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5G technology: the Case of Italy

Great power competition over 5G technology, the world’s next-generation wireless system, has been growing for some time. Both the US and China view 5G in geopolitical terms, each being increasingly concerned that the other may gain the upper hand in its development and roll-out, particularly in Europe. In Europe, Italy is an interesting case of how EU countries try to navigate the troubled waters of US-China confrontation. The Italian government has created incentives for private companies to limit or delay use of 5G platforms provided by China’s Huawei, in an attempt to avoid a political clash with China’s government. Other EU governments have taken similar steps, showing that Europe’s priority is to preserve some manoeuvrability between the US and China.