China’s Huawei, considered a security threat in the US, on Wednesday signed a deal with Russian telecom company MTS to develop a 5G network in the country over the next year, The agreement was signed on the sidelines of a meeting between Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
The deal will see “the development of 5G technologies and the pilot launch of fifth generation networks in 2019-2020″, MTS said in a statement.
Quoted in the statement, Huawei’s Guo Ping, said he was “very happy” with the agreement “in an area of strategic importance like 5G”.
The Chinese telecom giant has been in turmoil since May when the Trump administration banned US companies from selling high-tech equipment to Huawei over suspicions it is spying for Beijing.
Experts say the US decision, to come into force within three months, threatens the survival of the company, which is highly dependent on US chips for its phones.
Several companies have already distanced themselves from Huawei, including Google, whose Android system equips the vast majority of smartphones in the world.
Huawei’s reported potential involvement in Britain’s 5G network has proved politically sensitive and Theresa May’s government insists no decision has been made on the issue.