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Charles Yang, President for Huawei Middle East, commented on the US allegations deeming them to be unfounded and reaffirms the tech behemoth’s commitment to value creation with local telecom, enterprise, and government partners.
Despite the challenges posed by a US entity list ban, Huawei’s top executive in the Middle East said at a press conference in Oman that the region’s geographic location is strategically beneficial for the company in the way that it works closely with both governments and the private sector to advance security, collaboration, and innovation for the digital era.
The comments by Charles Yang, President of Huawei Middle East, come at a time when Huawei remains the world’s largest telecommunications-equipment manufacturer, a top global smartphone and smart device brand, and a digital solutions provider to thousands of companies in sectors like finance, transportation, energy, and government.
Within the region, ICT is also becoming a national basic infrastructure as technologies like 5G, AI, and cloud computing act as drivers for digital transformation.
According to Yang, Huawei has been leading 5G expansion in the Middle East as part of the first wave of deployments worldwide, and will focus on vertical industry, ecosystem, and 5G talent development in 2020. This has been powered by investments of USD4 billion in 5G research since 2009.
The company is also bringing its 5G OpenLab concept to the Middle East, providing the local ICT sector with an environment in which it can experience, innovate, and verify the latest 5G applications with operators and partners.
“The downward pressure on many regional economies and even the global market has intensified in 2019 and the start of 2020. All of us need to dig deep into the opportunities presented by digital transformation. Most organizations across the Middle East now recognize the value that can be created by this transformation, and as such, it is a key region for Huawei in terms of technology collaboration, innovation, and developing business models suited to the digital era,” said Yang.
As a result of its R&D investment focus, Huawei has been able to lead the deployment of 5G technologies globally with more than 700 cities and 228 Fortune Global 500 companies having chosen Huawei as their digital transformation partner. As part of its efforts to lead new technology ecosystems, Huawei also recently released its Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) Core 4.0 platform, marking an important milestone for Huawei in building a set of applications and services for its consumer device ecosystem.
Central to its R&D strategy has been a long-term knowledge transfer program to develop talent in the Middle East, for the Middle East, according to Yang. That requires technology leaders working with customers, partners, developers, industry alliances, and standards organizations to build an interdependent ecosystem that fosters shared growth.
For its part, Huawei's flagship ‘Seeds for the Future’ program and annual ICT Competition program will continue in the Middle East in 2020 and support creativity among ICT students to increase national competitiveness.
Alongside 5G innovation and talent development, Yang recognized that cybersecurity does remain a vital issue for the region’s ICT industry.
When asked about the challenges posed to Huawei specifically by the current US administration, Yang responded, “Our Rotating Chairman, Eric Xu, recently observed that some state actors may continue to suppress the development of leading technologies. They are choosing to build walls rather than connecting people and ideas. Despite concerted efforts by some to keep us down, I think many of us feel a renewed sense of purpose and value at Huawei.”
He added that Huawei is only an equipment supplier and that accessing customer networks without their authorization and visibility would be impossible. On a practical level, Huawei does not have the ability to bypass carriers, access control, and take data from their networks without being detected by all normal firewalls or security systems.
“Today cybersecurity is an issue for all countries, governments, and companies. It is also a journey—not a destination. As such, we need measures in place applying to telecom operators and equipment suppliers so that there is an objective, verifiable basis for knowing which products and services are worthy of the public’s trust. Our customers and us see this as a strategic priority,” added Yang.
The executive noted that Huawei has long committed to helping partners in the region to address cybersecurity challenges and has been a partner of choice for telecom carriers for 5G network development through a broad range of end-to-end solutions. Yang also said that Huawei is ready to sign no-spy, no-backdoor agreements with any and all entities in the Middle East region.
In the last few months, Huawei has been approved to continue supplying 5G technologies in markets such as the UK and the European Union, with countries like Germany and France also accepting Huawei 5G despite US pressure. Abraham Liu, Huawei Chief Representative to the EU Institutions, has confirmed that Huawei is working with European governments to develop common standards to strengthen the security and reliability of those networks.
Huawei has also confirmed that it has no cooperation with the company Crypto AG. A recent report by the Washington Post noted that the CIA used Crypto AG to covertly access telecom networks worldwide, spying on other countries for decades.
Australia cybersecurity expert Hank Wolfe has also documented how the US National Security Agency rigged encryption systems sold by Crypto AG, enabling the agency to read the coded diplomatic and military traffic of more than 120 countries.
US Attorney general Bill Barr has called for The United States and its allies to take controlling stakes in Nokia, Ericsson or both to battle Chinese telecoms giant Huawei's dominance of the 5G market.
Despite opposition from the United States, Britain is to yet to decide on a potential role for China's Huawei in developing its 5G telecoms network. However, reports say this will be in a limited capacity after heavy US obstruction on security grounds.
"The UK has a momentous decision ahead on 5G," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted as Washington continued to heap pressure on Prime Minister Boris Johnson up to the last minute in urging a complete sidelining of Huawei.
However a senior UK official last week strongly hinted at a green light for Huawei, while the Financial Times over the weekend reported that Johnson was Tuesday "expected to approve a restricted role".UK ministers are said to be looking to impose a cap on Huawei's market share in the project.
There has meanwhile been widespread speculation that Britain would allow Huawei into "non-core" elements of 5G networks, such as antennae and base stations attached to masts and roofs. The core carries out essential functions such as authenticating subscribers and sending voice and data between devices and is sometimes described as the "brains" or "heart" of a network.
The United States has banned Huawei from the rollout of its next generation 5G mobile networks because of concerns that the firm could be under the control of Beijing. Huawei strongly deny this claim.
Washington has been lobbying Britain to do the same, even threatening to limit intelligence sharing between the two allies should the UK go its own way. Britain has moved to downplay US security fears.
The UK official pointed out that unlike the United States, Britain has been using Huawei technology in its systems for the past 15 years. UK security agencies believe they have managed the risk so far and will be able to do so with the 5G network.
The 5G technology offers almost instantaneous data transfer and is seen as key for technologies such as self-driving cars and remotely operated factory robots.
Ericsson published its Q4 financial results which highlighted that the Swedish telecom vendor did not experience much growth.
The vendor stated that the protracted merger of T-Mobile US and Sprint were to blame for the 9% drop in North America.
However, despite this, Ericsson experienced plenty of growth in the North American region at the beginning of the year.
Ericsson CEO Börje Ekholm commented on this and stated, “Due to uncertainty related to an announced operator merger, we saw a slowdown in our North American business in Q4, resulting in North America having the lowest share of total sales for some time. However, the underlying business fundamentals in North America remain strong.”
The vendor also experienced 1% growth in Q4 and 4% in the overall Financial Year of 2019. Despite their lack of growth in North America, the company did quite well in other markets such as the Middle East and North East Asia.
Their Q4 growth gross margin accounted for 37.1% which is essentially in line with their 2020 target.
In the previous fiscal year, the vendor’s operating income was at a loss of 1.9 billion Swedish kronor and it is now valued at 6.1 billion kronor. Also, the adjusted operating income increased to 6.5 billion kronor compared it the respective quarter last year of 2.6 billion kronor.
There was a decline to 14.5 % in the networks operating margin, which the firm attributes to an increase in investment and the occurrence of the Kathrein acquisition.
Ekholm also added, “Operating income was impacted by increased operating expenses. The increase is related to the Kathrein business acquisition, increased investments in digitalization and added resources to strengthen security as well as our Ethics and Compliance program. For 2020 we expect somewhat higher operating expenses, which will not jeopardize our financial targets.”
Whereas their Q4 net sales increased by 4% and was valued at 66.37 billion kronor compared to the respective quarter last year which (63.81 billion kronor). Sales were adjusted due to currency and comparable units and it was reported that there was a 1% increase year-over-year.
Ericsson has stated that they will be proposing a dividend for 2019 of 1.50 kronor per share at their
Ericsson has stated that at the Annual General Meeting, they will be proposing a dividend of 1.50 kronor per share for 2019. This is an increase compared to the 1.00 kronor per share from 2018.
Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of the Chinese telecom giant and daughter of its founder Ren Zhengfei, was detained in the Canadian city on a US warrant in late 2018. Her arrest put the 47-year-old at the center of the US and China's battle over Huawei's growing global reach. Hearings into whether she can be extradited to the United States will begin on January 20 in Vancouver, in a case with potential repercussions for ties between the US, China and Canada.
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said it will accept public comments until Feb. 3 on its determination that China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp pose national security threats.
In a document published by the FCC, it reports that interested parties can submit responses on Huawei and ZTE’s designation, which aims to prevent money from the US Universal Service Fund being used to purchase kit from companies deemed a national security risk.
“The FCC adopts a rule that prospectively prohibits the use of Universal Service Fund funds to purchase or obtain any equipment or services produced or provided by a covered company posing a national security threat to the integrity of communications networks or the communications supply chain.”
As the Commission stated in the Protecting Against National Security Threats Notice, the promotion of national security is consistent with the public interest, and USF funds should be used to deploy infrastructure and provide services that do not undermine national security.
In November, the FCC voted unanimously to bar U.S. rural wireless providers from availing of an $8.5 billion government fund to purchase Huawei or ZTE telecommunications equipment.
Last month, Huawei filed a petition with the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court in New Orleans challenging the FCC decision. The FCC will review public comments before finalizing the designations on Feb. 3.
A class-action lawsuit has been filed against video sharing app TikTok by a university student in California who claims that the app has been collecting large amounts of private user data and storing it in China.
T-Mobile announced that it became the first to launch 5G wireless service across the United States, although it will be slower than some might expect for the new generation of connectivity. The number three US carrier said its 5G network covers 200 million people and "goes through walls," outperforming the limited 5G deployment of larger rivals Verizon and AT&T earlier this year. While the network is supposedly live today, no one is going to be using it until later this week: the first two phones to support it go on sale this Friday.
China blasted as "economic bullying" a US proposal to block service providers buying from Chinese tech companies Huawei and ZTE. The two Chinese vendors have been accused of posing a threat to national security because of their ties to the Beijing government.
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said that the proposed rules were part of an initiative to "safeguard the nation's communications networks".
FCC chairman Ajit Pai also said: “We cannot ignore the risk that the Chinese government will seek to exploit network vulnerabilities in order to engage in espionage, insert malware and viruses, and otherwise compromise our critical communications networks”.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang slammed the US proposal as an attempt to "oppress certain Chinese businesses with groundless accusations".
"The United States' economic bullying goes against the market principles which the US has always trumpeted," he said.
The proposal, to be voted on November 19, marks the latest effort by Washington to further damage Huawei’s global reputation. Huawei says that US has provided no proof of any security risks posed by the company.
"In 30 years of business, Huawei has never had a major security-related incident in the 170 countries where we operate," the statement said.
"Banning specific vendors based on country origin will do nothing to protect America's telecommunications networks."
In May, Washington said it would blacklist Huawei from the US market and from buying crucial US components, though it has twice extended the company 90-day reprieves, the latest coming in August.
The United States has expressed concern that Huawei equipment could contain security loopholes that allow China to spy on global communications traffic, and has pressured US allies to block the use of Huawei equipment.