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Report: Huawei in "early-stage" talks to license 5G network to U.S. companies

This image shows a rooftop with two Huawei logos on either side of its roof
The Huawei Germany headquarters on Oct. 15. Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/picture alliance via Getty Images

Chinese telecom giant Huawei has reportedly held early-stage discussions in recent weeks with unnamed U.S. telecoms companies on "licensing its 5G network technology to them," a Huawei executive told Reuters exclusively.

Why it matters: The U.S. and China are locked in a race to get 5G networks up and running to connect devices and machines at lightning speed. U.S. critics have accused Huawei of being complicit in Chinese espionage, a beneficiary of theft of trade secrets and a violator of trade sanctions. Historically, the U.S. preferred European equipment-makers Ericsson and Nokia as suppliers of 5G technology.

Go deeper: Why Huawei is the United States' 5G boogeyman