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

#102
Endeavour
Vayra86
They all have the same story really. From 2012 onwards, these are the same worries and while Huawei has always tried to keep everyone on board (with seemingly best intentions) this rabbit hole is deep. Very deep, and the real issue is that its nearly impossible to get the full scope of how leaky the hardware really is. At the same time, Western countries do require that certainty. That is why this is happening. China / Huawei banked on low price to push this through.
You must be kidding.

Huawei has been providing access to all their equipment source code and schematics, and for the last 5 years european officials have been trying to find those alleged backdoors and they didn't find anything.
There has been only a couple of issues in all this time:
- A local telnet root access to some of their equipment, only accessible physically.
- Their security patches and other updates are slow, so they have questioned the quality of Huawei's development methodology.

If that's all the bad things anybody can find about them with all this scrutiny, I'd say they are much much better than most american companies. Seriously. Don't forget that recently a secret telnet root account accesible via internet was found in Cisco equipment. If something like this were to be found in Huawei equipment they would be crucified by the media and veto'ed by all countries, but since it's Cisco... nobody cares.
Posted on Reply
#103
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
https://www.volkskrant.nl/nieuws-achtergrond/de-dilemma-s-van-telecombedrijven-wat-als-huawei-in-het-systeem-zit~bac2ffe4/
FordGT90Concept
Secure bunker
In essence, the discussion is a technical problem: the devices and software from Huawei are so complex that nobody knows exactly how they work. In 2013 KPN uses a product from Huawei, the Uniform GateWay, in its own mobile network. A device where all data from KPN customers go. The telecom provider wants to know whether this entails safety problems. It would be an ideal place to spy, something that the Americans are already warning about.

First, two ethical hackers at KPN view the product for weeks. They find several holes in the security of the device - vulnerabilities that would also be found with other suppliers. Every product has its weaknesses.

But KPN is not yet done with the device and wants to study the source code. These source codes are the secrets of the digital age: they are the result of years of research and companies protect them well. They are therefore not allowed to see strangers. But Huawei makes an exception for KPN, provided that KPN employees come to Shenzhen, China. That will happen in March 2013, where a brand new center has been erected especially for KPN's inspection, including a secured bunker.

The experts watch everything for two weeks. They receive support from Huawei employees. Questions are sorted out, they lack nothing. After two weeks they leave again. Jesse Helder, responsible for information security at KPN, later contacts Huawei in a publication by KPN and TNO research institute "very productive". Huawei showed a "great willingness" to immediately correct found weaknesses. Helder: "Such a close cooperation between supplier and company is rare in the telecom world."

British investigation team
But despite good contacts and intensive research in China, KPN experts do not know after two weeks whether the product is safe against espionage. "The concerns are real," Helder writes. "Espionage is of all times (...) but due to the enormous flight of the internet, spying countries will increasingly enter our territory".
Quoting for emphasis:
"But despite good contacts and intensive research in China, KPN experts do not know after two weeks whether the product is safe against espionage."

The source code is too complex and/or incomplete. No one has definitively said China can't use Huawei equipment to undermine national security because Huawei doesn't give enough time and resources to draw that conclusion (two weeks, psssh). The fact Huawei goes to such great lengths to secure their source (literally creating a "bunker") and then adds time pressures on top...they're hiding a lot.

When US regulators demanded source code from Microsoft for Windows as part of an anti-trust settlement, Microsoft complied in full with no restraints. They even gave it to China in 2011. Microsoft wants holes to be found and notification given so Microsoft can fix them. Huawei has a culture of secrecy over public interest. Huawei only agreed to the source code exposure as a publicity stunt.
Posted on Reply
#104
Endeavour
Still better than the rest of the manufacturers: "Such a close cooperation between supplier and company is rare in the telecom world."

And those other manufacturers have much worse security problems, maybe even intentional backdoors, like Cisco.
Meanwhile, no one has been able to produce any evidence against Huawei to back the spying allegations.


This ban has only a couple of real motives:
- Huawei is privately owned by Huawei employees, and since they are skyrocketting, the US investors are mad because they can't buy a piece of the cake. I'll bet a change of ownership will be one of the US demands to lift the ban over Huawei, just like it was one of the conditions the US imposed on ZTE.
- Kirin processors. The US wants a backdoor in them, like they probably have on Intel/AMD/Qualcomm, etc. That's why until a couple of days ago the US only had a problem with infrastructure & handsets, and not other Huawei devices like laptops.
Posted on Reply
#105
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Endeavour
Still better than the rest of the manufacturers: "Such a close cooperation between supplier and company is rare in the telecom world."
This is what they call propaganda. When you see Huawei for what it is (an arm of the MSS), propaganda is to be expected. Oh look, Germany is ringing the alarm bell too.

Endeavour
And those other manufacturers have much worse security problems, maybe even intentional backdoors, like Cisco.
And they fix it when informed about it.

Endeavour
Meanwhile, no one has been able to produce any evidence against Huawei to back the spying allegations.
Yes, they have, and it's classified. If you don't have clearance, you can't see it. If you have clearance and have seen it, you can't talk about what you saw.
Posted on Reply
#106
Endeavour
FordGT90Concept
This is what they call propaganda. When you see Huawei for what it is (an arm of the MSS), propaganda is to be expected.

Yes, they have, and it's classified. If you don't have clearance, you can't see it. If you have clearance and have seen it, you can't talk about what you saw.
That's just pure speculation that contradicts all real published evidence.
Also most of the latest US PR has different wording. They are just fearmongering. "In the future they may do something we don't like" is not a valid argument to destroy a foreign company, more so when there is heavy oversight over their software.

I get that China is a police state etc. but they are playing super fair in the spying department (at least outside China), unlike the US whose companies are involved in constant privacy scandals. Also, you should also consider that Trump is destroying any trust non-american technology firms could have in the USA.

FordGT90Concept
And they fix it when informed about it.
They fixed a huge backdoor with flashing neon signs pointing to it, wow, my trust in them has increased 1000000% /s
Posted on Reply
#107
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Endeavour
Huawei is privately owned by Huawei employees...
"It's complicated." Shell companies usually are.

Endeavour
I'll bet a change of ownership will be one of the US demands to lift the ban over Huawei, just like it was one of the conditions the US imposed on ZTE.
ZTE did not change ownership. Trump reached a settlement with Jinping. Congress wanted to destroy ZTE and it almost succeeded but Trump intervened likely to make China more amicable to a broader trade deal.

Endeavour
Kirin processors. The US wants a backdoor in them, like they probably have on Intel/AMD/Qualcomm, etc. That's why until a couple of days ago the US only had a problem with infrastructure & handsets, and not other Huawei devices like laptops.
Another ARM processor, who cares?

NSA finds backdoors, doesn't request them. To request is to expose which means it is fixed. Lack of knowledge is power for the NSA.

I have no idea what you're talking about in regards to "problem with infrastructure & handsets."


Endeavour
...they are playing super fair in the spying department (at least outside China)…
Excuse me while I ROFL.



Question: are you on MSS's payroll?
Posted on Reply
#108
Readlight
Mor loks like who can sel what. Others will ne hapy what can zte, huawei make.
Posted on Reply
#109
Endeavour
FordGT90Concept
"It's complicated." Shell companies usually are.
LOL, if you are going to ban a company because they had financial backing from the government at some point, then you will probably need to ban most companies in the world (starting with almost all european ones), and also a lot of important american companies should be banned outside the US in that case.

FordGT90Concept
ZTE did not change ownership. Trump reached a settlement with Jinping. Congress wanted to destroy ZTE and it almost succeeded but Trump intervened likely to make China more amicable to a broader trade deal.
They changed the board of directors as part of the agreement, adding obviosly at least one person with heavy ties to the US. If you think the new board doesn't have a nice US representation you are delusional. With Huawei, the board of directors are also onwers, so that's going to be troublesome.
FordGT90Concept
Another ARM processor, who cares?
Yeah, who cares about arm-powered devices nowadays? It's not like almost all communications in the world are done through ARM powered devices. /s

FordGT90Concept
I have no idea what you're talking about in regards to "problem with infrastructure & handsets."
The US only had a problem with Huawei suplying 5G equipment & infrastructure and handsets. Until a couple of days ago they never ever had a problem with their computers, obviously, because they use Intel/Windows so no lack of US backdoors there = no problem.

FordGT90Concept
Question: are you on MSS's payroll?
lol, nope, just an european watching this stupid dick measurement contest between China and the USA while eating popcorn. Also, it sucks as much as watching the GoT finale because the users are the most affected.
Posted on Reply
#110
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Endeavour
The US only had a problem with Huawei suplying 5G equipment & infrastructure and handsets. Until a couple of days ago they never ever had a problem with their computers, obviously, because they use Intel/Windows so no lack of US backdoors there = no problem.
USA's problem with Huawei and ZTE dates back to at least 2012. I gave a timeline of events in this post.

Endeavour
...the users are the most affected.
Only if they buy post-ban products and that's the intent. Infringing Huawei device owners are basically unknowing accomplices in whatever Huawei is conspiring to do. No users of hardware is the ideal outcome and not just for USA, for everyone that isn't China.
Posted on Reply
#111
Nkd
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.
This is so true. It's been evident that during a conflict people don't like to change presidents. If we get into it with Iran, Trump can book his 8 years already lol. I do think China would have loved to have an eye on everything, heck we would too on china. But I still don't know why we haven't seen anything other than just words, like no actual evidence of this. If its there why hasn't there been evidence brought forward? Its either this is more economical than anything or maybe we wanna reverse engineer shit. Hahaha
Posted on Reply
#112
Endeavour
TL;DR, in Europe we know for sure with hard evidence that the US is spying on us. And profiting from it. China? pff... we don't know. Maybe? (probably yes, here Xiaomi is also super big and nobody is controlling them. Why? Maybe the US should look into them too.) But Huawei? Huawei has been complying with all requests from our governments and all of them seem to agree that there is no issue to be found. No spying with their devices going on. No backdoors found.
But despite all that, the US is hell-bent on destroying Huawei because they see them as a threat to their technology dominance over the world, and they don't care if they have to f**k over customers and even governments in the process. (need to remind you that the US threatened european governments to drop Huawei from their networks).

It's just... sad.
Posted on Reply
#113
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Endeavour
TL;DR, in Europe we know for sure with hard evidence that the US is spying on us. And profiting from it. China? pff... we don't know. Maybe? (probably yes, who knows, here Xiaomi is also super big and nobody is controlling them. Why?. Maybe the US should look into them too.) But Huawei? Huawei has been complying with all requests from our governments and all of them seem to agree that there is no issue to be found. No spying with their devices going on. No backdoors found.
But despite all that, the US is hell-bent on destroying Huawei because they see them as a threat to their technology dominance over the world, and they don't care if they have to f**k over customers and even governments in the process. (need to remind you that the US threatened european governments to drop Huawei from their networks).
Everyone spies on everyone else. The difference is USA tends not to weaponize data (unless you did something to earn USA's ire like Iran and their uranium enrichment) and instead informs the target. Some examples:
https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/us-intelligence-report-had-warned-of-terror-attack-in-india-15-days-before-pulwama-3594861.html
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/18/cia-warned-spanish-police-possible-barcelona-attack-two-months/
https://video.foxnews.com/v/4151374979001/
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/zealand-warned-terror-attack-190318103408762.html

You bet Merkel was pissed when she discovered NSA had her number but did she do anything about it? Not really. Uncle Sam is a creepy guy but he's watching out for you.


China, on the other hand, is mostly after intelligence it can profit from (especially economic and defense). It's parasitic; unfriendly.
Posted on Reply
#114
Endeavour
FordGT90Concept
Everyone spies on everyone else. The difference is USA tends not to weaponize data and instead informs the target. Some examples:
https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/india/us-intelligence-report-had-warned-of-terror-attack-in-india-15-days-before-pulwama-3594861.html
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/08/18/cia-warned-spanish-police-possible-barcelona-attack-two-months/
https://video.foxnews.com/v/4151374979001/
https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/zealand-warned-terror-attack-190318103408762.html

You bet Merkel was pissed when she discovered NSA had her number but did she do anything about it? Not really. Uncle Sam is a creepy guy but he's watching out for you.
Thanks daddy USA.

But wait, that doesn't excuse that you're spying on your allies. Nice attempt though.

(also that's one of the reasons why the EU wants all their citizen's data acquired by US devices/software to stay in Europe.)
Posted on Reply
#115
Sitohas Wang
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.
It seems like R&D do not cost money, Of course that not a problem as Huawei have all Chinese people's money to use

Forget the software problem, the Chinese company will be so happy to use the illegal copy of windows and office as it is totally no cost
Posted on Reply
#116
Endeavour
Sitohas Wang
It seems like R&D do not cost money, Of course that not a problem as Huawei have all Chinese people's money to use
And they are using it. Kirin processors went from being pure shit just 2 years ago to almost match the latest Qualcomm flagship this year. They already have parity with Qualcomm in CPU raw performance and performance per watt, but they are still behind in GPU. And I believe they are already better with their NPU.

Meanwhile, Samsung Exynos processors still suck after all these years. FFS, Samsung has loads of cash and it's own fab and it's already behind Huawei in processors.
Posted on Reply
#118
Vayra86
Endeavour
Thanks daddy USA.

But wait, that doesn't excuse that you're spying on your allies. Nice attempt though.

(also that's one of the reasons why the EU wants all their citizen's data acquired by US devices/software to stay in Europe.)
I totally understand your sentiment about this, but its just the way the world works. Deal with it...

Nkd
This is so true. It's been evident that during a conflict people don't like to change presidents. If we get into it with Iran, Trump can book his 8 years already lol. I do think China would have loved to have an eye on everything, heck we would too on china. But I still don't know why we haven't seen anything other than just words, like no actual evidence of this. If its there why hasn't there been evidence brought forward? Its either this is more economical than anything or maybe we wanna reverse engineer shit. Hahaha
You're missing the point. Its not that evidence is found, its that the systems have the potential to be a major threat, out of sight and out of reach. A lot of that has to do with the complexity involved. The basic principle is this: for critical infrastructure, we realize we really do need a trusted party. You don't find those on the soil of a competing world power.

This was inevitable. An example: 5G is a likely candidate for communication between future autonomous vehicles... Even that, lacking a suitable European alternative as it is today, feels a lot better to me when its controlled by a Western power we / I share values with.
Posted on Reply
#119
lexluthermiester
Valantar
leaving them with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of unsellable stock. Great idea.
Losses that are fully tax deductible..
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#120
Amite
Maybe if China would hire the CIA to install it's routers then we could call it even.
Posted on Reply
#121
GoldenX
FrEe MaRkEt.
Decades of using China as the factory of the world ("but mah competitivity, i need those children building my products"), now that the giant is this big, countries realice the mistake they have made.
Now the world (specially third world countries, as always) suffers this economic war.
Posted on Reply
#122
R-T-B
FordGT90Concept
NSA finds backdoors, doesn't request them.
The snowden revelations pretty much showed that's not the case.

FordGT90Concept
Another ARM processor, who cares?
It's actaully a pretty big field, ford.
Posted on Reply
#123
Prima.Vera
So when Lenovo would be next with it's BIOS spyware on most of the laptops, or VIVO, OPPO, Xiaomi or OnePlus who have similar spyware on their phones?
Posted on Reply
#124
R0H1T
Endeavour
This ban has only a couple of real motives:
- Huawei is privately owned by Huawei employees, and since they are skyrocketting, the US investors are mad because they can't buy a piece of the cake. I'll bet a change of ownership will be one of the US demands to lift the ban over Huawei, just like it was one of the conditions the US imposed on ZTE.
- Kirin processors. The US wants a backdoor in them, like they probably have on Intel/AMD/Qualcomm, etc. That's why until a couple of days ago the US only had a problem with infrastructure & handsets, and not other Huawei devices like laptops.
That's laughable, why does it matter who owns Huawei & I'm pretty sure there are other firms which can give much higher returns, even to the US investors. You're making it sound as if Huawei is the Google (or Apple) of the next decade!

Again laughable argument, Huawei already sells devices with QC chips IIRC.
Posted on Reply
#125
Prima.Vera
btarunr
TOS/TNG are OG Star Trek that continues to inspire. Discovery is for halfwits grappling with identity crises.
This is a bad attack. ST Discovery it's just original but not necessary bad. I personally FULLY enjoyed all Star Treks since STNG, including DS9, Voyager, Enterprise and now Discovery. ALL of them had have some good writings and story lines.
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