How do countries in Latin America navigate the simmering tech tug-of-war between China and the United States? More specifically, the decision about which country will take the lead in building out the 5G cellular network for the region will inevitably create tensions for Latin American countries and their relationship with both global powers. There are all sorts of ripple effects but there is no question that the fight over 5G in the region could lead to increased pressure from the United States, particularly upon the financial sectors that utilize, for example, Huawei technology, amidst security concerns regarding information, intelligence and data. What will a regional cellular network look if different countries side with the U.S. or China? What does this mean for financial institutions and corporations doing business in the region?
It is playing out as we speak and writer Oliver Stuenkel looks at these issues in depth in a recent article from Foreign Policy.
Although the global tech industry will be the most exposed, other sectors will feel the pain as well. Growing restrictions on technological firms have quickly seeped into other related areas: Broader restrictions in banking and venture-capital funding are already emerging, a trend that will inevitably grow to include other industries. For example, the United States might be expected to consider limiting intelligence sharing with Latin American countries that use Huawei technology, a move that could affect the fight of security forces against the region’s powerful drug cartels.