Displaying items by tag: Ban

Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are facing scrutiny following the horrific terrorist attack in New Zealand. 

Published in Apps

Chinese telecommunications behemoth Huawei is preparing to take the US government to court in an effort to the challenge the decision taken by the US congress which prohibits federal agencies from using its equipment.

The New York Times is reporting that the embattled Chinese vendor is now preparing to file a lawsuit against that legislation which was passed through the US House of Representatives.

Sources close to Huawei have leaked that the telecommunications company plans to argue the measure amounts to a so-called bill of attainder, which penalizes the vendor for a penalty without the benefit of a trial, which is illegal under the US Constitution.

The US has adopted a very aggressive approach towards Huawei and ZTE, and the latter was almost pushed the point of bankruptcy following draconian measures implemented by the US Department of Commerce.

In August of last year, President Donald Trump signed into law a defence spending bill which included a clause banning government agencies and contractors from using equipment from Huawei and fellow Chinese vendor ZTE.

At the time, Huawei labelled the bill ‘misguided and unconstitutional’ – and blasted the decision taken by the Trump administration.

The lawsuit by Huawei is expected to be filed on 7 March in a federal court in Texas, where Huawei has its US headquarters.

The move comes as Huawei battles assertions from the US that it poses a security threat to telecommunications networks. The US has lobbied other nations in banning Huawei from their 5G networks, such as Australia and New Zealand, and is also attempting to pressure European countries such as the UK and France.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said countries that use Huawei equipment risk losing the US as a business and trade partner over the alleged security threat.

However, during his keynote address on stage at MWC19 Barcelona last week, Huawei rotating chairman Guo Ping blasted the US campaign against the company saying officials have “no evidence, nothing” to back up their claims.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Europe’s largest telecommunications operator Deutsche Telekom has warned that if governments across the continent decide to implement a ban on Chinese vendor Huawei, then the rollout of 5G networks could be delayed by at least two years.

Published in Telecom Operators

UK University declines additional funding from Chinese vendor

Written on Tuesday, 22 January 2019 06:22

Embattled Chinese telecommunications vendor Huawei has endured a miserable number of months – and is under intense scrutiny globally.

Huawei has become embroiled in a series of controversies and has been subjected to lurid allegations which claim the telecommunications behemoth is a security threat to nations that deploy its equipment due to its close ties with the Chinese government in Beijing.

The under-fire company suffered another setback when one of the world’s most famous academic institutions Oxford University, declined the opportunity to receive additional funding from the vendor.

A spokesman for the University said that it would not be pursuing new funding opportunities for both research contracts or philanthropic donations from Huawei and related group companies, although it did confirm that existing projects currently in place will continue.

The spokesman said, “We currently have two such ongoing projects, with a combined funding from Huawei of £692,000. However, after careful consideration we have decided to turn away future funding from Huawei and have informed them of our decision.”

Oxford confirmed that the decision to decline future funding from Huawei was due to the public concerns which have been expressed regarding the company’s operations. A Huawei executive was arrested in Poland last week on suspicion of espionage. In December, its CTO, Meng Hanzhou was arrested in Vancouver for alleged fraud in Iran.

The US have banned them for participating in the rollout of its 5G networks and has its allies New Zealand and Australia have followed suit. Washington is also instructed the UK and Japan to ban Huawei, whilst both the German and Canadian governments are considering banning them from their 5G programs over the security concerns raised by US intelligence. 

However, Huawei has contradicted what Oxford University has stated, and is adamant that it has not been informed of any decision by the academic institution in relation to funding.

A Huawei spokesman said, “We have operated in the UK since 2001, employ 1,500 people here and have long standing research collaborations with 20 other UK universities working to develop the technologies of the future. We will await their decision.”

Published in Telecom Vendors

Chinese telecommunication vendors ZTE and Huawei have both endured a difficult number of years in the US marketplace – and their issues have multiplied during the Trump administration.

ZTE were momentarily crippled and almost went out of business following a decision by the US Department of Commerce to ban US companies from using their equipment and products for 7 years. However, following an intervention from US President Donald Trump, the ban was overturned and the vendor was instead hit with a $1bn fine and has to adhere to a number of strict rules and regulations.

Huawei have also been subjected to sharp criticism and have been deemed by US intelligence as a serious threat to national security due to their close ties to the Chinese government. Observers believe that the aggression from the US towards the Chinese telecommunication vendors is part of Trump’s plan to use them as pawns in his trade war with China.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing escalated when ZTE were initially banned, and it sparked an angry backlash from China. The rest of the world looked on anxiously as the two economic superpowers clashed head-on, it has since deescalated, but the high-profile arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver has once again put diplomatic relations between the two countries under the microscope.

However, the situation in the US for both ZTE and Huawei is set to worsen following reports that US President Donald Trump is set to issue an executive order that would effectively ban operators in the country from using the Chinese manufacturer’s equipment and products.

Reuters has reported that the Trump administration has been mulling over the order for eight months, but it expected to formally enact it later this month.  It is said the order would not name Huawei or its compatriot ZTE by name but would give the US Department of Commerce scope to ban any supplier it suspects of being a threat to national security.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Huawei’s rotating chairman Ken Hu has pleaded with the governments of countries who have banned the Chinese telecommunications behemoth from becoming involved in the rollout of 5G networks, to produce evidence that implicates Huawei as a serious security threat.

Huawei’s CEO robustly defended its security record and expressed his disappointment that countries banned the Chinese vendor before affording them the opportunity to engage in dialogue which would’ve allowed them to take action, or respond to the allegations that it was a threat to domestic security.

In a press conference held at its HQ in Shenzhen, Hu said, “When it comes to security, we need to let the facts speak for themselves. Huawei’s record on security is clean. In over 30 years, the company has never had a serious cyber security issue or seen any evidence showing its equipment is a security threat. We have a solid track record.”

New Zealand and Australia have banned Huawei from their 5G projects, whilst it is also believed that the UK, Germany, Japan and South Korea are also considering the possibility of preventing Huawei from becoming involved in their 5G rollout plans.

However, Hu acknowledged that the vendor needed to be proactive with governments and customers, but stressed that they had already been doing this, and were willing to take additional steps in an effort to not be locked out of 5G programs in the west.

Hu added, “We will not relax. As technology becomes more complex and networks become more open, we will continue to increase our investment in security related efforts.”

For example, Huawei plans to launch a security centre in Brussels in Q1 2019 as part of a longer-term plan to expand cooperation with other governments around the world, such as Canada and the UK. In addition to this, it will invest $2 billion over the next five years to improve its software engineering processes to be better prepared for the future.

The recent high-profile arrest of the company’s CFO in Canada has reignited trade tensions and diplomatic relations between the US and China. However, despite the controversies and turmoil, Huawei is targeting a record of $100bn in total revenue for the year, and has secured more than 25 commercial 5G contracts and shipped more than 10,000 5G base stations.

Hu declined to comment on the ongoing situation with Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou because it was an ongoing case, but he did reiterate that the company is confident in its trade compliance measures along with the judicial systems in Canada and the US.

Published in Telecom Vendors

Japanese government bans Huawei and ZTE products

Written on Monday, 10 December 2018 07:54

The Japanese government has announced that it will ban telecommunications equipment manufactured by Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE amidst fears about cybersecurity.

Published in Telecom Vendors

US chipmaker Qualcomm has reignited its ongoing dispute with Apple following its decision to call on the US International Trade Commission (ITC) to ban the sale of certain iPhones. Qualcomm is calling for the prohibition of sales on the devices because it alleges that Apple has infringed up to six of its patents.

Qualcomm issued a direct and blunt statement in which it claims Apple had ‘engaged in the unlawful importation and sales’ of some iPhones – and confirmed that it is currently in the process of filing an official complaint with the ITC. Qualcomm which unveiled its Snapdragon 835 processor at CES 2017 in January, has argued that the patents in question involve ‘key technologies’ that enable important features and functions in iPhones, which includes the capacity to prolong battery life and overall efficiency of the devices.

Qualcomm has urged ITC to begin an investigation into Apple’s conduct, infringing imports and that they issue a Limited Exclusion Order (LEO) to bar importation of the devices into the US. It stressed that the ITC must stop Apple’s unlawful and unfair use of Qualcomm’s technology. This row is the latest in a long-running feud between the two technology titans, and Qualcomm added that it’s also seeking an LEO against iPhones that used cellular baseband processors other than those supplied by Qualcomm affiliates.

Analysts have suggested Qualcomm are talking about Intel indirectly, although they never name Intel in its official statement. But it is widely known that Intel began supplying chips to some iPhone 7 devices in September 2016.

Through a Cease and Desist order, Qualcomm is also attempting to block the sale of devices already in the US it believes infringe on its patents. Apple’s iPhones are assembled in Asia. Don Rosenberg, EVP and general counsel at Qualcomm said: “Apple continues to use Qualcomm’s technology while refusing to pay for it. These lawsuits seek to stop Apple’s infringement of six of our patented technologies.”

The row began in January when Apple sued Qualcomm alleging them of being guilty of overcharging them for chips, and refused to pay $1 billion in rebates. Qualcomm hit back in a counterclaim against Apple for breaching agreements and a number of other allegations.

Qualcomm then subsequently initiated legal proceedings against four Apple iPhone manufacturers for failing to pay royalties and breaching licensing agreements, before Apple launched a legal attack on Qualcomm’s business at the start of this month. Despite Qualcomm’s latest onslaught, the short-term impact on Apple is expected to be limited. Qualcomm has indicated that it expects the ITC to begin an investigation in August, but the case will not be tried until next year.

Published in Telecom Vendors

US tech giants Apple have seen a ban prohibiting the company from selling its iPhone 6 phones in China overturned following a legal hearing. A Chinese court ruled in its favor in a patent dispute between the Californian based company and a domestic phone-maker. The legal row began in May last year, when a Beijing based patent regulator took the decision to order Apple’s Chinese subsidiary and local retailer Zoom-Flight to immediately stop selling iPhones after Shenzhen Baili Marketing Services lodged an official complaint with the regulatory authority.

The company claimed that the patent for the design of its mobile phone 100c was being infringed by the iPhone sales. Apple strongly objected to both the claims and subsequent decision to ban the sale of iPhone 6 devices by the regulatory authorities. Management at Apple and Zoom-Flight launched legal proceedings and took the Beijing Intellectual Property Office’s ban to courts.

At the hearing, the court decided to revoke the ban imposed on Apple and Zoom-Flight and declared that both organizations did not violate Shenzhen Baili’s design patent for 100c phones. The court said that the regulator did not follow due procedures in ordering the ban. In addition to this, the court said there was a distinct lack of sufficient proof to claim the designs constituted a violation of intellectual property rights.

It has not yet been disclosed whether or not representatives of Beijing Intellectual Property Office and Shenzhen Baili will appeal the decision by the court, and a spokesman representing both organizations said they would take time before making a decision in relation to the legal ruling. In addition to this, the same court denied Apple’s demand to strip Shenzhen Baili of its design patent for 100c phone.

Apple first filed the request to the Patent Reexamination Board of State Intellectual Property Office. The board rejected the request, but Apple lodged a lawsuit against the rejection. The Beijing Intellectual Property Court on Friday ruled to maintain the board's decision. It is unclear if Apple will appeal.

Published in Government

Facebook has specifically developed a censorship tool in order to try and force its way back into China. The social network empire was banned in China following the violence that broke out in Urumqi in July, 2009. The Chinese government took the decision to ban Facebook – after they established that many Xinjiang independence activists were using the social network to organise other activists.

There was also a theory or belief on the ground in China that Facebook would not succeed in the region following Google’s problems in China over the contentious issue of censorship. However, Facebook are desperate to get back into China and in order meet its censorship requirements, Facebook has built a tool which is specifically designed to filter news feeds in specific geographical locations.

The New York Times have reported that three current and former Facebook employees revealed to them that the tool had been developed as part of Facebook’s strategy to get back into China.

When the question was put to Facebook, a representative for the organization remained coy on the subject – but did admit they were interested in China. The spokesperson said, “We have long said that we are interested in China, and are spending time understanding and learning more about the country. “However, we have not made any decision on our approach to China."

Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has tried to rebuild Facebook’s relationship with Chinese leaders, and spent years learning Mandarin. He visited China recently and that sparked rumours that he was pitching their new product in an effort to re-enter the market there.

The censorship tool could also combat some of Facebook’s other issues – with the company being blasted for a spike in the amount of ‘fake’ news stories going viral on its platform. Facebook has already restricted content in a whole host of countries according to a recent transparency report by a Californian-based company.

Facebook has worked closely with Russian authorities to ensure it doesn’t violate the integrity of the Russian federation and local law which forbids activities such as mass public riots and the promotion and sale of drugs.  There have also been similar examples in France and Pakistan.

U.S. internet companies have a practice of complying with legitimate government requests to block posted information in keeping with local laws, subject to evaluation. The New York Times suggested that the tool created in China would prevent posts from happening instead of waiting on government authorities to request to have them removed once they’ve been posted.

It is reported that Facebook may give the tool to a third-party based in China to decide what shows up in newsfeeds. Censorship software was just one of many ideas Facebook has as it tries to get back into China, according to the New York Times report.

Published in Government