Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Chinese telecom giant Huawei is poised to claim close to half of the 5G market, nudging the technological center of gravity away from western telecom vendors and sounding alarms about China's ability to spy on Americans.

Why it matters: 5G has one global standard that makes networks interoperable regardless of the equipment vendor. The security risk posed by Huawei is debated but if it ends up dominating 5G networks, authority to set standards for future network technologies — such as 6G, which is already under development — will shift toward China.

  • "Commercial power almost directly translates to standard setting power ... and if you dominate the standards, you dominate the products. Your early developments will be faster and work better than others," said Henning Schulzrinne, computer science professor at Columbia University.
"This is a fundamental strategic competition for who builds the platform for the next round of the internet. That is just as important — if not more — than who builds the state-of-the-art harbors, railways and highways over the next 20 years."
— Janice Stein, political science professor at the University of Toronto

Where things stand: The U.S. and China are locked in a race over whose technology will underly 5G networks that will connect devices and machines at lightning speed. The U.S. prefers European equipment makers Nokia and Ericsson, and it has shunned Chinese telecom giant Huawei due to fears of espionage.

  • The U.S. doesn't make its own 5G equipment but is using its military, security and intelligence heft to pressure allies not to use China's technology.
  • "We cannot ensure the defense of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East," Vice President Mike Pence said at the Munich Security Conference last month.
  • The UK and Germany, however, haven't outright rejected Huawei in hopes of tapping the growing Chinese market and preserving their relationships with the U.S.
  • Huawei already has contracts to install its 5G equipment, which tends to be cheaper than its rivals, in dozens of countries.

Huawei claims nearly a third of the global 4G market, and it may get closer to half the market in a 5G world, said Andrew Entwistle, an analyst with New Street Research in London.

  • Crossing that threshold of market share makes it harder for other equipment vendors to catch up, wireless industry sources say.

Threat level: Fears are mounting that a 5G equipment market dominated by China will give the authoritarian regime greater access to the explosion of data that will flow across 5G networks.

  • "It’s going to be far more pervasive in terms of what data aggregators know about you and how they can influence your lives," said Rob Spalding, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. "Today it’s Amazon, Google, Facebook. Tomorrow it’s Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and the Chinese communist party."
  • "This isn’t about virtue. For most of the world, the question is who do you want to spy on you?" says Stein.

Flashback: Spalding, former senior director for Strategic Planning for the National Security Council, advocated for a national U.S. 5G network to stave off China's advances and concerns over espionage.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said at the Fintech Ideas Festival on Wednesday that concerns are valid about Chinese suppliers underpinning crucial infrastructure. Huawei's "impressive" global market share hurts the companies on which the U.S. relies.

  • "You can’t separate national security from competitiveness and innovation," he said. "They go hand in hand."

The other side: While many countries are nervous about China's growth, not everyone is convinced Chinese vendors are using their telecom gear to spy. (Huawei denies it, too.)

  • "There's no evidence at all that Huawei has put anything inappropriately in its equipment," said Entwistle. "If they did and it was discovered, it would be game over for them."
  • Western vendors are still strong, he said, just not as strong as they were in the 3G era.
  • "The anxiety here in a sense is a loss of prominence for western technology rather than demise of western technology," he said. "This is more of a shift in balance rather than an apocalyptic situation."

The bottom line: China's lead in building the next-generation network is seen as a sign of a decline of U.S. tech leadership in the mobile internet, and as a symbolic point of no return for Chinese economic supremacy.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Peloton stock tanks on report of production halt

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Peloton stock fell by as much as 25% on Thursday, following a CNBC report that the connected fitness company will temporarily halt production on its bikes and treadmills.

Why it matters: Peloton is viewed by many as a proxy for consumer behavior in the pandemic era, as its popularity surged when gyms closed and people wanted to exercise at home.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 3 hours ago - World

Biden cleans up comments about Russia invading Ukraine

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden sought to clarify his suggestion that a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine may not draw the same response as a large invasion, telling reporters Thursday that "Russia will pay a heavy price" if any troops cross the border.

Why it matters: Some officials in Kyiv saw Biden's comments as inviting Russian aggression.