Monday, May 20th 2019

U.S. Tech Industry, Including Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Qualcomm, Ban Huawei

The United States tech industry has overnight dealt a potentially fatal blow to Chinese electronics giant Huawei, by boycotting the company. The companies are establishing compliance with a recent Executive Order passed by President Donald Trump designed to "stop the import, sale, and use of equipment and services by foreign companies based in countries that are potential adversaries to U.S. interests," particularly information technology security. Google has announced that it will no longer allow Huawei to license Android, and will stop updates and Google Play access to Huawei smartphones. Huawei can still equip its phones with open-source Android, but it cannot use Google's proprietary software, including Google Play Store, Chrome, and all the other Google apps. Intel decided to no longer supply processors and other hardware to Huawei, for use in its laptops and server products. Sales of AMD processors will stop, too. Qualcomm-Broadcom have decided to stop supply of mobile SoCs and network PHYs, respectively. Microsoft decided to stop licensing Huawei to use Windows and Office products.

The ban is a consequence of the U.S. Government placing Huawei on a list of banned entities, forcing all U.S. companies to abandon all trade with it, without prior approval from the Department of Commerce. Trade cuts both ways, and not only are U.S. firms banned from buying from Huawei, they're also banned from selling to it. Huawei "buys from" over 30 U.S. companies, (for example, Windows licenses from Microsoft). CNN reports that U.S. firms could lose up to $11 billion in revenues.
Huawei's origins trace back to its founder Ren Zhengfei, who started out his tech career as part of the People's Liberation Army Information Technology R&D department, and is accused by his detractors of remaining loyal to the Chinese state in a manner that compromises security of its Western customers. Huawei was poised to become the world's #1 smartphone vendor in terms of sales.

President Trump as part of the Executive Order, writes "I further find that the unrestricted acquisition or use in the United States of information and communications technology or services designed, developed, manufactured, or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of foreign adversaries augments the ability of foreign adversaries to create and exploit vulnerabilities in information and communications technology or services, with potentially catastrophic effects, and thereby constitutes an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States."

The definition of an adversarial entity is open to interpretation, and Huawei may not be the only foreign company that qualifies as one. Since trading opened Monday morning in Asian markets, stock prices of listed Chinese tech firm ZTE fell 10 percent. Huawei is a private company. Across the pond, European governments remain neutral to Huawei. The UK and European Commission have separately conducted investigations into allegations of Huawei posing a data-security risk, and have both concluded to have seen no merit to the accusations. The EU is Huawei's largest market for smartphones outside China, and an abrupt stoppage of Google services impacting functionality of Huawei smartphones in the EU exposes Google to EU anti-trust regulators who have already penalized the company hundreds of millions of Euros in the past for abusing its market dominance.

To date, the Trump administration has not put out specific evidence against Huawei in a U.S. court of law, or the public domain. Washington Post in a May 19 editorial highlights this lack of transparency. "Neither the United States nor any of its allies has produced a 'smoking gun' proving that Chinese intelligence uses Huawei technology to penetrate other countries' networks. Under the circumstances, it is legitimate for the United States to seek greater transparency from Huawei, both about its ownership and its strategic objectives in the global market," it reads. WaPo further goes on to comment that the exclusion of Huawei will impact the deployment of 5G telecommunication technology around the world, enabling driverless cars, telemedicine, next-generation unmanned mechanized warfare, and the Internet of Things.

Huawei declined to comment on the development, but has mitigations for this ban. Android has been significantly forked by Chinese smartphone vendors with open-source software, and Huawei could do something similar. The company already uses its own apps, games, and content marketplace rivaling Google Play; and almost all Google apps have alternatives in China. The company makes its own SoCs and doesn't rely on Qualcomm. The Chinese government already does not use Windows, and this development could help in the proliferation of Linux distributions. A decline in the sales and use of Microsoft Windows could be China's retaliatory move. The country has already taken tectonic market access-denial actions against U.S. firms such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter, and nothing stops it from censoring Microsoft. Intel processors continue to form the backbone of client-computing, but it's only a matter of time before Chinese firms mass-produce x86 processors of their own.

Update May 20th: Facing regulatory backlash from Huawei devices abruptly losing functionality from loss of Google Play services, Google has in a statement to Reuters confirmed that Google Play app updates and validation services will continue to be offered to existing users of Huawei devices. "For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices," the spokesperson said, without giving further details.

Update May 21st: Goldman Sachs has done some math, looking into how revenue of U.S. companies will be affected by the loss of their customer Huawei. Quite interesting numbers, and surprising how much it affects AMD.

Update May 21st: The US Department of Commerce has granted Huwei an extension of 90 days to get their affairs in order, to minimize the impact on Huawei's customers.

Update May 23rd: ARM, the company behind the IP required to build ARM-architecture-based microprocessors (which are used in most of Huawei's products), has now stopped working with Huawei, too. Sources: BBC, The Verge, Android Authority
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146 Comments on U.S. Tech Industry, Including Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Qualcomm, Ban Huawei

#26
R0H1T
Vayra86
The recent fleet movements towards Iran
I'm not sure where the US is going with Iran but any war involving that country will be worse than Iraq+Afghanistan combined. Secondly ~ how can the US let murderous SA spread their Wahhabi ideology & then go after Iran, who btw kept their part of the bargain with the previous admin! For all their mistakes in this century, this will Trump them all :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#27
Vayra86
R0H1T
I'm not sure where the US is going with Iran but any war involving that country will be worse than Iraq+Afghanistan combined. Secondly ~ how can the US let murderous SA spread their Wahhabi ideology & then go after Iran, who btw kept their part of the bargain with the previous admin!
You can look towards John Bolton for answers. The man has a nice little history, its Powell v2. The man looks like a rat, talks like a rat, and acts like one.
Posted on Reply
#28
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Vya Domus
No matter what the arguments are I can't help but think that this was done with the exclusive intention of driving Huawei out of business for the benefit of some of them competitors. After all they have seen one of the most rapid growths in the last 2-3 years that no one else could match, that must have annoyed one or two companies. Shitty anti-competitive practices are all alive and well it seems.
The company that gains the most from this is ZTE.
Posted on Reply
#29
Rahnak
Just out of curiosity, the US has been going on about Huawei spying for China and whatnot for a long time now, but did they ever produce any solid evidence for the masses?
Posted on Reply
#30
Fourstaff
Lets see if this will result in a valid third alternative to Apple or Android.
Posted on Reply
#31
the54thvoid
As long as the CIA and MI5 can continue their covert surveillance and tech backdoors, we're all good. This isn't about security; it's about fear. The fear of losing power.
China will not fail. USA will not fail. The world will.
Posted on Reply
#32
siluro818
"To date, the Trump administration has not put out specific evidence against Huawei in a U.S. court of law, or the public domain."

Translation: there is no evidence whatesoever, and we're doing this for reasons that have nothing to do with national security or anyone's well-being.
Posted on Reply
#33
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
China could just turn around and say they are no longer manufacturing or exporting China made goods to the US. There are a lot of tech companies that are basedin the US that have manufacturing plants in China because of cheaper labour and overheads.

If China pulls a move like this then it could be a tit for tat scenario
Posted on Reply
#34
tigger
I'm the only one
FordGT90Concept
Just don't buy Huawei and forget about it. :p


Without wireless radios and an operating system, what do they have left to sell? Look at Cuba and their 60s cars...this is pretty much what's going to happen to Huawei phones: stuck in time. Yup, they'll be bankrupted. And Trump isn't going to leap to their rescue like he did with ZTE.

USA is the largest economy. USA tech companies generally don't have access to China other than to manufacture stuff (which they are doing much less of because of tariffs).
Lmao, do you think huawei/china cannot develop its own, behave. Don't forget foxconn makes everything America sell, from iphones to xboxes and playstations. If America boycott china, who will make all this? American workers paid ten times what foxconn workers are, don't think so.
Posted on Reply
#35
phill
I wonder how it will fair over in the UK... Me and P30 Pro seem to get along just fine :)....
Posted on Reply
#36
sweet
FreedomEclipse
China could just turn around and say they are no longer manufacturing or exporting China made goods to the US. There are a lot of tech companies that are basedin the US that have manufacturing plants in China because of cheaper labour and overheads.

If China pulls a move like this then it could be a tit for tat scenario
There are hundreds millions of Chinese people rely on those plants. If they lose their jobs, it will be a huge social uprising for Communist China. Chinese government simply cannot afford that scenario.

Anyway, Huawei got banned because it's backed by Chinese government. Their lesser compatriots, like Xiaomi and Oppo, who are independent companies, love this news. They will be more than happy to bite huge marketshare from Huawei.

tigger
Lmao, do you think huawei/china cannot develop its own, behave. Don't forget foxconn makes everything America sell, from iphones to xboxes and playstations. If America boycott china, who will make all this? American workers paid ten times what foxconn workers are, don't think so.
Cheaper labor in Vietnam, India, etc... will take care of that. In fact, big companies have already moved parts of their business out of China amid the Trade war.
Posted on Reply
#37
Metroid
Sales of AMD processors will stop, too.
Anybody care to explain this sentence in the article?
Posted on Reply
#38
Valantar
R0H1T
No, innovation today needs money & experience/track record just as much as anything else. Take Intel, AMD, IBM for instance. There is no other uarch or processor comparable to their most powerful chips, no amount of education will get you past that. Now even if you come up with such a hypothetical design will it still beat Intel @5nm when that other chip is being built on 14nm? Same goes for QC & their wireless solutions. At this point China's best bet is ARM & Huawei is betting big on that. This is also why mega corporations are virtual monopolies & indeed a bad thing, tangentially speaking.
What you're describing is the effect of having a large library of tech patents, not experience or a track record of innovation. Patents can be bought - as most patents held by current large tech corporations are (through mergers and acquisitions). There is no other microarchitecture that can compete with X86 because developing a microarchitecture is very complex, yes, but also because the technology is extremely well guarded and licences are only awarded to a handful of actors (who then lock themselves into keeping them by innovating on top of the licence and licencing their innovations back). The thing is, turnover within these companies is enormous, and the engineers and other people involved are replaceable to a large degree. Of course there's the difficulty of finding equally qualified replacements (an issue with any highly specialized field), but given access to information and education, it's possible - just a bit slow. Availability of knowledge is the deciding factor, then comes money (which there certainly isn't a lack of in China), then comes specific people.

Vayra86
This is one of those events that remind us (and should remind you all) that we're living in a world of conflicting interests. Is this (also) about being on top of the food chain? Of course. The question you need to be asking yourself, is do you want to eat or be eaten. And entirely unrelated to your personal opinion, by living in a Western country, you're part of it and yes you will be on 'a side' of these conflicts.

Huawei was becoming far too influential for our own good and the 5G rollout was going to be a major vehicle for China to deploy mass surveillance outside of its own borders. Even the slightest chance of that happening should be a massive warning sign, and I'm glad to see it was, already over six years ago.

We can start worrying about our economy and innovation leadership and diplomacy after that. Make no mistake: China plays the game just like this and now experiences a major setback in their power creep.


Just a side note; this might even be bigger than just China. This might even be mostly about the US and geopolitical influence as a whole. The recent fleet movements towards Iran, the timing of these things is never coincidental, and already you can see this is a timing strategy that maximizes the impact and psychological effect. For Huawei, not only were they about to make the biggest deal in history, they were also the top smartphone company. If they'd been shot down three years earlier, the damage would've been minimal. But, we waited patiently for the opponent to yell 'All in!' to slam the door in its face.

Another important side note: Trump's term is coming to an end soon, and what better way than conflict to reinforce faith in your current POTUS.

Add all of those aspects up and you can see why the timing of this is so, so convenient.
While I don't necessarily disagree with your analysis, the main issue is that the foundations of this thinking is wrong (or, arguably, just really !#@%! dumb) even if world leaders tend to believe it. Fundamentally conflicting interests only exist if you believe nations are somehow able to exist entirely separately, which has never been true, and certainly isn't in our day. Countries are intertependent. Period. Sure, there are still some more powerful than others, and there is a serious lack of democratic agency in global politics (read: it's entirely nonexistent), but the ideological basis of viewing global politics as competition rather than cooperation is what causes garbage like this to happen. This is of course neither the US's nor China's fault alone, but rather a remnant of centuries-old nationalist thinking. Europe post-WWII is an excellent example of how changing this presumption can radically alter relations between countries with vastly different levels of influence, as the focus on interdependent trade relations and peaceful cooperation transformed the continent with the most frequent and large-scale wars over the past few centuries into the most peaceful continent. Ever. In the history of mankind. That's a staggering achievement, and current right-wing politicians attempting to undermine this because a few dubious actors are challenging the system is ... idiotic. Competition (in general, but especially as reflected in current global capitalism) inherently has more losers than winners. The issue is that the world doesn't work that way - if other people lose, the winners inevitably lose as well. Maybe not initially, and maybe subtly, but cooperation gains everyone, not just a few. And sure, this will mean that the most powerful, who would likely have "won", can see themselves as "losing" because they're not running away with more than everyone else. But that's a dangerous, damaging, detrimental and delusional idea in a globally interdependent world. And we can't stop living in one just because we don't like it - at least not without also abandoning the products of this world, such as global industry. I seriously doubt the average Trump voter would support him if they were shown that a necessary consequence of following his ideology to its end is regression in pretty much all metrics, from wealth to food availability to technology to everything else we have and use in our lives.

Tl;dr: isolationism as a response to growing powers challenging the established world order is about as logical as cutting off your leg to stop a broken toe from hurting.
Posted on Reply
#39
64K
Rahnak
Just out of curiosity, the US has been going on about Huawei spying for China and whatnot for a long time now, but did they ever produce any solid evidence for the masses?
Doubtful we will get solid proof of it if it's true. Sometimes even telling people what they know will out their inside source of information and make them useless in the future.
Posted on Reply
#40
Mephis
Metroid
Anybody care to explain this sentence in the article?
Yeah, it means AMD isn't going to sell them processors or gpus. I imagine that they primarily use Intel for their servers, workstations and laptops but I am sure that they have systems that use AMD.
Posted on Reply
#41
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
Now maybe they can stop marketing them so aggresively. Huawei marketing is everywhere. And they are immensively popular.
Posted on Reply
#42
tigger
I'm the only one
sweet
There are hundreds millions of Chinese people rely on those plants. If they lose their jobs, it will be a huge social uprising for Communist China. Chinese government simply cannot afford that scenario.

Anyway, Huawei got banned because it's backed by Chinese government. Their lesser compatriots, like Xiaomi and Oppo, who are independent companies, love this news. They will be more than happy to bite huge marketshare from Huawei.


Cheaper labor in Vietnam, India, etc... will take care of that. In fact, big companies have already moved parts of their business out of China amid the Trade war.
So they will get everything made by Foxconn in those country's how? There are enough other country's other than America buying the stuff Foxconn make to secure the workers jobs. Unless the American company's cancel their contracts with Foxconn, but that will not happen either, as they could not get the products made any where else. Also hundreds of millions is a bit of an exaggeration
Posted on Reply
#43
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
tigger
Wow the pitch forks and yokels are out in America. Considering Huawei buys $67 billion in components, it's pretty dumb. They will just save the money and develop their own.
Before you start slamming the U.S.., might want to do a bit of research, or even have been aware of current events for the last 8 months or so. See below.
R-T-B
Anyhow, this is more than just America,
As @R-T-B said. They are in hot water with Canada already, and under investigation in the EU as well.

“It’s not just the United States or Canada that are problems for Huawei. The European Union has started looking at serious proposals that would mean trouble for it. Concerns in particular about China’s National Intelligence Law have spurred the EU to weigh what may amount to a total de facto ban on Huawei technology within the Union.”

https://thediplomat.com/2019/02/huaweis-legal-woes-and-tech-decoupling-between-china-and-the-west/

siluro818
Translation: there is no evidence whatesoever, and we're doing this for reasons that have nothing to do with national security or anyone's well-being.
Translation for the Criminal Justice or Foreign Relations uninitiated: you don’t release evidence publicly until you have had a chance to prosecute in court of law or already take international action. How many world crises have happened in history that you EVER knew anything more than a tiny sliver of what happened behind the scenes? Sources are rarely revealed when the stakes are high.
Posted on Reply
#44
chaosmassive
to create and exploit vulnerabilities in information and communications technology or services, with potentially catastrophic effects.
wow that is rich coming from Donald Duck Trump, when NSA spying on their own citizen 24/7, create spying tools from backdoor/OS vulnerabilities, which end up causing tremendous financial damages worldwide, and potentially costing human lives.

but we dont talk about that, do we?
Posted on Reply
#45
tigger
I'm the only one
rtwjunkie
Before you start slamming the U.S.., might want to do a bit of research, or even have been aware of current events for the last 8 months or so. See below.

As @R-T-B said. They are in hot water with Canada already, and under investigation in the EU as well.

“It’s not just the United States or Canada that are problems for Huawei. The European Union has started looking at serious proposals that would mean trouble for it. Concerns in particular about China’s National Intelligence Law have spurred the EU to weigh what may amount to a total de facto ban on Huawei technology within the Union.”

https://thediplomat.com/2019/02/huaweis-legal-woes-and-tech-decoupling-between-china-and-the-west/


Translation for the Criminal Justice or Foreign Relations uninitiated: you don’t release evidence publicly until you have had a chance to prosecute in court of law or already take international action. How many world crises have happened in history that you EVER knew anything more than a tiny sliver of what happened behind the scenes?
The U.S.A is the crux of it, especially with the trade war too.
Posted on Reply
#46
64K
chaosmassive
wow that is rich coming from Donald Duck Trump, when NSA spying on their own citizen 24/7, create spying tools from backdoor/OS vulnerabilities, which end up causing tremendous financial damages worldwide, and potentially costing human lives.

but we dont talk about that, do we?
Do you not think the exact same things were going on under Obama? Every major country spies on every other country and on their own citizens especially with the constant threat of terrorism.
Posted on Reply
#47
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
tigger
The U.S.A is the crux of it, especially with the trade war too.
It is the crux of this week’s action and this article. The EU has been investigating Huawei’s violations for a long time.

Canada’s actions were predicated on Huawei’s relationship to the Cinesengovernment and their disregard of Iran sanctions the world agreed to.

But believe whatever you want. You can create whatever fiction you want to fit your narrative.
Posted on Reply
#48
Shihabyooo
Rahnak
Just out of curiosity, the US has been going on about Huawei spying for China and whatnot for a long time now, but did they ever produce any solid evidence for the masses?
That Russian, cybersec fella: Lol!
Posted on Reply
#49
Vayra86
Valantar
While I don't necessarily disagree with your analysis, the main issue is that the foundations of this thinking is wrong (or, arguably, just really !#@%! dumb) even if world leaders tend to believe it. Fundamentally conflicting interests only exist if you believe nations are somehow able to exist entirely separately, which has never been true, and certainly isn't in our day. Countries are intertependent. Period. Sure, there are still some more powerful than others, and there is a serious lack of democratic agency in global politics (read: it's entirely nonexistent), but the ideological basis of viewing global politics as competition rather than cooperation is what causes garbage like this to happen. This is of course neither the US's nor China's fault alone, but rather a remnant of centuries-old nationalist thinking. Europe post-WWII is an excellent example of how changing this presumption can radically alter relations between countries with vastly different levels of influence, as the focus on interdependent trade relations and peaceful cooperation transformed the continent with the most frequent and large-scale wars over the past few centuries into the most peaceful continent. Ever. In the history of mankind. That's a staggering achievement, and current right-wing politicians attempting to undermine this because a few dubious actors are challenging the system is ... idiotic. Competition (in general, but especially as reflected in current global capitalism) inherently has more losers than winners. The issue is that the world doesn't work that way - if other people lose, the winners inevitably lose as well. Maybe not initially, and maybe subtly, but cooperation gains everyone, not just a few. And sure, this will mean that the most powerful, who would likely have "won", can see themselves as "losing" because they're not running away with more than everyone else. But that's a dangerous, damaging, detrimental and delusional idea in a globally interdependent world. And we can't stop living in one just because we don't like it - at least not without also abandoning the products of this world, such as global industry. I seriously doubt the average Trump voter would support him if they were shown that a necessary consequence of following his ideology to its end is regression in pretty much all metrics, from wealth to food availability to technology to everything else we have and use in our lives.

Tl;dr: isolationism as a response to growing powers challenging the established world order is about as logical as cutting off your leg to stop a broken toe from hurting.
On a philosophical level, I agree. But the current geopolitical balance simply doesn't allow for that utopian view of the world. And it never did, really... Your example of post WWII era events was also a response to a new threat: Soviet Russia.
Posted on Reply
#50
Valantar
64K
Do you not think the exact same things were going on under Obama? Every major country spies on every other country and on their own citizens especially with the constant threat of terrorism.
"Constant threat of terrorism" should be in some giant, fat quotes. The very concept of a constant threat of terrorism is a propaganda tool for these same governments and agencies. Oh, and kind of besides the point, but said spying is explicitly and implicitly targeting leftists and non-whites, while it's well proven that white nationalist/right-wing terrorists are far more dangerous and kill far more people per year than any other terrorist group. In other words, they're not even trying to hide how blatantly they're lying about the purposes of their surveillance. And yes, I'm talking about the US, if that wasn't clear.
Posted on Reply
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