Unless you stayed away from the news for the past three weeks, you’ve probably heard about the US-China trade war and how they are imposing high tariffs on each other. The trade conflict between the two nations has been ongoing for years but it has been heating up since president Trump took over the White House.
Recently, the conflict took on a rather serious phase following Chinese advancements in 5G technology which has called for the Trump administration to impose even more tariffs on Chinese products.
In this case, I will specifically talk about the escalating battle over 5G technology between Huawei and the US. The West seems to have been taken by surprise following Chinese tech titan, Huawei to be the first to develop 5G technology.
While the true nature of the conflict seems to be more of money and power than any other claims being made, 5G is indeed a game changer and the West isn’t ready to let China take all the credits. With 5G, technology, China could gain substantially and perhaps even raise the world’s superpower.
What is 5G anyway?
Can you imagine the world where you can download Avengers in just 3 seconds? The world where videos never buffer and calls never break?. The world where doctors can perform surgeries from different countries? Well, that’s 5G in a nutshell. 5G technology will accelerate and interconnect everything. Owning 5G could also mean you have access to everything people are doing online —probably the most logical reason why the US wants the technology to itself.
While China is arguably to be several years ahead of the United States in 5G and AI technology, and it’s now paying the price for its achievements through increased sanctions by the maniac president Trump, There are lessons and inspirations Africa can take from this dispute.
Why should you side with China? (When it reaches to that)
The choice is between western supremacy and China. While America would do anything to protect its reputation, the truth remains that China is a hardworking nation and African nations should take inspiration from its achievement.
China deserves all the credits in this one. It started low. For decades, China has been known for mimicking western technology, being aggressively flooding Asia and African markets with low budget and low-quality electronics. Chinese brands such as Infinix, Tecno, and Itel have become the first options for millions of Africans. China has greatly contributed to the increased digital visibility of Africa.
Being such a hardworking nation and having invested in technology so heavily for decades now, it was only a matter of time that China would be able to develop competitive technologies of its own.
In this trade battle, I think Africa should take sides with China. In contrary to the expensive overrated iPhones and Pixels, Chinese handset makers have managed to become Africa’s first choice through their pricing strategy which is affordable to millions of Africans, through locally designed features such as long battery life, user-friendly designs that support local languages, multiple SIM slots, and cameras calibrated for darker skin tones. Exactly what African consumers need.
The West is ganging up on China and Google is determined to remove Huawei’s access to the Android operating system. Other chipset manufacturers are following suit.
How will this affect Africa if China loses?
The relations between China and Africa has deepened for the past few decades and Africa has a lot to lose in this trade battle. It is obvious that if China will be hurt economically, it will reduce demands for imports from Africa. Africa’s top exporters will face a huge trade slowdown. This is just to mention a few among other possible effects.