ON DECEMBER 1st Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei, a big Chinese telecoms firm—and the daughter of the company’s founder—was arrested in Canada, from where she may well be extradited to America. The arrest has touched off a diplomatic firestorm.
(…5G is often seen as a vital enabling technology for the “Internet of Things”, in which all manner of devices, from cars and industrial robots to toasters and children’s toys, will talk to each other, and to the internet at large. This, in turn, will supposedly usher in a “fourth Industrial Revolution” in which data and autonomous decision-making will mark the biggest change in business life since the last one. The more connected the world becomes, the argument runs, the greater the risk of allowing a Chinese firm to be in charge of the infrastructure upon which it all depends.)