Huawei Versus the United States? The Geopolitics of Exterritorial Internet Infrastructure
The U.S. government’s recent indictment on Huawei—the Chinese telecom giant—can be used as a case study to unpack the increasing complexity in global Internet governance. By delineating the history of Huawei’s development and encounters in the United States, this article addresses the questions: In what ways and to what extent is the U.S. government using trade sanctions over a Chinese corporation to shape the future of 5G technology? The nature of this case is not much about bilateral trade disputes but, rather, the intensification of the geopolitics surrounding exterritorial Internet infrastructure. Connecting the Huawei case to the historical struggles in global communication order, the study explores implications for the debates in Internet governance concerning the “multistakeholderism” and the role of nation-states.