There's been a lot of talk about a trade war in recent weeks, due to the announcement from the Trump Administration about Tariffs on steel and aluminum. Many feel that there could be a trade war in the wireless space as well. According to analysts at Jeffries, there could be a trade war over 5G wireless technology. Which would mostly be due to Huawei.
The White House has been urging US carriers as well as carriers in its ally countries like South Korea, to stay away from Huawei for its 5G network. This is because the US government is afraid of Huawei using its products to spy on users, though Huawei believes that belief is being driven by its competitors. China and the US aren't exactly on the best of terms, so it wouldn't be surprising. However, there have been numerous investigations over the past decade, looking into whether Huawei's products are in fact spying on its users, and nothing was found. Which makes this situation a bit odd for the Chinese smartphone maker. The US has also urged KT and SK Telecom in South Korea to not use Huawei for its 5G network, and SK Telecom's CEO stated at Mobile World Congress last week, that it was "at a crossroads" about whether it should award the contract to Huawei or not.
Huawei isn't the entire story in this potential trade war though, the other aspect is Broadcom and Qualcomm. Broadcom has been attempting to takeover Qualcomm in recent months, though Qualcomm isn't interested in being acquired. And recently, the CFIUS has opened an investigation into the attempted takeover of Qualcomm. Which is just the latest development in the story. While the US may be looking to avoid using Chinese equipment for its 5G networks, it won't be able to cut China completely out of its 5G networks. This is because many believe that China will have a large number of the 5G-essential patents. This is similar to China not being able to cut Qualcomm out of 4G LTE, since it has a ton of 4G LTE patents, and CDMA patents – remember China Mobile was a CDMA network before it jumped to 4G LTE.