The Trump administration has stepped up its efforts to choke off Chinese tech titan Huawei in recent months, effectively cutting it off from American technology.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has suggested that the United States will keep trying to deter Russia as a global economic rival, citing the US crackdown on Huawei as an example of similar policies.
Speaking at a televised Q&A event on Thursday, Putin said that Washington is seeking to contain China’s development by trying to choke off one of its biggest companies, Huawei.
Earlier this month, Vladimir Putin told the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that the US is attempting to “force [Huawei] out of the global market”, describing it as “the first technological war of the coming digital era”.
In May, the Trump administration banned US companies from selling parts and components to the Shenzhen-based firm without government consent, identifying it as a national security threat.
Washington accuses Huawei of spying on behalf of the Chinese government and stealing commercial information; it also suspects that the company is being funded by China’s military. The telecom gear manufacturer insists that it is independent from Beijing.
The US ban has forced US corporations to distance themselves from Huawei and affected its shipments of smartphones, which run on Google’s Android operating system, prompting the world’s second largest smartphone manufacturer to trademark its own operating system.
Huawei got caught in the middle of a broader trade dispute between China and the United States, which broke out last year after Donald Trump slapped 25-percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods, ostensibly in a bid to fix what he called Beijing’s “unfair trade practices”.
From that point on, the two superpowers have exchanged several round of tit-for-tat measures. This has escalated to a point where Trump has threatened to go ahead with tariffs on the entirety of Chinese imports to the US, which last year amounted to $505 billion.