SEOUL, Jun. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — The Huawei crisis is having an impact on the heads of South Korea’s top three mobile carriers – SK Telecom Co., KT Corp. and LG Uplus Corp. – as they have decided not to participate in the Mobile World Congress (MWC) Shanghai 2019 scheduled for June 25 to 27.
Until now, the CEOs never missed the MWC Shanghai except under special circumstances.
The official reason for this year’s absence is that there won’t be much to see at the congress with regards to 5G mobile technology.
Experts argue, however, that the CEOs are taking into account the Huawei crisis that currently stands at the core of U.S.-China trade dispute.
For South Korean companies, forced to choose sides, it may be quite burdensome to participate in this year’s MWC Shanghai.
The congress is mainly led by Huawei Technologies Co., China’s representative mobile device manufacturer.
For South Korean mobile carriers, this is something they have to take into account. Unlike in the past, they don’t even plan on setting up booths this year.
Some experts point out, however, that it may be an overreaction as other companies, including Qualcomm, Nokia, Eriksson, and other IT firms from the United States and Europe plan to participate in the event.
But unlike other foreign firms that compete with or supply parts to Huawei, South Korean companies are mostly clients that have to purchase devices and phones from the Chinese company, giving them a different point of view.
For South Korean companies, it is particularly difficult to adhere to the request made by the United States to replace Huawei devices with others.
If they had to replace the backbone network and repeaters for LTE and 5G services, they would have to discontinue their current services.
That is why South Korean firms have no other choice but to hope that U.S.-China trade relations will improve in the near future and put a stop to the Huawei crisis.
“We are trying to keep a low profile at the moment,” said one source from the mobile industry.
H. M. Kang (email@example.com)