It's been hard to escape the news that Huawei's CFO (and daughter of the company’s founder), Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver last week. To many, the event was written off as just another chapter in President Donald “Tariff Man” Trump’s trade war with China. However, it’s really a considerable escalation in what might be a parallel, longer, war, over tech connectivity and 5G networks globally.
More than six thousand miles to the south in Santiago Chile, Huawei was also making news this past week.
The Chilean Sub-secretariat of Telecommunications (Subtel) — with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Andean Development Corporation (CAF)— is putting the finishing touches on a study to decide which route to use for a fiber optic cable to connect Chile with Asia. The choice — to be made in 2019 — is between a 24,000km, $600m route connecting to Tokyo, and a 22,800km, $500m route connection to Shanghai. Huawei has been pushing the latter option, releasing a pre-feasibility study last year arguing for that as the better option. The company is positioning itself to provide the hardware for the cable. But the Chilean government has been hinting it wants a public-private partnership, and Japan and New Zealand are interested in helping out.
Huawei — alongside ZTE — has been aggressively selling to Latin America for fifteen years, backed by cheap and plentiful financing from Chinese policy banks. A $30b deal with China Development Bank (CDB) funded equipment for América Móvil in Mexico and Oi in Brazil; while Nextel Mexico benefitted from a smaller CDB loan. Earlier this year, Huawei inked a deal with Chile’s CTR to position itself for the trans-pacific cable (华为海洋携手CTR部署智利南部海缆项目 - 华为新闻中心). In 2015, China EXIM funded the construction of the $130m South Atlantic Inter Link (SAIL) between Brazil and Cameroon by China Unicom, Cameroon Telecom, and Huawei Marine (你知道SAIL海缆是如何连接非洲和南美的吗？). SAIL launched in September and dropped latency times across the South Atlantic by two-thirds. Looking to the future, this week Huawei inaugurated an Internet of Things (IoT) lab in São Paulo state. Not to mention the fact that Huawei is now a major provider of middle-class jobs in Mexico, Panama, and Brazil.
This has all happened while developed economies have become warier of Huawei. The US has been encouraging the European Union (and its wayward member, the UK) to keep their distance from the Chinese firm. A message that has been listened to. Japan’s big four mobile carriers have all forsworn Huawei and ZTE equipment in their 5G networks. And Australia moved to fund an undersea cable from Sydney to the Solomon Islands so as to block Huawei from building it on national security grounds.
Latin America and the Caribbean are facing the twenty-first century with nineteenth-century infrastructure. So the allure of latest-generation telecommunications infrastructure at prices (and financing) that can’t beat is appealing. But if the concerns of other countries are born out, at what cost? Equally important, what other options are realistically left on the table?
增26.7%,前11月拉美成山东第一大进出口市场 _ 东方财富网— Eastmoney
Latin America has became the largest import and export market for Shandong province, with bilateral trade up 26.7% this year.
South Korea buys into Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) for $450m.
Tsinghua University Latin America Center Inaugurated in Santiago, Chile— Global News Wire
Tsinghua University opens a campus in Santiago, Chile.
China wants to begin renegotiation of the Free Trade Agreement with Peru.
Empresa china Xiaomi abre su primera tienda en México— Uniradio Informa
Xiaomi comes back to Latin America - it opens its first store in Mexico, with the second coming early next year.
La empresa china de movilidad DiDi entrará a Mérida— Marketing 4 Ecommerce MX
Didi Chuxing gets to Mérida.
Argentina will get a deal to export pork to China by the end of this year.
Ecuador Goes More Into Debt With China— Two Weeks Notice
China promises $900m to Ecuador at the "lowest interest rate in history.”
Colombia’s foreign minister heads to China, Korea, and Japan, at a time when folks are worried it’s lagging behind the rest of the Pacific Alliance.
El eterno retorno de la doctrina Monroe— América Economía
Conflicto EU-México por Huawei— El Universal
La influencia china crece en América del Sur— La Tribuna del País Vasco
La Política de China para América Latina y el Caribe— Finanzas Digital
China changes the rules of football, to the worry of Brazilian football clubs.
China — LAC
Latinoamérica permite que China se apropie de sus puertos— Diálogo Americas
Latin America Allows China to Take Over Ports— Diálogo Americas
O peso da China— Estadão
Perú busca ingresar al mercado chino su nuez de Brasil— Marco Trade News
China quiere pescar en los ríos revueltos de Latam— Dirigentes Digital
Muñiz Olaya behind ICBC loan to Chinese miner in Peru— Latin Lawyer
Mexican Ambassador talks about China’s changes— Global Times
China's taste for avocado linked to drought in Latin America— China Dialogue
Panama Canal targets Brazil-China dry cargo trades— Trade Winds
Korea — LAC
Japan — LAC
Mexico: Avocado exports to Japan continue to grow— Fresh Plaza
Sakata Seed opens commercial offices in Argentina— Fresh Plaza
India — LAC
India’s Latin American policy requires political and diplomatic push— Observer Research Foundation
ASEAN & Oceania — LAC
GCC — LAC
UAE wants to invest in Brazil— Salaam