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The US–China 5G Contest: Options for Europe


5G infrastructures are a reality. Because this new wireless technology is expected to bring great changes to our economy and society, its deployment has triggered a fierce race between tech titans. The rapid growth of China’s 5G industry is challenging the United States’ historic “edge” in technological innovation. The US, for its part, considers the expansion of Chinese 5G not only an economic challenge but also a geopolitical threat, as 5G technology could provide China’s government with access to critical information. Despite considerable investment in 5G technology in several member states, the European Union struggles to find its place in this changing environment. Nevertheless, the race to 5G offers the EU an excellent opportunity to strengthen its technological sovereignty through a common strategy towards foreign telco (telecommunications) companies and a coherent cybersecurity policy.