I had a call today with a Reuters reporter about the Huawei/ZTE deal being spiked by the US government. To be honest, there’s an aspect of this story I assumed someone else would mention first, but I haven’t noticed it being explicitly stated anywhere yet.

It’s a simple story:

  1. China hacks the crap out of the rest of the world.
  2. The world doesn’t do dick, due to a lack of real ability to apply meaningful consequences.
  3. Big Chinese business wants to expand globally.
  4. US (and probably the rest of the world) says “Ah ha!”

I don’t know if Huawei and ZTE are a real risk, rather than a potential security risk (which they certainly are), but it doesn’t matter. This is all about consequences, and no one in the US government gives a crap if Huawei gets caught in the middle. In fact it would be awfully nice if those executives pressured their own government to back down.

The real risk of the Huawei/ZTE deals don’t matter at this point – it’s all about what few consequences the US can create for the Chinese government.