflicts, with other prominent companies becoming entangled. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was considering actions against Chinese apps, including the hugely popular social media service TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese internet company.

Britain’s decision to bar Huawei will put pressure on other European countries. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel is being urged to keep the company out of a new 5G network, but is weighing the economic fallout for German automakers, for whom China is a critical market.

“If Huawei is stopped in its tracks, that does represent a very important inflection point for China’s ability to achieve its objectives,” said Nigel Inkster, a senior adviser at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London who has written a book on the technology battle between the United States and China.

Mr. Inkster warned that the West risks provoking China if it feels more economically isolated. “There is a serious need to think hard and deeply about whether it is realistic to disengage from China totally in these areas,” he said.

Julian E. Barnes and Edward Wong contributed reporting.

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U.K. Bars Huawei From 5G Network, Raising Tensions With China

LONDON — Britain announced on Tuesday that it would ban equipment from the Chinese technology giant Huawei from the country’s high-speed wireless network, a victory for the Trump administration that escalates the battle between Western powers and China over critical technology.

The move reverses a decision in January, when Britain said that Huawei equipment could be used in its new 5G network on a limited basis. Since then, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has faced growing political pressure domestically to take a harder line against Beijing, and in May, the United States imposed new restrictions to disrupt Huawei’s access to important components.

Britain’s about-face signals a new willingness among Western countries to confront China, a determination that has grown firmer since Beijing last month adopted a sweeping new law to tighten its grip on Hong Kong, the semiautonomous city that was a British colony until 1997. On Tuesday, Robert O’Brien, President Trump’s national security adviser, was in Paris for meetings about China with counterparts from Britain, France, Germany and Italy.

Huawei’s critics say its close ties to the Chinese government mean Beijing could use the equipment for espionage or to disrupt telecommunications — a point the company strongly disputes.

Arguing that Huawei created too much risk for such a critical, multibillion-dollar project, the British government said Tuesday that it would ban the purchase of new Huawei equipment for 5G networks after December, and that existing gear already installed would need to be removed from the networks by 2027.

“As facts have changed, so has our approach,” Oliver Dowden, the government minister in charge of telecommunications, told the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon. “This has not been an easy decision, but it is the right one for the U.K.’s telecoms networks, for our national security and our economy, both now and indeed in the long run.”

The dispute over Huawei, the world’s largest maker of telecommunications equipment, represents an early front in a new tech Cold War, with ramifications for internet freedom and surveillance, as well as emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and robotics.

“The democratic West has woken up late to its over-dependence on a country whose values are diametrically opposed to it,” said Robert Hannigan, the former head of the British digital surveillance agency GCHQ, who is now an executive at the cybersecurity firm BlueVoyant. “Huawei and other Chinese companies present a real cybersecurity risk, but the primary threat comes from the intent of the Chinese Communist Party, as we see in Hong Kong.”

Huawei described the announcement on Tuesday as a disappointment and “bad news for anyone in the U.K. with a mobile phone.”

“It threatens to move Britain into the digital slow lane,” said Ed Brewster, a spokesman for Huawei U.K. “Regrettably our future in the U.K. has become politicized; this is about U.S. trade policy and not security. ”

Until the latest turn of events, Britain had been welcoming of Huawei. In 2005, it was the first country to offer Huawei a foothold in Europe, now the company’s largest market outside of China. Huawei financed university research and a charity started by Prince Charles. And just last month, Huawei announced plans to spend 1 billion pounds (about $1.25 billion) on a new research center in Cambridge.

The British experience shows the challenges nations face navigating the United States-China rift. In moving forward with the ban, Britain risks retaliation from China, one of its largest and fastest-growing trading partners, at a time when it is trying to craft a more open trade policy outside the European Union. China’s ambassador in London, Liu Xiaoming, recently warned that Britain would “bear the consequences” of treating China with hostility.

“The Huawei issue is the first of many complicated decisions we’re going to have about striking the right balance between our commercial and economic engagement with China, and our security concerns about how China uses its power,” said John Sawers, the former chief of the British intelligence service MI6.

Huawei is the leading provider for towers, masts and other critical equipment needed to build new wireless networks based on fifth-generation wireless technology, known as 5G.

New 5G networks are seen as essential infrastructure in an increasingly digital global economy. The networks will provide faster download speeds for phone users, but offer even more important potential for commercial applications in industries such as manufacturing, health care and transportation.

Image
Credit…Pool photo by Wpa

Huawei’s technological dominance in this field is viewed as a failure of industrial policy in the West. American authorities have spent more than a year pressuring allies to keep Huawei out of communications networks, warning that the company is a proxy for Beijing and a threat to national security. The Trump administration encouraged the use of other telecom equipment makers, including Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia.

At first, countries were resistant, unconvinced that Huawei posed a grave risk. Britain argued that it had a security system in place to ensure all Huawei equipment was reviewed before being put inside its communications networks. The announcement in January stipulated Huawei would be limited to “noncore” parts of the network.

A turning point came in May, when the Trump administration announced a rule that would bar Huawei and its suppliers from using American technology and software. The decision, slated to take effect in September, could throw Huawei’s supply chain into chaos.

In Britain, the American announcement added to pressure Mr. Johnson faced from members of his own Conservative Party to take a harder line against China, especially after the events in Hong Kong. The government announced a review of its January decision after the American punishments were announced.

“American sanctions left the U.K. with little choice,” said Priya Guha, a former British diplomat who represented the country’s interests in Silicon Valley. “There was a bit of checkmate by the U.S.”

The Trump administration has taken other steps, some conducted with little publicity, to undercut China’s position in communications networks.

In April, a group of agencies that calls itself Team Telecom, led by the Justice Department, moved to remove China Telecom, another big wireless company, from its operations inside the United States. It has long been operating “points of presence” in U.S. networks that help maintain internet connections. In a series of classified briefings, American intelligence agencies accused it of experimenting with rerouting American traffic through China — though the purpose of that rerouting was unclear.

The same group moved last month to block the Pacific Light Cable Network — a partnership involving Facebook and Google among others — from operating an undersea cable linking Hong Kong and the United States, in what was supposed to be the highest-capacity undersea Pacific connection for internet traffic.

The Trump administration asked the Federal Communications Commission to block the connection in Hong Kong, citing concern it “would expose U.S. communications traffic to collection” by China, through a Chinese firm operating where the cable landed. Instead, it wants the commission to approve only direct connections to Taiwan and the Philippines, undercutting China’s effort to make Hong Kong a key data transfer hub. It cited the new national security law for Hong Kong, which at the time was still being drafted.

But it remains unclear if the steps involving Huawei and others will achieve Washington’s objective. Chinese firms will still control much of Asia’s traffic, and that means calls, data and searches will still move through Chinese switching systems. At best, the U.S. moves can make it harder for China’s leaders to cut off communications in times of conflict. But it cannot protect the United States from what Sue Gordon, the former deputy director of national intelligence, called the process of “living in a dirty network.”

In Britain, officials warned its ban would add significant costs, and delay the rollout of 5G by around two years. The new 5G wireless systems must be built atop existing networks that Huawei had a major role in constructing. In setting a 2027 deadline, the British government said moving any faster to remove Huawei gear would produce a greater risk to the security and resilience of the network.

The ban does not apply to smartphones and other consumer products made by Huawei, or equipment used in 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Many see the Huawei dispute as foreshadowing future conflicts, with other prominent companies becoming entangled. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was considering actions against Chinese apps, including the hugely popular social media service TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese internet company.

Britain’s decision to bar Huawei will put pressure on other European countries. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel is being urged to keep the company out of a new 5G network, but is weighing the economic fallout for German automakers, for whom China is a critical market.

“If Huawei is stopped in its tracks, that does represent a very important inflection point for China’s ability to achieve its objectives,” said Nigel Inkster, a senior adviser at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London who has written a book on the technology battle between the United States and China.

Mr. Inksterwarned that the West risks provoking China if it feels more economically isolated. “There is a serious need to think hard and deeply about whether it is realistic to disengage from China totally in these areas,” he said.

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T-Mobile-Sprint Deal, Affecting 100 Million Customers, Approved by Judge

A bigger-is-better mentality has swept the tech and media industries over the past 18 months, as companies have spent $200 billion on a series of megamergers that have reshaped the American business landscape.

The Trump administration has mostly been a cheerleader for the corporate supersizing. And on Tuesday a federal judge ruled in favor of T-Mobile’s planned takeover of Sprint.

The long-in-the-works merger would combine the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers, creating a telecommunications giant to take on AT&T and Verizon. The new company, to be called T-Mobile, would have about 100 million customers.

The deal has come about as digital technology has woven itself into the fabric of daily life, changing how people use their phones and forcing wireless carriers, television networks and movie studios to move away from the analog systems that once dominated the entertainment and communications industries.

In the ruling on Tuesday, Judge Victor Marrero of United States District Court in Manhattan rejected an unorthodox challenge to the deal led by attorneys general from 13 states and the District of Columbia.

The suit was brought in June after regulators at the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission approved the merger plan. The states argued that the combination of T-Mobile and Sprint would reduce competition, lead to higher cellphone bills and place a financial burden on lower-income customers.

Their arguments did not sway the judge. He praised T-Mobile in his ruling, calling it “a maverick that has spurred the two largest players in its industry to make numerous pro-consumer changes” and describing its business strategy as “undeniably successful.”

The merger, which T-Mobile and Sprint hope to close by April 1, would be the latest in a wave of corporate deals. In June 2018, AT&T’s bid to buy Time Warner was approved, giving the phone giant control of CNN, HBO, and the Warner Bros. film and TV studios. Shortly afterward, the Walt Disney Company beat out Comcast to buy the majority of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox empire. Late last year, Shari Redstone combined her family’s two businesses, CBS and Viacom.

The new T-Mobile would be a formidable rival to AT&T and Verizon, the two largest wireless carriers in the country.

“Today was a huge victory for this merger,” John Legere, the chief executive of T-Mobile, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Known for his exuberant and often pugnacious leadership style, Mr. Legere made use of the court decision to take aim at AT&T and Verizon, using a special sobriquet for each: “Look out, Dumb and Dumber and Big Cable — we are coming for you … and you haven’t seen anything yet!”

Marcelo Claure, the executive chairman of Sprint, said the court decision “validates our view that this merger is in the best interests of the U.S. economy and American consumers.”

Letitia James, the New York attorney general and a key plaintiff in the case, warned on Tuesday that the deal would harm consumers.

Ms. James, who has argued that the merger would cost subscribers at least $4.5 billion annually, called the ruling “a loss for every American who relies on their cellphone for work, to care for a family member and to communicate with friends.” She added that the deal was always about “massive corporate profits over all else.”

T-Mobile and Sprint have said they do not plan to raise prices for at least three years.

Ms. James left open the possibility of an appeal, adding that her office “will continue to fight the kind of consumer-harming megamergers.”

One potential snag remains: The California Public Utilities Commission, which governs telecommunications services in the state, has yet to sign off on the merger plan. Consumer groups in California have argued that T-Mobile’s pledge to deliver faster service at affordable prices is unrealistic.

The commission is likely to issue a provisional decision within a few weeks and make a final call after a 30-day comment period. It could block the move, but a more likely outcome, based on recent rulings, would be for it to allow the companies to combine if they agreed to certain conditions. Those could include worker protections, price freezes and service guarantees for California residents.

The Communications Workers of America, a labor group, warned that the merger would put 30,000 jobs at risk. Regulators have “ignored clear evidence that this merger would result in significant job loss for wireless workers,” Chris Shelton, the president of the organization, said in a statement on Tuesday. He added that T-Mobile workers “have become more determined than ever to join together and win union representation.”

If the merger goes through, the majority of Sprint customers would end up having T-Mobile plans. Customers of Sprint’s prepaid brands, including Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile and Sprint prepaid, would become customers of Dish Network, a satellite TV company that has plans to move into telecommunications.

The original merger terms called for T-Mobile, the larger of the two companies, to effectively buy Sprint in an all-stock transaction that was earlier valued at $26.5 billion. Because of the lawsuit, the original deadline to complete the deal has passed, and T-Mobile has pushed to renegotiate the terms.

Both companies have portrayed the merger as crucial to their futures in an industry challenged by pricing wars that have undercut profits and stalled growth. By combining with Sprint, T-Mobile has said, it would be able to accelerate its development of 5G, the next generation of cellular networks.

AT&T and Verizon have also hailed the development of their own 5G networks, which bring faster-than-broadband speeds through the air. 5G is not a set technology standard, and each company offers its own version of the service.

The planned merger is also important to Sprint, which has bled cash and subscribers in recent years. SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate that controls the company, has been looking to raise cash for its newest tech investing fund.

The new T-Mobile would be led by Mike Sievert, the T-Mobile chief operating officer who is set to take over from Mr. Legere, the face of the company since 2012. Mr. Legere has said he will leave the company after his contract expires in April.

“Now we’re laser-focused on finishing the few open items that remain, but our eye is on the prize: finally bringing this long-awaited merger and all the goodness it will deliver,” Mr. Sievert said in the statement.

Mr. Legere and his Sprint counterpart, Mr. Claure, were once rivals whose companies needled each other in advertising campaigns and social-media posts. All was forgotten by April 2018, when the companies announced their intention to join forces.

The two executives made personal appeals to officials in Washington as they worked to secure approval for the merger. To get the nod from the government, T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to sell off significant portions of their businesses to Dish Network.

Mr. Legere made numerous visits to the F.C.C. and the Justice Department, and Mr. Claure was a host of a fund-raiser for Representative Marsha Blackburn, a Tennessee Republican who is now a senator. Several lawmakers expressed misgivings over Mr. Legere’s Washington visits, noting the dozens of times that he and other T-Mobile executives stayed at the Trump International Hotel. The companies have denied doing anything inappropriate.

Another key figure who stands to benefit from the deal is Masayoshi Son, the outspoken chairman of SoftBank. Mr. Son has been trying to offload the wireless carrier, a debt-laden business, for years.

In December 2016, Mr. Son met with Donald J. Trump, who was then the president-elect, at Trump Tower and pledged to invest some $50 billion in the United States in an initiative that would create 50,000 jobs.

Recently, Mr. Son has come under pressure from the activist investor Elliott Management. SoftBank’s investments in start-ups, including WeWork, have failed to deliver on some efforts, and Mr. Son has struggled to raise more cash for a new investment fund. Other investments, including SoftBank’s bet on Uber, have been successful.

By the close of trading on Tuesday, Sprint shares jumped more than 77 percent, while T-Mobile shares rose more than 11 percent.

Source:

NYT > Business

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Britain Defies Trump Plea to Ban Huawei From 5G Network

LONDON — Britain said on Tuesday that it would not ban equipment made by the Chinese technology giant Huawei from being used in its new high-speed 5G wireless network, the starkest sign yet that an American campaign against the telecommunications company is faltering.

Despite more than a year of intense lobbying by the Trump administration, which has accused Huawei of having ties to China’s Communist Party that pose a national security threat, the British government announced it would allow the company to provide equipment in some portions of a next-generation network to be built in the coming years.

The British decision was crucial in a broader fight for tech supremacy between the United States and China. Britain, a key American ally, is the most important country so far to reject White House warnings that Huawei is an instrument of Beijing. Britain’s membership in the “five eyes” intelligence-sharing group of countries, which also includes Canada, Australia and New Zealand, gave the outcome an added significance.

Many countries have been caught between the United States and China in their tech cold war. American officials have threatened to withhold intelligence if countries do not ban Huawei, while Chinese representatives have warned of economic retaliation if they do.

“This is a U.K.-specific solution for U.K.-specific reasons and the decision deals with the challenges we face right now,” said Nicky Morgan, the secretary for digital, culture, media and sport, the government agency that oversaw the decision.

“It not only paves the way for secure and resilient networks, with our sovereignty over data protected, but it also builds on our strategy to develop a diversity of suppliers,” she said.

The rules were announced on Tuesday after Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with his National Security Council. The decision did not mention Huawei by name, instead referring more broadly to “high-risk vendors” that “pose greater security and resilience risks to U.K. telecoms networks.” Such vendors will be limited to certain parts of the wireless infrastructure, such as antennas and base stations, that are not seen as posing a threat to the integrity of the system.

No single high-risk vendor will be allowed to exceed a 35 percent market share of the network, the rules said, an effort to encourage new competition that could benefit companies including Nokia and Ericsson.

A Trump administration official said the United States was “disappointed” by Mr. Johnson’s decision.

“We look forward to working with the U.K. on a way forward that results in the exclusion of untrusted vendor components from 5G networks,” the official said. “We continue to urge all countries to carefully assess the long-term national security and economic impacts of allowing untrusted vendors access to important 5G network infrastructure.”

Huawei has long denied that it is beholden to the Chinese government.

“Huawei is reassured by the U.K. government’s confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G rollout on track,” Victor Zhang, Huawei’s vice president, said in a statement. “This evidence-based decision will result in a more advanced, more secure and more cost-effective telecoms infrastructure that is fit for the future.”

The crown jewel of China’s tech sector, Huawei is the largest provider of equipment to build systems based on fifth-generation wireless technology, known as 5G. That technology is seen as essential infrastructure in an increasingly digitized global economy. The networks will provide dramatically faster download speeds, as well as new commercial applications in industries such as transportation, manufacturing and health care.

Huawei’s prominence has made it a target of the United States. Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of the company’s founder, is fighting an extradition order in Canada stemming from an American indictment on fraud charges.

The Trump administration’s global effort against Huawei has had some success. In 2018, Australia imposed a ban on Huawei gear, and Japan put restrictions on purchasing Huawei equipment for government use.

But in Europe, the White House has had more trouble. While the European Union has warned of national security risks related to 5G, it has not called out China or Huawei by name or recommended an outright ban. In France, the government said it didn’t believe a ban was necessary. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has shared similar views, though a final decision has not been made and some in the government are calling for a harder line.

Perhaps no country was lobbied by the United States and China as hard as Britain, delaying the country’s decision-making about building its new 5G network. President Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have all warned Britain in recent weeks. Earlier this month, an American delegation visited London to make a last-minute case against Huawei. Mr. Pompeo is scheduled to visit Britain this week.

Huawei first began working in Britain more than 15 years ago and now employs 1,600 people in the country, helping it gain acceptance and a foothold to expand to other parts of Europe. Combined with the Middle East and Africa, Europe is now Huawei’s largest market outside of China.

Steve Tsang, director of the China Institute at SOAS University of London, said the British announcement is “a big deal” that gives Huawei “a level of credibility that it craves.”

British officials have said the risk Huawei presents can be managed through oversight and by limiting its access to more critical areas of the network that handle sensitive data. Huawei would be limited to providing antennas and other equipment that send data directly to consumer devices, and kept out of areas considered the nerve center of the network, such as servers that route traffic within the system.

Britain has always kept Huawei out of those parts of its telecommunications networks that handle sensitive data to limit the vulnerability to espionage or eavesdropping. In 2010, British officials set up a lab where Huawei’s equipment could be reviewed for security flaws. The lab has identified security vulnerabilities in the equipment, but officials have said the problems weren’t a result of interference from the Chinese government and could be managed.

“High risk vendors have never been — and never will be — in our most sensitive networks,” said Ciaran Martin, the chief executive of the National Cyber Security Center that oversees the lab.

American officials disagree that the risks can be contained since software plays a bigger role in 5G networks, with constantly-updating code making it harder to maintain complete oversight.

“Digital technology is being upgraded regularly and a level of risk with present-day technology that is manageable today may or may not be so four or five years down the line,” Mr. Tsang said.

The decision over whether to use Huawei equipment in Britain’s 5G network would usually be a technical one made by agencies that oversee cybersecurity and the nation’s digital infrastructure. But it became a political dilemma that spanned two administrations — first Theresa May when she was British prime minister, and now Boris Johnson.

British officials and executives at wireless companies have said the United States did not share smoking-gun evidence that would justify a ban of the Chinese company. American officials emphasized the vulnerabilities it could create within a national communications network in the event of a future confrontation with China.

Under the rules announced on Tuesday, high-risk firms would be excluded from providing technology at sensitive geographic locations, such as nuclear sites and military bases.

“There is definitely a potential security risk,” said Alan Woodward, a cybersecurity expert and visiting professor at the University of Surrey. “Is it manageable? That is the big question out there.”

Britain is in a precarious position as it negotiates an exit from the European Union. The country must forge new stand-alone trade deals in the aftermath. So while maintaining close ties to Washington is vital for Britain’s security and economy, it also needs to foster ties with China, which is a significant investor in the country and a growing buyer of British goods.

“Post-Brexit Britain will increasingly have to rely on China even more than we already do,” said Anthony Glees, professor emeritus at the University of Buckingham, where he was head of the Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies.

Mr. Woodward said Huawei provides the best technology at the most affordable price for components essential for operating new networks. A ban, he said, would have left the country’s network overly dependent on Huawei’s biggest rivals — Ericsson and Nokia.

British telecommunications companies have warned that banning Huawei would be costly and cause delays because old equipment would have to be replaced.

David McCabe contributed reporting from Washington.

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In Huawei Battle, China Threatens Germany ‘Where it Hurts’: Automakers

BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel and Premier Li Keqiang of China settled into the back seat of a driverless Volkswagen van, fastened their seatbelts and went for a spin around a disused airport landing strip in central Berlin.

“There is nothing like seeing in practice what’s possible,” Ms. Merkel beamed when they returned.

That was July 2018, when economic cooperation between the two countries looked limitless — combining Germany’s powerful auto industry and China’s technology giant, Huawei.

Eighteen months later, Germany is embroiled in a tortured debate over whether to allow Huawei to help build its 5G next generation mobile network. But with German automakers, including Audi and Daimler, already working closely with Huawei, it may be China who sits in the driver’s seat.

Whatever Germany decides will shape its relations with China for years and reverberate across the Continent. It will send a powerful political signal on how united, or fractured, Europe will be in the digital age of rivalry between Washington and Beijing.

Germany, like all of Europe, is under tremendous pressure to ostracize Huawei by the American government, which fears that it is a Trojan horse that would allow the Chinese to spy on or control European and American communication networks. The pressure remains even after President Trump signed an initial trade deal with China on Wednesday.

But for Germany that decision is especially fraught. Relations with the Trump administration are infused with threats of tariffs against German automakers and mounting distrust that Europeans have come to believe may permanently reshape, if not rupture, a once ironclad trans-Atlantic alliance.

China, on the other hand, is elbowing its way onto the European stage as a new strategic player and an increasingly indispensable economic partner. By far the largest market in the world, it has become the biggest source of growth for Germany’s main carmakers and the key to their dominance of the luxury car market.

It is a position that China has not been shy to weaponize.

“If Germany were to make a decision that led to Huawei’s exclusion from the German market, there will be consequences,” Wu Ken, China’s ambassador to Germany warned last month. “The Chinese government will not stand idly by.”

Konstantin von Notz, a lawmaker and member of the digital affairs committee in the German Parliament, put it this way: “The Chinese have made clear that they will retaliate where it hurts: The car industry.”

For months, German lawmakers have danced around the issue of whether effectively to exclude Huawei from the bidding process. The issue is expected to be debated in Parliament again in the coming weeks. As a decision approaches, Chancellor Merkel has found herself caught between worried German automakers, who accompanied her on a dozen junkets to Beijing, and her own wary intelligence community.

Ms. Merkel, steward of the pro-business Christian Democratic Party, is opposed to banning the Chinese company.

“It is not about individual companies, but rather security standards,” the chancellor said in November. “It is about the certification we will carry out. That should be our guiding benchmark.”

But a rebellion is brewing in Germany’s foreign policy and intelligence community — scared of American threats to limit intelligence sharing — and even among some of the chancellor’s own lawmakers, who want to submit a proposal to Parliament with tougher security criteria that would, in effect, keep Huawei out.

Ms. Merkel’s critics say the current certification process, which merely demands that companies sign a pledge not to spy, is inherently flawed because it relies on trust.

At her party’s annual conference in November, the chancellor’s Christian Democrats disinvited Huawei as a corporate sponsor and passed a motion demanding that only companies “which demonstrably fulfill a clearly defined catalog of safety requirements” should be allowed to bid. One key requirement would be to rule out state interference.

The motion did not name Huawei or China but the implication was clear.

“Under Chinese law companies are obliged to cooperate with the Chinese Secret Service,” said Norbert Röttgen, a conservative lawmaker who co-authored the motion against Ms. Merkel’s Huawei policy. “When you deal with Huawei you also have to accept that you might be dealing with the Chinese Communist Party.”

Cars that can steer themselves may make driving safer but they also open up opportunities for government surveillance and control.

Beyond fears of spying and sabotage, lawmakers warned that if Germany allowed Huawei to bid it would not just alienate Washington but risk undermining a badly needed united European front.

“Our only hope is to stick together as Europeans,” Mr. Röttgen said. That, he said, was also an argument for giving the 5G contract to European companies like Nokia or Ericsson.

Analysts say Nokia and Ericsson, which have won 5G contracts in Denmark and elsewhere, have the competence to build the 5G network, but it would take longer and cost more — not least because Huawei is already a huge part of the existing networks in Germany. Switching will be messy and costly.

Still, Mr. Röttgen said, given the scale of the new bid, if it went to Huawei, Europe risked permanently falling behind.

“If you let Huawei build a big chunk of the 5G network after a while you won’t understand your own system,” he said. “It would be a maximal loss of control and sovereignty.”

“Strategically it is a crystal clear case,” Mr. Röttgen said.

Others, however, say that giving the bid to Huawei may not be such a bad idea.

‘‘If we ban Huawei, the German car industry will be pushed out of the Chinese market — and this in a situation where the American president is also threatening to punish German carmakers,’’ said Sigmar Gabriel, a former German foreign minister and vice chancellor.

‘‘Just because we have an American president who doesn’t like alliances, we give all that up?’’ he said. ‘‘Why would we? Especially since he does exactly what the Chinese do and threatens the German car industry.’’

German automakers like Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW continued to record sales gains in China and to take share from rivals like Ford, even as the overall market has slumped.

“See, last year, 28 million cars were sold in China, 7 million of those were German,” Mr. Wu, China’s ambassador to Germany, added in his remarks in December, making what many in Germany interpreted as a veiled threat.

“Can we just declare German cars unsafe, because we make our own cars?’’ he said. ‘‘No, that would be protectionism.”

As Germany’s automakers have become more deeply dependent on China, they also have become more beholden to the Chinese government.

Chinese consumer preferences, and Chinese government policies, increasingly determine what models the carmakers build and what kind of technology they develop.

China also has become the stage where German carmakers develop and test new technology, often with Huawei.

Audi, the luxury car unit of Volkswagen, announced a “strategic cooperation” with Huawei on developing autonomous driving technology during Mr. Li’s visit to Berlin last year. Daimler, which is 9.9 percent owned by Chinese investor Li Shufu, uses Huawei high-performance computing. BMW and others partner with Huawei on research and development.

No car company is more closely entwined with China than Volkswagen. The company has been operating in China since the early 1980s, when the Communist government first began opening to the West.

Today Volkswagen earns almost half its sales revenue in China and has 14 percent of the Chinese car market.

“If we were to pull out” of China, Herbert Diess, the chief executive of Volkswagen, told the Wolfsburger Nachrichten newspaper in December, “a day later 10,000 of our 20,000 development engineers in Germany would be out of work.”

German carmakers deny that their dependence on Chinese sales has turned them into advocates for Chinese interests.

“We don’t want political developments to spill over into product development,” Bernhard Mattes, president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry, said in an interview in Berlin.

But Mr. Mattes conceded, “We are not operating in a politics-free space, that is clear.”

Huawei has understood as much. Its German headquarters are in Bavaria, alongside BMW and Audi and many other companies deeply embedded in China. The company has been a generous sponsor of all mainstream parties, including Bavaria’s governing conservatives.

Markus Söder, Bavaria’s conservative leader, has publicly defended Huawei’s right to bid, while also lashing out at the United States.

“To say up front that I rule it out because another partner in the world doesn’t like it,” he said, is “a bit of a problem.”

Stephan Weil, premier of Volkswagen’s home state of Lower Saxony and a member of the company’s supervisory board, took a similar line, urging Germany to protect its 5G network from all sides. “I wouldn’t necessarily put my hand into the fire for anyone else,” he said, without naming the United States.

When Peter Altmaier, Germany’s economy minister, recently pointed out that Germany had “not imposed a boycott” on American technology companies after it was revealed that the National Security Agency had tapped Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone, he earned a sharp rebuke from the United States ambassador, Richard Grenell.

“There is no moral equivalency between China and the United States and anyone suggesting it ignores history — and is bound to repeat it,” Mr. Grenell said.

In July 2018, when Ms. Merkel and Mr. Li stepped out of the driverless van at Berlin Tempelhof, once the site of the Berlin airlift and a powerful symbol of Germany’s alliance with the United States, the symbolism was not lost on some.

“The truth is that, if the American security guarantee was what it used to be, we wouldn’t be having this debate,” said Mr. von Notz, the lawmaker. “But it isn’t. And now we need to find a way to defend our freedom and rule of law in this digital world.”

Christopher F. Schuetze contributed reporting.

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The Tech That Will Invade Our Lives in 2020

The 2010s made one thing clear: Tech is everywhere in life.

Tech is in our homes with thermostats that heat up our residences before we walk through the door. It’s in our cars with safety features that warn us about vehicles in adjacent lanes. It’s on our television sets, where many of us are streaming shows and movies through apps. We even wear it on ourselves in the form of wristwatches that monitor our health.

In 2020 and the coming decade, these trends are likely to gather momentum. They will also be on display next week at CES, an enormous consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas that typically serves as a window into the year’s hottest tech developments.

At the show, next-generation cellular technology known as 5G, which delivers data at mind-boggling speeds, is expected to take center stage as one of the most important topics. We are also likely to see the evolution of smart homes, with internet-connected appliances such as refrigerators, televisions and vacuum cleaners working more seamlessly together — and with less human interaction required.

“The biggest thing is connected everything,” said Carolina Milanesi, a technology analyst for the research firm Creative Strategies. “Anything in the home — we’ll have more cameras, more mics, more sensors.”

If some of this sounds the same as last year, it is — but that’s because new technologies often take time to mature.

Here’s what to watch in tech this year.

In the last few years, Amazon, Apple and Google have battled to become the center of our homes.

Their virtual assistants — Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri — respond to voice commands to play music from speakers, control light bulbs and activate robot vacuums. Smart home products work well, but they are complicated to set up, so most people use virtual assistants just for basic tasks like setting a kitchen timer and checking the weather.

Then in December, Amazon, Apple and Google came to what appeared to be a truce: They announced that they were working together on a standard to help make smart home products compatible with one another.

In other words, when you buy an internet-connected light bulb down the line that works with Alexa, it should also work with Siri and Google Assistant. This should help reduce confusion when shopping for home products and improve the ease with which connected gadgets work with one another.

Ms. Milanesi said that eliminating complexity was a necessary step for the tech giants to achieve their ultimate goal: seamless home automation without the need for people to tell the assistants what to do.

“You want the devices to talk to each other instead of me being the translator between these device interactions,” she said. “If I open my door, then the door can say to the lights that the door is open and therefore the lights need to turn on.”

If and when that happens, your home will truly — and finally — be smart.

In 2019, the wireless industry began shifting to 5G, a technology that can deliver data at such incredibly fast speeds that people will be able to download entire movies in a few seconds.

Yet the rollout of 5G was anticlimactic and uneven. Across the United States, carriers deployed 5G in just a few dozen cities. And only a handful of new smartphones last year worked with the new cellular technology.

In 2020, 5G will gain some momentum. Verizon said it expected half the nation to have access to 5G this year. AT&T, which offers two types of 5G — 5G Evolution, which is incrementally faster than 4G, and 5G Plus, which is the ultrafast version — said it expected 5G Plus to reach parts of 30 cities by early 2020.

Another sign that 5G is really taking hold? A broader set of devices will support the new wireless standard.

Samsung, for one, has begun including 5G support on some of its newer Galaxy devices. Apple, which declined to comment, is also expected to release its first 5G-compatible iPhones this year.

And 5G will be going to work behind the scenes, in ways that will emerge over time. One important benefit of the technology is its ability to greatly reduce latency, or the time it takes for devices to communicate with one another. That will be important for the compatibility of next-generation devices like robots, self-driving cars and drones.

For example, if your car has 5G and another car has 5G, the two cars can talk to each other, signaling to each other when they are braking and changing lanes. The elimination of the communications delay is crucial for cars to become autonomous.

It’s a time of intense competition in wearable computers, which is set to lead to more creativity and innovation.

For a long while, Apple has dominated wearables. In 2015, it released Apple Watch, a smart watch with a focus on health monitoring. In 2016, the company introduced AirPods, wireless earbuds that can be controlled with Siri.

Since then, many others have jumped in, including Xiaomi, Samsung and Huawei. Google recently acquired Fitbit, the fitness gadget maker, for $2.1 billion, in the hope of playing catch-up with Apple.

Computer chips are making their way into other electronic products like earphones, which means that companies are likely to introduce innovations in wearable accessories, said Frank Gillett, a technology analyst for Forrester. Two possibilities: earphones that monitor your health by pulling pulses from your ears, or earbuds that double as inexpensive hearing aids.

“That whole area of improving our hearing and hearing the way other people hear us is really interesting,” he said.

We have rushed headlong into the streaming era, and that will only continue.

In 2019, Netflix was the most-watched video service in the United States, with people spending an average of 23 minutes a day streaming its content, according to eMarketer, the research firm. In all, digital video made up about a quarter of the daily time spent on digital devices last year, which included time spent on apps and web browsers.

Netflix’s share of the overall time we spend watching video on devices will probably decline in 2020, according to eMarketer, because of the arrival of competing streaming services like Disney Plus, HBO Max and Apple TV Plus.

“Even though Americans are spending more time watching Netflix, people’s attention will become more divided as new streamers emerge,” Ross Benes, an analyst at eMarketer, said in a blog post.

So if you don’t like “The Mandalorian,” “The Morning Show” or “Watchmen,” you won’t change the channel. You will just switch to a different app.

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At the Edge of the World, a New Battleground for the U.S. and China

TORSHAVN, Faroe Islands — The mere existence of the Faroe Islands is a wonder. Tall peaks of snow-patched volcanic rock jut out from the North Atlantic Ocean. Steep cliffs plunge into the deep waters of narrow fjords.

The remote collection of 18 small islands, which sit between Iceland and Norway, is known for a robust puffin population and periodic whale hunts. The semiautonomous Danish territory also has a thriving salmon industry.

Technology is not a common conversation topic among its 50,000 residents. Yet in recent weeks, the Faroe Islands have turned into a new and unlikely battleground in the technological Cold War between the United States and China.

The dispute started because of a contract. The Faroe Islands wanted to build a new ultrafast wireless network with fifth-generation technology, known as 5G. To create that new network, the territory planned to award the job to a technology supplier.

That was when the United States began urging the archipelago nation not to give the contract to a particular company: the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. American officials have long said Huawei is beholden to Beijing and poses national security concerns.

Then Chinese officials got involved. A senior Faroe Islands government official was recently caught on tape saying that the Chinese had offered to boost trade between the territory and China — as long as Huawei got the 5G network assignment.

“Commercially, the Faroe Islands cannot be very important to Huawei or anybody else,” Sjurdur Skaale, who represents the territory in the Danish parliament, said over breakfast in the capital of Torshavn this week. “The fact that the Chinese and American embassies are fighting over this as hard they are, there is something else on the table. It is about something else than purely business.”

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Credit…Ben Quinton for The New York Times

No location is now too small for the United States and China to focus on as they tussle over the future of technology. The Faroe Islands, whose proximity to the arctic gives it added military importance, joins countries across Europe caught in the middle of the two superpowers over Huawei, the crown jewel of the Chinese tech sector.

For more than a year, American officials have applied pressure on Britain, Germany, Poland and others to follow its lead in banning Huawei from new 5G networks. They argue the company can be used by China’s Communist Party to spy or sabotage critical networks. Huawei has denied that it helps Beijing.

But if the European nations side with Washington, they risk harming their economic ties to China, which has a growing appetite for German cars, French airplanes and British pharmaceuticals.

In the Faroe Islands, Bardur Nielsen, the prime minister, has tried defusing the conflict. In a statement, he said his government “has not been pressured or threatened by foreign authorities in relation to the development of a 5G network in the Faroe Islands.”

Any decision about awarding a contract to Huawei, he said, would be made by the local telecommunications company, Foroya Tele.

Foroya Tele said in a statement that it is testing different technologies. The choice of a 5G network provider, it said, “requires significant considerations given the scale and importance of the investment for the Faroe Islands.”

For the people of the Faroe Islands, the debate over Huawei and 5G is rooted in salmon more than in download speeds.

Salmon is central to the territory’s economy. More than 90 percent of the Faroe Islands’ exports are fish, including salmon, mackerel, herring and cod. In the surrounding waters, thousands of salmon can be seen splashing inside large netted rings, where they are bred for meals in Paris, Moscow, New York — and, increasingly, Beijing.

After 2010, the islands’ salmon exports to China picked up. At the time, the Chinese government had slowed the purchase of the fish from Norway in response to the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo in Oslo.

China now makes up about 7 percent of the Faroe Islands’ salmon sales. The Faroese government this year opened an office in Beijing to further expand trade.

In 2014, the islands’ salmon sales to Russia exploded after the European Union limited what fish other countries could export there. Those rules do not apply to the Faroe Islands because it is not a part of the European bloc.

In all, salmon exports from the Faroe Islands are expected to top $550 million this year, up from roughly $190 million a decade ago.

“This is the home place of Atlantic salmon,” Runi Dam, a consultant for local fishing companies, said while standing over giant pens filled with about 15,000 salmon each. “We have the perfect environment.”

Now the salmon business has become entangled in the fight over the 5G wireless network.

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Credit…Ben Quinton for The New York Times
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Credit…Ben Quinton for The New York Times

Last month, America’s ambassador to Denmark, Carla Sands, went public with warnings against Huawei. In an opinion piece in the local Faroe Islands newspaper, Ms. Sands said there could be “dangerous consequences” if the company was allowed to build the 5G network. When countries let Huawei in, she said, “they agree to work under Chinese communist rules.”

In another interview with Danish media this week, Ms. Sands accused a Huawei executive responsible for the Nordic region of “working for the Chinese communists,” who are “exporting their spying, their corruption and bribery around the world.”

Ms. Sands declined to be interviewed.

At the same time, China’s ambassador to Denmark visited the Faroe Islands at least twice in the past two months.

This month, the Danish national newspaper, Berlingske, published the transcript of an audio recording in which a senior Faroe Islands official is summarizing one of the meetings. Herálvur Joensen, a senior aide in the Faroese government, was caught on tape saying China’s ambassador had threated to block a trade deal — and more fish sales — if Huawei was not used for the 5G network.

“If Foroya Tele signed agreement with Huawei, then all doors would be open for a free-trade agreement with China,” he said in the recording. “If this doesn’t happen, then there won’t be a trade agreement.”

A spokesman for the prime minister said Mr. Joensen had not attended the meeting with the Chinese ambassador and was not available for an interview.

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Credit…Ben Quinton for The New York Times
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Credit…Ben Quinton for The New York Times

Huawei’s critics jumped on the revelations, saying the leaked recording showed the close links between Huawei and the Chinese government.

China’s ambassador, Feng Tie, wrote in Berlingske that the country did not pressure the Faroe Islands. “It’s my duty to secure that Huawei is treated fair and without discrimination in Denmark,” he said. “It’s not at all in Chinese culture to promote threats. Promoting threats is more known from the U.S.”

Huawei said in a statement it was not involved in any talks between the two governments.

In villages and harbors around the islands, people said they were bewildered about being thrust into a battle between China and the United States.

“It is a lice between two nails,” said Rógvi Olavson, who lives in Torshavn and is a lecturer at the local university. “You’re squeezed by the U.S. on the one hand and China on the other.”

While many residents said the Faroe Islands prefer the United States over China, several expressed anger at American officials for demanding that Huawei be banned. They said the company helped build the existing 4G network, which they use to make phone calls or share photos from some of the more far-flung areas of the islands.

Sissal Kristiansen, who designs sweaters and other clothing from Faroese wool, said she had listened to a recent interview with Ms. Sands.

“It awoke this, ‘Oh bugger off’ feeling in me,” she said. “We make our own decisions.”

Others are wary about harming economic ties with China, which they fear will retaliate if Huawei is not selected for the 5G network. Many locals remember an economic crisis in the 1990s, when about 10 percent of Faroese residents ended up moving abroad.

Today, unemployment on the islands is almost nonexistent — just 183 people were out of work as of Friday, according to government statistics. Like other Nordic countries, health care, education and other social services are free. There is virtually no crime.

“China is not just a nice customer, it is a necessity,” said Martin Breum, an arctic expert who has written about the Faroe Islands. The Faroese, he added, “have nothing else to sell to the rest of the world. They live off their fish.”

Martin Selsoe Sorensen contributed reporting from Copenhagen.

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