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  1. Huawei will say goodbye to its high-end Kirin chipset after Mate 40 debut The U.S. government's hostile actions against China's Huawei will soon have a serious impact on the company's ability to source vital components for its flagship devices. Huawei has confirmed that the upcoming Mate 40 series will feature its last high-end Kirin processor. Richard Yu, the CEO of consumer business at Huawei, announced during the 2020 Summit of the China Information Technology Association that the company would lose its means to produce the Kirin 9000 chipset after September 15. That date marks the end of every business transaction that a U.S. company can make with Huawei, unless approved by the federal government. In May of this year, the U.S. Commerce Department issued a ruling that would require foreign companies to obtain a license from the U.S. government before they can supply chips to Huawei or any of its subsidiaries like HiSilicon, which relies on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for chip fabrication. TSMC, in turn, obtains some of its equipment from the U.S. Huawei can also hardly turn to China's chip manufacturers as well. The Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation, a Shanghai-based semiconductor foundry company, doesn't have the means to fill the gap, Yu revealed at the summit. In addition, the Huawei executive said the firm would limit the supplies of the Mate 40 phones. Yu added: "We made huge R&D investments and went through a difficult journey. Unfortunately, when it came to semiconductor production, Huawei didn't participate in investing in heavy assets in this field; we only did chip design but skipped chip production." The news compounds Huawei's woes for its Mate 40 production. The upcoming flagship smartphone could be facing delays already after the company informed some of its suppliers that it would reduce its component orders due to supply-chain interruptions following the U.S. export ban. Huawei will say goodbye to its high-end Kirin chipset after Mate 40 debut
  2. Huawei introduces CableFree 5G antenna technology, reduces radiation and power utilisation Huawei says the CableFree technology has been used for a couple of Huawei devices HIGHLIGHTS The CableFree technology reduces the antenna radiation by around 20 percent UK government may remove Huawei’s equipment by 2023 Huawei has announced a breakthrough in the 5G antenna technology, called CableFree. The Chinese brand claims that CableFree reduces radiation, power utilisation and offers better quality integration between the base station and the antenna. It integrates a unique phase-shifter design that better combines the unit with the base station. Huawei says the CableFree technology has been used for a couple of Huawei devices, including the Huawei Munich Pro, Golden Mini and London Pro series antennas, as well as 32T32R Massive MIMO products. The CableFree technology is said to improve the antenna radiation efficiency by around 20 percent, helping it increase the coverage area. CableFree technology improves the antenna power capacity by more than 80 percent and meets the output power requirement of the 5G era, the company says. The antenna is easier to install and it reduces screws and soldering points in antennas by 80 percent, reducing PIM risks while also ensuring long-term PIM stability. Huawei says the resulting architecture and process further improve production automation and consistency among batches. Separately, earlier this year it was reported the UK government would allow Huawei to work on bringing 5G network to the country, although in a limited capacity and non-core area. However, there’s a possibility the UK government may remove Huawei’s equipment by 2023, as conservative members pressure UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. According to reports, the UK Prime Minister is planning to remove the telecommunications equipment made by Huawei in the new future. Earlier, the Chinese brand was only allowed to have a market share of 35 percent, similar to the Australian government’s restrictions. Huawei’s US ban was extended for another year and it was cut off from its primary chip supplier TSMC. Now, the company is in talks with alternatives such as MediaTek. Though Huawei is one of the largest smartphone brands that designs its own chipsets, the US ban doesn’t allow it to continue to place new orders for Kirin chipsets to TSMC. According to reports, Huawei’s orders for MediaTek chip have been increased by 300 percent this year. It will be using the Taiwanese chipmaker’s 5G chipsets in its mid-range and high-end handsets. Reports say that MediaTek is evaluating if it has sufficient resources to meet Huawei’s demand. SOURCE
  3. The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to pass the Secure and Trusted Telecommunications Networks Act. Written as a response to recent concerns around Chinese hardware manufacturers, the bill would ban purchase of telecom equipment from embattled Chinese manufactures like Huawei and ZTE. H.R. 4998, which passed the House last December, would also include $1 billion in funding to help smaller rural telecoms “rip and replace” existing equipment from specific manufacturers. The bill still needs to be signed off by Trump in order to become a law, though Politico notes that the administration has already acknowledged support for the funding, which would be managed by the FCC. “Telecommunications equipment from certain foreign adversaries poses a significant threat to our national security, economic prosperity, and the future of U.S. leadership in advanced wireless technology,” Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi said of the bipartisan bill in a statement. “By establishing a ‘rip and replace’ program, this legislation will provide meaningful safeguards for our communications networks and more secure connections for Americans. I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to help move this bill to the President’s desk.” Huawei in particular has been the focus of U.S. concern over alleged ties to the Chinese government for a number of years. The Trump administration has targeted the company over spying concerns — charges Huawei has long staunchly denied. Last May, the company was added to an entity list, effectively barring U.S. companies from conducting business with the hardware giant. Source
  4. We couldn't have anyone upsetting the Android monopoly, could we? As Huawei takes the initiative to create its own homegrown alternative to the Play Store, Google has reportedly pleaded with the White House to offer it an exemption to again work with the Chinese tech giant. Huawei's inclusion on the Trump administration's Entity List has had dramatic consequences for the company's handset business, preventing it from using Google Mobile Services (GMS) on its latest phones and tablets. According to German wire service Deutsche Press Agentur, Android and Google Play veep Sameer Samat has confirmed that Google has applied for a licence to resume working with Huawei. It's not clear when a decision will be made, or indeed if Google will get its wish. Other firms, most notably Microsoft, have been given a pass. This has allowed Huawei to ship its latest crop of laptops, including the freshly updated Matebook X Pro, with Windows 10. Huawei has said that if Google got an exemption, it would promptly update its newest phones to use Google Mobile Services. Earlier this month, Huawei released its latest flagship, the Mate 30 Pro, in the UK. Due to the embargo, this comes with the open-source version of Android, with punters encouraged to download apps from the Huawei AppGallery, or a separate third-party app store like Amazon's. That said, Huawei's strategy has focused on hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. These preparations have seen the firm invest over $1bn on its app ecosystem, with more than 3,000 engineers working on the AppGallery, according to a statement from the company released earlier this week. It has also made deals with Western app developers and content providers, most notably Sunday Times publisher News UK, to make its services appear less barren. We've asked Google and Huawei for comment. Huawei has also introduced the ability to download progressive web apps, dubbed "Quick Apps" by the firm, through the AppGallery, which should bump up the app availability numbers – even if they lack the sophistication of a dedicated native app. It's likely this that has motivated Google to take the initiative. Although losing Huawei as a customer is a significant financial body blow to Mountain View, given its enduring popularity in Europe and Asia, it would pale compared to the damage caused by a new product that starts to loosen its stranglehold on the Android sphere. Google Mobile Services can cost as much as $40 per device, and it's likely that many phone vendors, particularly on the cheaper end of the spectrum, would welcome a less-expensive alternative. Complicating matters for Google, the biggest Chinese phone manufacturers (Oppo, Xiaomi and Huawei) have teamed up to simplify the process of deploying apps to their in-house stores. With Google claiming a cool 30 per cent on all Play Store sales, this represents a huge threat to its bottom line. In short, Google has a lot of motivation to rekindle its relationship with Huawei, which was severed for reasons beyond its control. Whether that happens has yet to be confirmed by the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Source
  5. Huawei announces the Mate XS foldable with a more durable display and faster processor And with a very familiar form factor One year after it announced its debut Mate X foldable, Huawei is back with a successor, the Mate XS. Although, externally, the device looks very similar to the original, Huawei says it’s got a more durable display and features a redesigned hinge. It also features a faster processor, the Kirin 990. Unfortunately, due to Huawei’s continued presence on the US’s entity list, the device won’t release with any Google apps or services, meaning it won’t come with access to the Google Play Store. It will be releasing in “global markets” outside China next month for €2,499. This time around, Huawei says it’s using a “quad-layer” construction for the screen on the Mate XS, which it says should make it more robust. Up top are two layers of polyamide film, which were stuck together using a clear adhesive. Below that is the flexible OLED display. Then there’s a softer polymer layer that acts as a cushion and a final layer to connect it to the main body of the device. However, this is still an all-plastic construction; there’s no glass involved here like what we’ve seen with Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip. The screen measures 6.6 inches while folded... ...and 8 inches when unfolded. Huawei also claims it’s improved the design of the hinge, saying it should feel much smoother and more durable compared to the original Mate X. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to fold the original device to do a direct comparison, but the Mate XS model I was able to play with at the company’s London briefing felt sturdy enough in the limited time I got to spend with it. These two improvements may sound iterative, but they address key concerns that have been raised about early and relatively unproven foldable devices. As well as the high-profile issues Samsung’s first Galaxy Fold faced last year, one reviewer found their Motorola Razr was experiencing difficulties after a week of use. And YouTube channel JerryRigEverything criticized how easy it was to scratch the screen on a Galaxy Z Flip, despite the use of glass in its construction. Outside of the foldable-specific elements of the device, there are some minor performance upgrades that feel fitting given the device’s “S” suffix. Its processor has been bumped up from a Kirin 980 to a Kirin 990, meaning it now has an integrated 5G modem rather than a separate component. Huawei also says it’s redesigned the phone’s cooling system to allow it to bridge the folding portion of the device. The Mate Xs has a quad-camera array on its rear that can also be used for selfies. The phone’s screen can display up to three apps at a time. On the software side, Huawei says the Mate XS can show up to three apps simultaneously, with one on the left side of the display, one on the right, and a third in a floating window. You can also open up two instances of the same app simultaneously. For example, you might want to keep a list of hotels open at the same time as viewing individual listings. Huawei confirmed that the device is running on the latest version of the open-source version of Android, with Huawei Mobile Services instead of Google’s services. Otherwise, the device has similar specs to the original Mate X. 5G isn’t new, the device has a 4,500mAh battery like its predecessor, and the camera hardware still consists of a main 40-megapixel f/1.8 camera, an 8-megapixel f/2.4 telephoto camera, a 16-megapixel f/2.2 ultrawide camera, and a 3D depth-sensing camera. The screen specifications and overall form factor are also unchanged. The 8-inch screen still folds around the outside of the device, and the main display still measures 6.6 inches when folded. Unlike the original Mate X, which only released in China, Huawei says the new Mate XS will be releasing in “global markets.” The €2,499 model comes with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of onboard storage. Photography by Jon Porter / The Verge Source: Huawei announces the Mate XS foldable with a more durable display and faster processor (The Verge)
  6. Google wants to clear things up for Huawei device users: Google’s apps and services cannot be preloaded on new Huawei devices and are not available due to U.S. government restrictions. If users try to download Google apps and services through a side door, or essentially download them from somewhere other than the Play Store, bad things can happen. The company published this information in a support article for its Android Help Community, titled “Answering your questions on Huawei devices and Google,” on Friday. It said that it had continued to receive many questions on whether Google services could work on new Huawei devices, and therefore wanted to offer guidance. The U.S. government banned Google, and all American companies, from doing business with Huawei in May of last year due to national security concerns. In the article, Google stated that it has continued to work with Huawei to provide security updates and updates to Google’s apps and services on Huawei device models available to the public on or before May 16, 2019. That’s when the company was placed on the Entity List, the U.S. government’s blacklist. The U.S. government has issued temporary general licenses that allow Google to collaborate with Huawei on these models. Google said that it would continue to provide updates to the Huawei devices mentioned above “as long as it is permitted.” The company cannot provide updates to new Huawei devices made available after May 16, 2019. These new models are not certified Play Protect devices, or devices that are vetted by Google to ensure they are secure, and they do not have the Play Protect software preloaded. Google’s Play Protect software is built-in malware protection for Android. “To protect user data privacy, security and safeguard the overall experience, the Google Play Store, Google Play Protect and Google’s core apps (including Gmail, YouTube, Maps and others) are only available on Play Protect certified devices,” wrote Tristan Ostrowski, Android and Play legal director. “Play Protect certified devices go through a rigorous security review and compatibility testing process, performed by Google, to ensure user data and app information are kept safe. They also come from the factory with our Google Play Protect software, which provides protection against the device being compromised.” However, there is another way to get Google apps and services. This is called sideloading, or downloading an app from some place other than the Play Store. In the article, Google advises users not to do this, for their own security. “In addition, sideloaded Google apps will not work reliably because we do not allow these services to run on uncertified devices where security may be compromised. Sideloading Google’s apps also carries a high risk of installing an app that has been altered or tampered with in ways that can compromise user security.” Unfortunately for Huawei device users, the situation between the U.S. and Huawei doesn’t seem to be getting any better. The U.S. government has recently claimed that it has proof that Huawei has “back doors” built-in that allow it to spy on mobile phone networks employing Huawei equipment. It also charged Huawei with three new crimes: conspiracy to steal trade secrets, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and racketeering conspiracy. At least for now, it looks like new Huawei device users will have to get used to living life without Google. Source
  7. Denied — Judge rules a 2019 law singling out Huawei is constitutional Judge says ban on Huawei purchases isn't an unconstitutional bill of attainder. Enlarge / A customer looks at a Huawei smartphone in a Huawei store in Moscow. Sergei Karpukhin / TASS via Getty Images A federal judge has slapped down a Huawei lawsuit that sought to overturn a ban on federal agencies buying Huawei telecommunications gear. Congress passed the legislation, part of the military's 2019 appropriations bill, out of concern that the Chinese government could infiltrate Huawei-based networks. Huawei had argued that the law was unconstitutional under the Constitution's ban on bills of attainder. The federal government argued that was nonsense. On Tuesday, Texas Federal Judge Amos Mazzant sided with the government. The Constitution prohibits Congress from imposing "bills of attainder"—legislation that singles out individuals for punishment without trial. This was an infamous practice in Great Britain in the decades before the American Revolution. Huawei argued that it was a "person" under US law and hence entitled to this protection. The judge disagreed. Even if you grant the premise that Huawei is a person, he said, the ban on buying Huawei and ZTE equipment simply wasn't the kind of punishment prohibited by the bill of attainder rule. Congress' ban on federal agencies purchasing a range of telecom products from Huawei and ZTE "represents no more than a customer's decision to take its business elsewhere," Mazzant wrote. Corporations don’t get embarrassed or lose friends Huawei claimed that Congress passed the ban on buying Huawei equipment to punish Huawei. If true, that could make the law unconstitutional. The government countered that what it did was simply a pragmatic decision to shore up national security. A key factor here is whether a measure brands the target with a badge of "disloyalty and infamy." In a 2003 ruling, for example, an appeals court ruled that it was unconstitutional for Congress to restrict a specific man's right to visit his daughter based on allegations that he had sexually abused her. The problem, the court said, wasn't only the loss of the visitation rights itself, but also the embarrassment of being publicly branded a sexual abuser by Congress. Banning Huawei from selling gear to the federal government is totally different, the judge ruled. Corporations can't feel embarrassed, and they don't have to worry about losing friends. The legislation left Huawei with plenty of other opportunities: it was free to sell its gear to private parties in the United States as well as to thousands of potential customers, public and private, outside the United States. Judge Mazzant pointed to a similar ruling made by another court in 2018. In that case, Kaspersky challenged a provision of the 2018 National Defense Appropriations Act that banned federal agencies from doing business with Russian IT security firm Kaspersky Lab. As in the Huawei case, legislators were worried that Kaspersky could have deep ties to a foreign government—in this case, Russia. But Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, a federal trial judge in Washington DC, rejected Kaspersky's arguments. She ruled that the government choosing not to buy a company's product was simply not a punishment—particularly if the decision is based on a weighty concern like national security. "Corporations are very different," she wrote. "Reputation is an asset that companies cultivate, manage, and monetize. It is not a quality integral to a company's emotional well-being, and its diminution exacts no psychological cost." Mazzant repeatedly cites Kollar-Kotelly's reasoning in his own ruling, arguing that precisely the same logic applies. To bolster its claim that the legislation was punitive, Huawei quoted several members of Congress that appear to show an intent to punish. Huawei and ZTE "have proven themselves to be untrustworthy, and at this point I think the only fitting punishment would be to give them the death penalty-that is, to put them out of business in the United States," said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) in 2018. But Mazzant waved those examples away, arguing that they represent the views of a few individual legislators, not the intent of the Congress as a whole. He argued that congressional intent is better judged by looking at the actual text of the legislation as well as official congressional findings the law was based on. Those documents, Mazzant concluded, show that Congress was focused on protecting US federal networks from Chinese hackers, not on punishing Huawei for perceived misconduct in the past. Source: Judge rules a 2019 law singling out Huawei is constitutional (Ars Technica)
  8. President slams his own administration's 'ridiculous' China crackdown President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he wants America's semiconductor industry to be able to do business around the globe, calling into question a reported trade rule change targeting Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei. The Wall Street Journal on Monday claimed the US Commerce Department is drafting changes to its foreign direct product rule that would require all companies using US chipmaking equipment to obtain licenses to sell their products to Huawei. Such a rule would, say, block Huawei from buying chips made by Taiwan's TSMC, due to the latter's use of American equipment and software. The possibility was contemplated last year after Trump declared a national emergency to prevent stateside organizations from using Chinese telecom gear. Back then, Uncle Sam also forbid Huawei and its partners from purchasing certain components and software from American businesses, a move that, for one, hit Huawei's FPGA supplier Xilinx, based in Silicon Valley. The WSJ this week reported these rules and regulations were set to be tightened even further. And for the past year, Huawei has been the focal point of US-China friction over trade and national security. Last week, the US issued a 16-count indictment against the company for racketing, fraud, and other charges. Yet in a series of tweets and in comments to the press before boarding Air Force One en route to Los Angeles, Trump indicated he opposed trade rules that would harm US businesses. "I have seen some of the regulations being circulated, including those being contemplated by Congress, and they are ridiculous," he wrote. "I want to make it EASY to do business with the United States, not difficult. Everyone in my Administration is being so instructed, with no excuses.......THE UNITED STATES IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!" While on the tarmac at Andrews Airforce Base, a reporter asked whether the President's remarks about wanting China to be able to buy US jet engines meant he was unconcerned about national security. Trump responded by insisting he's "very concerned about national security" and that "nobody has done a better job with national security than me." Rather than support that claim, he observed, "A lot of countries are a lot different now than they were when I started." Trump went on to say that he didn't want to sacrifice US companies on the basis of "fake national security." People, he said, without naming names, are "getting carried away." "...I want our companies to be allowed to do business," he said. "I mean, things are put on my desk that have nothing to do with national security, including with chipmakers and various others." In a statement emailed to The Register, John Neuffer, president and CEO of the Semiconductor Industry Association, which represents about 95 per cent of the US semiconductor industry, welcomed the ostensible clarification. "We applaud President Trump’s tweets supporting US companies being able to sell products to China and opposing proposed regulations that would unduly curtail that ability," said Neuffer. "As we have discussed with the Administration, sales of non-sensitive, commercial products to China drive semiconductor research and innovation, which is critical to America’s economic strength and national security." Even so, chipmakers might want to keep an eye on US trade rules. What's true today may not be true tomorrow. Source
  9. Ratcheting up its pressure campaign against Huawei and its affiliates, the Department of Justice and the FBI announced today that it has brought 16 charges against Huawei in a sprawling case with major geopolitical implications (you can read the full 56-page indictment here). Huawei is being charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) statute. The DoJ alleges that Huawei and a number of its affiliates used confidential agreements with American companies over the past two decades to access the trade secrets of those companies, only to then misappropriate that intellectual property and use it to fund Huawei’s business. An example of this activity is provided in the indictment. Described as “Company 1,” Huawei is alleged to have stolen source code for Company 1’s routers, which it then used in its own products. Given the context, it is highly likely that Company 1 is Cisco, which in the indictment is summarized as “a U.S. technology company headquartered in the Northern District of California.” Huawei is also alleged to have engaged in more simple forms of industrial espionage. While at a trade show in Chicago, a Huawei-affiliated engineer “… was discovered in the middle of the night after the show had closed for the day in the booth of a technology company … removing the cover from a networking device and taking photographs of the circuitry inside. Individual-3 wore a badge listing his employer as ‘Weihua,’ HUAWEI spelled with its syllables reversed.” Huawei said that the individual in question did so in a personal capacity. In one case, a technology company looking for a partnership with Huawei sent over a presentation deck with confidential information about its business in order to generate commercial interest with Huawei. From the indictment: Immediately upon receipt of the slide deck, each page of which was marked ‘Proprietary and Confidential’ by Company 6, HUAWEI distributed the slide deck to HUAWEI engineers, including engineers in the subsidiary that was working on technology that directly competed with Company 6’s products and services. These engineers discussed developments by Company 6 that would have application to HUAWEI’s own prototypes then under design. Together, the indictment lists multiple examples of Huawei’s alleged conspiracy to pilfer U.S. intellectual property. According to the statement published by the Department of Justice, “As part of the scheme, Huawei allegedly launched a policy instituting a bonus program to reward employees who obtained confidential information from competitors. The policy made clear that employees who provided valuable information were to be financially rewarded.” Per the indictment: A ‘competition management group’ was tasked with reviewing the submissions and awarding monthly bonuses to the employees who provided the most valuable stolen information. In addition to conspiracy, Huawei and the defendants are charged with lying to federal investigators and obstructing the investigation into the company’s activity. Per the indictment: For example, an official HUAWEI manual labeled ‘Top Secret’ instructed certain individuals working for HUAWEI to conceal their employment with HUAWEI during encounters with foreign law enforcement officials. Furthermore, Huawei has been charged in connection with its activities in countries like Iran and North Korea. The DoJ’s statement alleges that Huawei used code words and carefully selected local partners to conceal its activities in these states in order to avoid international sanctions that are placed on the two countries. It also alleges that the company and its representatives lied to congressional investigators when asked about the company’s financial activities in the two countries. Among the defendants is Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Huawei who has been under house arrest in Canada while facing charges of fraud. The top two senators on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Richard Burr (R-NC) and Mark Warner (D-VA) said in a joint statement that “The indictment paints a damning portrait of an illegitimate organization that lacks any regard for the law.” Huawei, in response to the indictment, said in a corporate statement that “This new indictment is part of the Justice Department’s attempt to irrevocably damage Huawei’s reputation and its business for reasons related to competition rather than law enforcement. The ‘racketeering enterprise’ that the government charged today is nothing more than a contrived repackaging of a handful of civil allegations that are almost 20 years old and that have never been the basis of any significant monetary judgment against Huawei. The government will not prevail on these charges which we will prove to be both unfounded and unfair.“ The Trump administration has made targeting Huawei a major priority, attempting to block its access to Western markets. The administration’s efforts have mostly been fruitless thus far, with both the United Kingdom and Germany in recent weeks allowing the company’s technology products into their telecommunications networks. We have more coverage on these initiatives in an article TechCrunch published this morning: The full list of defendants include Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.; Huawei Device Co., Ltd.; Huawei Device Usa Inc.; Futurewei Technologies, Inc.; Skycom Tech Co., Ltd.; and Wanzhou Meng. Huawei representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Source
  10. Vodafone announces Huawei equipment removal from its 5G network's sensitive core Vodafone has announced that it will remove Huawei equipment from the sensitive areas of its 5G network. The decision will affect its operations across Europe after the UK recently made a decision on whether the Chinese firm should have a presence in networks inside the country. Under the new rules in the UK, telecoms can continue using Huawei technology but only in 35% of the network and in non-sensitive parts such as the network’s core. Commenting on the move, Chief Executive Nick Read said: “We have now decided as a result of the EU toolbox and the UK government’s decision to take out Huawei from the core. This will take around five years to implement at a cost of approximately 200 million euros.” Vodafone’s estimate of the bill is lower than that of BT which said removing Huawei from part of its network would cost it £500 million over five years. O2 and Three also operate 5G networks in the UK and will have to look at amending their networks to meet the new guidelines. According to the UK government, the new proposals to limit Huawei’s involvement in the UK networks will lead to a more diverse range of hardware manufacturers being included. The Department of Culture, Media and Sport said it’s now drawing up plans to help diversify the supply chain and see the adoption of open standards that will allow easier access for new entrants into the sector. Source: Vodafone announces Huawei equipment removal from its 5G network's sensitive core (Neowin)
  11. The UK has decided to allow Huawei hardware in non-critical areas of 5G networks The UK government has announced that it will allow telecoms firms to continue using Huawei equipment in their 5G networks, but with restrictions. The government decided that only 35% of a network, including masts, can be supplied by Huawei. Further, it has said that Huawei hardware can’t be used in sensitive parts of the network, nor can it be used near military bases nor nuclear sites. Commenting on the decision, Huawei’s UK chief Victor Zhang said: “Huawei is reassured by the UK government's confirmation that we can continue working with our customers to keep the 5G roll-out on track. It gives the UK access to world-leading technology and ensures a competitive market.” According to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, an “ambitious strategy” is currently been drawn up in order to diversify the supply chain. With this plan, the government hopes to attract vendors that don’t yet operate in the UK, it also plans to promote the adoption of open standards which will allow for interoperability and reduce barriers to entry. The DCMS said today’s decision will substantially improve the security and resilience of the UK’s 5G networks. With the completion of the review, the National Cyber Security Centre has also published advice for UK telecoms to follow in order to meet the new requirements. Source: BBC News Source: The UK has decided to allow Huawei hardware in non-critical areas of 5G networks (Neowin)
  12. US may subsidize Huawei alternatives with proposed $1.25 billion fund Democrats and Republicans pitch $1.25 billion fund to boost non-Huawei 5G tech. Enlarge / Huawei sign displayed at CES 2020 in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. Getty Images | Bloomberg The US government should spend at least $1.25 billion "to invest in Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers Huawei and ZTE," a bipartisan group of six US senators said yesterday. The senators submitted legislation called the Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act to make that happen, arguing that the US must counter the Chinese government's investments in the telecom sector. The money would come from spectrum-auction proceeds, and the $1.25 billion in grants would be spread out over 10 years. The money would support development of new 5G technology, with a focus on equipment that complies with open standards to ensure "multi-vendor network equipment interoperability." The senators' announcement said: Heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, Huawei is poised to become the leading commercial provider of 5G, with far-reaching effects for US economic and national security. With close ties to the Communist Party of China, Chinese state-directed technology companies present unacceptable risks to our national security and to the integrity of information networks globally. However, US efforts to convince foreign partners to ban Huawei from their networks have stalled amid concerns about a lack of viable, affordable alternatives. The senators who sponsored the legislation are Mark R. Warner (D-Va.); Richard Burr (R-N.C.); Bob Menendez (D-N.J.); Marco Rubio (R-Fla.); Michael Bennet (D-Colo.); and John Cornyn (R-Texas). Burr and Warner are the chair and vice chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, while Cornyn, Rubio, and Bennet are members of that committee. Menendez is ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rubio is also a member of the Foreign Relations Committee. "Every month that the US does nothing, Huawei stands poised to become the cheapest, fastest, most ubiquitous global provider of 5G, while US and Western companies and workers lose out on market share and jobs," Warner said. Burr said it would be "disastrous if Huawei, a company that operates at the behest of the Chinese government, military, and intelligence services, is allowed to take over the 5G market unchecked." Two funds The senators' bill would create a Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund of at least $750 million and a Multilateral Telecommunications Security Fund of at least $500 million. The $750 million fund would be administered by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), but the Federal Communications Commission and other agencies would help establish criteria for awarding grants. Those grants would pay for research into software, hardware, and microprocessor technology "that will enhance competitiveness" in 5G "and successor wireless technology supply chains." This fund would also support "development and deployment of open interface standards-based compatible, interoperable equipment," including equipment that meets the Open Radio Access Network standard (O-RAN). Individual grants could be as high as $20 million each. The senators said they want to support O-RAN to "allow for alternative vendors to enter the market for specific network components, rather than having to compete with Huawei end-to-end." The $500 million multilateral fund would be administered by the Secretary of State and focus on projects involving the United States and other countries. The Secretary of State would have to strike "agreement(s) with foreign government partners" to fund projects that "support the development and adoption of secure and trusted telecommunications technologies." Under this plan, the US would try to get funding commitments from countries involved in the proposed joint projects. “Race” to 5G? The senators said these funds will help the US win "the race for 5G." The Federal Communications Commission's Republican majority has repeatedly cited the "race to 5G" as justification for eliminating federal rules and preempting municipal regulations that cover deployment of wireless equipment in US cities and towns. Whether there is actually a "race" between the US and China when it comes to deploying 5G to each country's residents is debatable. The US switching from 4G to 5G slightly later than China wouldn't prevent the US from getting the benefits of 5G, such as they are: carriers admit that 5G networks based on millimeter-wave frequencies won't come close to covering the whole US and that 5G on lower-frequency bands will only be slightly faster than 4G. Moreover, the US faces more pressing problems because many rural areas don't even have consistent 4G access, and most US homes lack fiber broadband. Fiber, in addition to providing high-speed home Internet, is crucial for supplying bandwidth to 5G networks. But ISPs don't want to spend the money to deploy nationwide fiber, and the FCC's planned $20 billion rural-broadband fund will pay ISPs to deploy either fiber or services that are much slower and come with restrictive data caps. But for both mobile and home broadband networks, expanding alternatives to Huawei and ZTE network gear is important for meeting the US government's goal of phasing out Chinese telecom equipment. That's particularly true for small, rural ISPs that have relied on the Chinese companies' offerings. The FCC in November voted unanimously to ban Huawei and ZTE equipment in projects paid for by the FCC's Universal Service Fund (USF), saying the equipment could have backdoors installed at the behest of the Chinese government. This ban affects only future projects and the use of federal funding to maintain existing equipment, but the FCC may also eventually require removal of Huawei and ZTE gear from networks that have already been built. Huawei has sued the FCC in an attempt to overturn the ban, saying the commission "fail[ed] to substantiate its arbitrary findings with evidence or sound reasoning or analysis." How carriers, particularly small carriers, will pay for a move away from Chinese equipment is an open question. The FCC is seeking public comment on how to pay for removing and replacing the equipment. The new bill for 5G research doesn't allocate funding directly toward replacing Chinese equipment in current networks, but senators said the bill "create(s) a transition plan for the purchase of new equipment by carriers that will be forward-compatible with forthcoming O-RAN equipment so small and rural carriers are not left behind." If the bill passes, recipients of FCC grants for replacing Chinese equipment with new 5G technology would have to submit plans outlining how they will switch to standards-based equipment. Source: US may subsidize Huawei alternatives with proposed $1.25 billion fund (Ars Technica)
  13. In the spirit of the age, Huawei releases the source code of openEuler to Gitee, a Chinese alternative to Github Huawei's openEuler Linux OS has been released on Gitee Huawei has released the source code of openEuler, its distribution of Linux based on CentOS. However, in the spirit of the age, it has published the source code of its Linux distribution on Gitee, rather than Github. The operating system was formally launched by Huawei in September 2019 in response to US sanctions, which had briefly affected the company's access to Windows and Android operating systems. The company is still running under its second three-month extension exempting it from the full provisions of the US government's Entity List, which ordinarily requires a US company to apply for and receive a licence to trade with a named ‘entity'. OpenEuler comprises two organisations on Gitee, one for source code and one for package sources. The openEuler organisation was keen to highlight two particular packages, iSulad and A-Tune, among the openEuler source code. "iSulad is a lightweight gRPC service-based container runtime. Compared to runc, iSulad is written in C, but all interfaces are compatible with OCI. A-Tune is a system software to auto-optimise the system adaptively to multiple scenarios with embedded AI-engine." The announcement continues: "You will also see several infrastructure-supported projects that set up the community's operating systems… these systems are built on the Huawei Cloud through script automation." Among the package sources, covered by the src-openeuler organisation on Gitee, are around 1,000 packages with versions in both ARM64 and X86 architecture packages. Huawei claims its developers have made a number of enhancements to ARM64 openEuler code to improve multi-core efficiency. It is also working on a ‘green computing' ecosystem with Linaro and the Green Industry Alliance. At the moment, the organisation claims, there are more than 50 contributors and just under 600 commits. The openEuler community has around 20 SIGs or project groups. OpenEuler is intended primarily as an enterprise Linux distribution, rather than for enthusiasts and hobbyists. The US Entity List is a security designation of the Department of Commerce of organisations considered a security threat by the US government, or subject to sanctions. While US companies or companies exporting goods and services with US content are not banned from doing business with them, they must first obtain an export licence. These licences are time consuming to apply for - presenting a barrier to trade - and can be revoked at any time. Huawei currently enjoys a three-month Temporary General Licence enabling it to continue trading with US organisations, licence free, which will expire in February. By that time, the Department of Commerce is expected to be able to support the 300-plus applications that Huawei's inclusion onto the Entity List has attracted. Source
  14. The Chinese tech giant Huawei attacked The Wall Street Journal for a report detailing $75 billion in state aid that the outlet said underpinned its explosive growth. The Journal said that loans, grants, tax breaks, and discounted land sales had put the company in a stronger position than its rivals. In response, Huawei denied that state support for its work amounted to special or unfair treatment. It posted a long rebuttal accusing The Journal of using "false information" and a pattern of biased reporting, though it did not substantiate those allegations. Huawei has had a rocky 2019, which saw it blacklisted by the US government. Its chief financial officer spent the whole year under house arrest. It maintained a dominant market position nonetheless. A representative for The Wall Street Journal told Business Insider it stood by its reporting. Huawei launched an angry attack on The Wall Street Journal the day after it published an article laying out what it said was $75 billion in state support from China that helped fuel its growth. The article, published on December 25, ran under the headline "State Support Helped Fuel Huawei's Global Rise." It gave figures for four different ways the Chinese state helped Huawei in its explosive growth to become the largest telecom-equipment firm, which manufactures smartphones and is vying to build 5G networks around the world. Here are the numbers, according to The Journal's research (which it described in a separate article $46 billion in loans, lines of credit, and other financing from state lenders $25 billion in tax breaks for tech companies $2 billion in discounts on land purchases $1.6 billion in grants The total is $74.6 billion. Huawei said in a statement that The Journal relied on "false information" for its reporting and characterized it as part of a pattern of "disingenuous" reporting on the company. Huawei did not specify the information it alleged to be false or provide details to substantiate its claim of an ulterior motive behind The Journal's work. Huawei did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for more information. A representative for The Wall Street Journal told Business Insider that it stood by its reporting. Huawei's status as one of the most visible Chinese companies, and its relationship with the Chinese government, has plagued its role on the world stage. The company was in May placed on a US government blacklist, prohibiting most companies from doing business with it because of national-security concerns. The concerns are based on fears that Huawei could hand over network data to the Chinese government. The company has repeatedly denied that it would do that. The US government has also sought to persuade allied governments from freezing Huawei out of any role developing 5G data networks. On a more personal level, Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, also the daughter of CEO Ren Zhengfei, has spent all of 2019 under house arrest in Canada, where she was detained in December 2018 at the request of US authorities. Despite this, Huawei has maintained its dominant market position. In its rebuttal of The Journal's reporting, Huawei downplayed the significance of state support in its success. It instead cited very large expenditure on research and development, which it said far outstripped its rivals. While it did not deny receiving help from the Chinese state, Huawei said it got no "additional or special treatment" that other companies could not also have accessed. Source
  15. BERLIN (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom was in advanced talks to retain China’s Huawei as its main supplier of radio equipment for new mobile networks before it put the negotiations on hold for political reasons, according to three sources familiar with the matter. The United States has urged its allies to freeze out the Chinese supplier over cybersecurity concerns. Washington has told allies that the company’s equipment could be used by China as spying tools, an allegation denied by Huawei and Beijing. Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE), Europe’s largest telecoms operator, announced last week that it was not entering into 5G network equipment contracts as it awaited the resolution of a political debate in Berlin over whether to restrict Huawei’s access to the German market. Before that announcement, Deutsche Telekom had held discussions with Huawei [HWT.UL] in Paris and hammered out terms for a possible deal, though no contract was signed, said the sources, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. In response to Reuters questions about talks with Huawei, a Deutsche Telekom spokesman confirmed that no deal or arrangement had been reached about making the Chinese company its main supplier of 5G network equipment. Before the talks were put on hold, the sources said that the two sides had discussed key terms which envisioned that Huawei would provide 70% of radio transmission gear for Deutsche Telekom’s upcoming ultra-fast 5G networks for a price of 533 million euros ($587 million). A mechanism was also worked out that, should Huawei’s share of the 5G equipment provision fall due to any move by the Berlin government to limit Chinese involvement, the amount the company would be paid would fall proportionately, the sources said. The Paris discussions took place last month, when Deutsche Telekom held talks with Huawei as well as with other potential vendors of 5G network equipment, according to the sources. Subsequently, on Dec. 3, senior executives from the German and Chinese companies held a meeting at Frankfurt Airport, said the sources. Claudia Nemat, a Deutsche Telekom management board member and its top technology executive, and Huawei Deputy Chairman Eric Xu attended the meeting, they added. The Deutsche Telekom spokesman confirmed the meetings took place in Frankfurt and Paris but said negotiations about all transactions had been suspended while the Berlin government, which owns 32% of the telecom operator, decided on official policy regarding Huawei. He added the purpose of the Dec. 3 meeting was to inform Huawei that talks were on hold. Huawei declined to comment on its discussions with Deutsche Telekom. CARRIER COMPLEXITIES The talks and their subsequent suspension highlight the complexities and disruption facing carriers around the world as they try to move forward with 5G networks, which will enable much higher wireless internet speeds. Huawei is the world’s biggest supplier of mobile network gear, and has been used by Deutsche Telekom and many other of the world’s biggest telecom operators to provide the bulk of their existing 3G and 4G network infrastructure. The discussions between Deutsche Telekom and Huawei covered only 5G radio gear, according to the sources, not equipment for the more sensitive network “core” which is the main focus of security concerns for telecoms operators and governments. Radio equipment consists of the antennas mounted on masts and base stations, providing mobile service coverage, while core infrastructure manages calls and data traffic across the network. Deutsche Telekom, Huawei’s largest European customer, has not announced a decision on suppliers for its core. On Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government delayed a decision on security rules for 5G networks until next year. Merkel has not singled out Huawei, but some lawmakers in her coalition government have called for the Chinese company to be subject to tougher measures than others, ranging from curbing its market share to 50% to an outright ban. Source
  16. ROME (Reuters) - Italy should consider preventing Chinese telecoms firms Huawei and ZTE from taking part in the development of 5G networks, a parliamentary security committee said on Thursday. The United States has lobbied Italy and other European allies to stay clear of Huawei equipment for 5G and to pay close scrutiny to ZTE, saying the vendors could pose a security risk. Both companies have strongly denied any such risk. The Italian committee’s opinion, which is not binding for the government, was contained in a document submitted to parliament on Dec. 12. The committee also called for additional government steps to protect the domestic 5G network from companies with links to foreign government, such as ZTE and Huawei. “The committee cannot help but consider that the concerns about the involvement of Chinese companies in the installation, configuration and maintenance of 5G network infrastructure are to a large extent founded,” it said. Huawei said in a statement the company is open to cooperating with all Italian government entities and to providing all the guarantees needed to allow operators to rapidly deploy 5G networks. The Shenzen-based company rejected any suggestion that its equipment could pose a security risk, saying Huawei is a wholly private company and its Italian unit adheres to Italian law. ZTE declined to comment specifically about the report but a spokesman for the Chinese firm said the company is available to provide any information required by the security committee. The Italian parliament in October passed legislation giving the government special vetting powers over 5G supply deals between domestic firms and non-EU providers. Government sources told Reuters at the time the decision reflected concerns over the role of Huawei and ZTE. consider that the concerns about the involvement of Chinese companies in the installation, configuration and maintenance of 5G network infrastructure are to a large extent founded,” it said. Source
  17. COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Greenland has picked Sweden’s Ericsson over China’s Huawei to supply equipment for its fifth-generation (5G) telecoms network, state telecoms operator Tele Greenland said on Thursday. The decision comes as United States is pushing allies to exclude Huawei from 5G deals, and after President Donald Trump in August offered to buy Greenland from Denmark as part of a broader strategic push into the Arctic. “5G is coming to Greenland, but no date has been set for this yet. We do not see Huawei as a possible supplier of (Tele Greenland’s) 5G network,” its Chief Executive Kristian Reinert Davidsen told broadcaster KNR. His comments were confirmed to Reuters by a Tele Greenland spokeswoman. A Huawei spokeswoman in Denmark said the company was not aware of any plans for 5G rollout in Greenland. “Huawei has no mobile network business in Greenland and had no plans to participate in any 5G rollout in Greenland,” she said. Tele Greenland’s decision had been made after considering issues like “quality, price and security in the broadest sense,” the company’s chairman Stine Bosse told Reuters. Ericsson, which last week was picked by Norway’s Telenor as key technology provider of the country’s 5G network, also supplied Greenland’s 4G network. “It’s hard to say which network is best,” Davidsen told KNR. “We just found that Ericsson was the right choice for us based on all the parameters. It was from an overall point of view, and I can’t say if one is safer than the other.” A spokeswoman for the Swedish company declined to comment on future plans for 5G rollout in Greenland, but said Tele Greenland is “an important customer” and that its current 4G network in Greenland is based upon Ericsson’s 5G ready products. Fearing high-tech espionage, and battling with China over trade, the United States has pushed allies to exclude Huawei from lucrative 5G deals. Huawei has denied its equipment can be used for spying. Earlier this year, privately held Danish telecoms operator TDC also picked Ericsson over Huawei for its 5G network. TDC said it was a commercial decision, but that it “was not blind” to widespread concerns about Huawei and information security. Source
  18. BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and their Social Democrat partners have delayed until next year a decision on security rules for Germany’s 5G network that could bar China’s Huawei, a highly divisive issue in an unhappy alliance. Merkel’s right-left government, under pressure from the United States to bar Huawei, wants to toughen up technical certification and scrutiny of telecoms equipment suppliers, without excluding any specific country or vendor. Social Democrat (SPD) lawmakers on Tuesday backed an internal proposal that, if adopted by the government, could effectively translate into shutting out Huawei. Lawmakers said their goal was nevertheless to reach a common position with Merkel’s CDU/CSU group. “I think we will have a solution in January,” said SPD lawmaker Jens Zimmermann. “We will have a common blueprint and it will be considerably more severe.” He was referring to rules for the build-out of 5G mobile networks finalised by Merkel’s government in October that foresaw an evaluation of technical and other criteria and was largely interpreted as keeping the door open to Huawei. Merkel’s conservatives are divided on the issue. Hawks opposed to the chancellor’s careful approach are eager to go ahead with the SPD’s strict standards, which stipulate that suppliers from countries without “constitutional supervision” should be excluded. Moderates eager to avoid a showdown with Merkel suggested that the stringent security criteria should apply to the core network only. A paper prepared by moderate conservatives also stipulates that no single company should become dominant by supplying more than 50 percent of the 5G network components. The rules would be stricter for non-EU suppliers. For interactive graphic on 5G and security risks, click here. DELAY FEARED German operators are all customers of Huawei and have warned that banning the Chinese vendor would add years of delays and billions of dollars in costs to launching 5G networks. “There is no agreement in the CDU parliamentary faction on the Huawei paper,” said Thorsten Frei, deputy leader of the CDU/CSU group in parliament. “The faction will have a position in the new year. Then there will be talks with our SPD coalition partners on a common position.” One of the main bones of contention is whether the strict rules should just apply to the core 5G network or also include peripheral parts. The SPD and conservative hawks want the condition of “constitutional supervision” to apply for suppliers of parts for both the core and peripheral network. The United States says gear provided by Huawei, the leading telecoms equipment vendor with a global market share of 28 percent, contains ‘back doors’ that would enable China to spy on other countries. Shenzhen-based Huawei has denied the allegations by the Trump administration, which imposed export controls on Huawei in May, hobbling its smartphone business and raising questions over whether the Chinese company can maintain its market lead. Source
  19. Huawei vs. FCC — Huawei sues FCC to stop ban on Huawei gear in US-funded networks Huawei lawsuit seeks to overturn ban on Huawei gear in FCC-funded networks. Enlarge / Huawei's logo at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona in November 2019. Getty Images | SOPA Images Huawei has sued the Federal Communications Commission over the agency's order that bans Huawei equipment in certain government-funded telecom projects. "Huawei asks the court to hold the FCC's order unlawful on the grounds that it fails to offer Huawei required due process protections in labelling Huawei as a national security threat," the Chinese company said in a press release announcing the lawsuit. "Huawei believes that the FCC also fails to substantiate its arbitrary findings with evidence or sound reasoning or analysis, in violation of the US Constitution, the Administrative Procedure Act, and other laws." Huawei said it filed the complaint in the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. We haven't been able to get a copy of the lawsuit yet. The FCC voted unanimously on November 22 to ban Huawei and ZTE equipment in projects paid for by the commission's Universal Service Fund (USF). The order will affect many small telecom providers that rely on the companies' network gear. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said at the time that Huawei and ZTE were chosen as ban targets because they "have close ties to China's Communist government and military apparatus. Both companies are subject to Chinese laws broadly obligating them to cooperate with any request from the country's intelligence services and to keep those requests secret. Both companies have engaged in conduct like intellectual property theft, bribery, and corruption." Huawei contended that "Pai and other FCC commissioners failed to present any evidence to prove their claim that Huawei constitutes a security threat and ignored the facts and objections raised by Huawei and rural carriers after the FCC first made the proposal in March 2018." Huawei accuses FCC of spreading fear "These politicians ignore an important fact: Huawei has been working with rural US carriers for many years, and our customers trust our equipment," Huawei Chief Legal Officer Song Liuping said, according to a transcript posted by Huawei. "They are experts in the security of their own networks, and they like working with us." Pai has "tried to spread fear about Huawei" by "us[ing] words like 'backdoors' to scare people. But they offer no proof," Song said. Song argued that carriers affected by the ban will end up using equipment from Nokia and Ericcson, which aren't Chinese companies but do "manufacture in China." "The US government has never presented real evidence to show that Huawei is a national security threat," Song said. "That's because this evidence does not exist. When pushed for facts, they respond that 'disclosing evidence might also undermine US national security.' This is complete nonsense." Glen Nager, Huawei's outside counsel, argued that the Huawei/ZTE ban "exceeds the FCC's statutory authority" because "nothing in the Universal Service provisions of the Communications Act authorizes the Commission to make national security judgments or to restrict use of USF funds based on such judgments." The FCC ban will take effect upon being published in the Federal Register and will initially affect future projects paid for by the USF and the use of federal funding to maintain existing equipment. The FCC is also taking public comment on another plan to require removal of Huawei and ZTE equipment from networks that have already been built, and the commission is "seek[ing] comment on how to pay for such removal and replacement." Ban will cost small ISPs, Huawei says Huawei spokesperson Karl Song said that requiring the removal of equipment "would cost hundreds of millions of dollars" for small providers. "We've built networks in places where other vendors would not go. They were too remote, or the terrain was difficult, or there just wasn't a big enough population," he said. "In the US, we sell equipment to 40 small wireless and wireline operators. They connect schools, hospitals, farms, homes, community colleges, and emergency services." Hoftstra University law professor Julian Ku said that "even a small [Huawei] victory in the case, one that makes the FCC go and start the process over again, would be a huge victory for them," according to The New York Times. But it may be a difficult case for Huawei to win because US courts usually give federal agencies "a tremendous amount of deference," Ku said. Source: Huawei sues FCC to stop ban on Huawei gear in US-funded networks (Ars Technica)
  20. Free from Qualcomm and Google — Huawei is now shipping smartphones with zero US components A teardown reveals the Mate 30 Pro is built using only the international supply chain. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. Huawei is settling into life without the US thanks to the Trump administration's export ban, and so far the company seems to be adapting. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, Huawei's latest flagship smartphone, the Mate 30, contains zero US parts. The Journal has access to an analysis from UBS and Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, which tore apart the phone and found manufacturers for each component. No US components is an improvement over Huawei's previous flagship, the P30 Pro. We did our own version of this analysis back in May for the P30, where we looked over teardowns for US components. The P30 Pro is Huawei's previous flagship smartphone, and while it was designed and launched before the US export ban, it still didn't have a heavy reliance on US manufacturers. Huawei says it has been working to reduce its reliance on US companies for some time, with Huawei's deputy chairman, Ken Hu, writing in May that "The company has known [a US export ban] could be a possibility for many years. We have invested heavily and made full preparations in a variety of areas, including R&D and business continuity, which will ensure that our business operations will not be greatly affected, even under extreme conditions." So far, Huawei's preparations seem to be working. On the older P30 Pro, Huawei already had its own SoC, thanks to its HiSilicon chip design division. HiSilicon was also responsible for several smaller chips, like audio, the RF transceiver, power-management, and mid-band 5G chips. From there the P30 components were a whirlwind tour across the world: a display from BoE in China, cameras from Sony in Japan, RAM from SK Hynix in South Korea, an NFC chip from NXP in the Netherlands, and a battery from Huizhou Desay Battery Co. in China. The biggest US components were the flash memory from Micron, LTE antennas from Skyhook and Qorvo, and SMPS (switched-mode power supply) chips from Broadcom. With the export ban in place, finding alternative, non-US suppliers for these parts apparently wasn't a big deal. Flash memory can be had from Korea (Samsung) or Japan (Toshiba). The chips from Skyhook and Qorvo have been replaced with in-house HiSilicon versions. Like we wrote back in May, hardware isn't Huawei's problem. The big problem is software and apps. No one can really stop Huawei from using open source Android as the base OS, but it can't license the Google apps, which means no Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, or any other Google service. Huawei won't get Android's primary app store, and it won't get apps from any US developers, like Facebook (which owns WhatsApp and Instagram), Netflix, Amazon, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, and a million others. Most of the top app list would be off-limits. Huawei is trying to push its own Android ecosystem with replacements for Google apps like the Play Store, and longer-term it's trying to develop its own smartphone OS. But as Steve Ballmer will tell you, what really matters is "developers developers developers developers." It's illegal for most of the biggest app developers to ship in the Huawei app store. The Journal quotes analyst Handel Jones, president of International Business Strategies Inc., as saying "Independence of US supply indicates that the strategies of the US in trying to isolate Huawei are not working." Software is the one thing the US can really hold over Huawei, and the biggest consequence of the export ban so far has been the Mate 30 shipping without Google apps. The lack of Google apps doesn't even affect Huawei's biggest market, its hometown of China, which doesn't have the Google apps to begin with. Outside of China, research firms IDC and Canalys have Huawei losing anywhere from 12% to 17% of overseas shipments in Q2 and a further drop of 6% in Q3. The United States has considered stronger sanctions against Huawei. According to a report from Reuters, the White House is considering kicking Huawei out of the US banking system. This would involve putting Huawei on the Treasury Department’s "Specially Designated Nationals" (SDN) list, which, according to the report, would "make it virtually impossible for a company to complete transactions in US dollars." Currently the list houses Russia's Rusal aluminum company along with some Russian oligarchs, Iranian politicians, and Venezuelan drug traffickers. Putting Huawei on the SDN list is considered "a nuclear option" by US officials, but so far they aren't launching the nuke. Listing image by Getty Images | Smith Collection/Gado Source: Huawei is now shipping smartphones with zero US components (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  21. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 5-0 Friday to designate China’s Huawei and ZTE as national security risks, barring their U.S. rural carrier customers from tapping an $8.5 billion government fund to purchase equipment. The U.S. telecommunications regulator also voted to propose requiring those carriers to remove and replace equipment from Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp from existing networks. The move could eliminate a key source of funding for Huawei’s biggest U.S. business - telecoms equipment. This is the latest in a series of actions by the U.S. government aimed at barring American companies from purchasing Huawei and ZTE equipment. Huawei and ZTE will have 30 days to contest the designation and a final order compelling removal of equipment is not expected until next year at the earliest. Huawei called the order “unlawful” and asked the FCC “to rethink its profoundly mistaken order.” It argued the FCC’s decision was based “on nothing more than irrational speculation and innuendo.” In May, Trump signed a long-awaited executive order declaring a national emergency and barring U.S. companies from using telecommunications equipment made by companies posing a national security risk. The Trump administration also added Huawei to its trade blacklist in May, citing national security concerns. FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, a Democrat, said it could cost as much as $2 billion to replace the equipment in U.S. rural networks. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai first proposed in March 2018 to bar companies that posed a national security risk from receiving funds from the FCC’s Universal Service Fund, but did not name Huawei or ZTE. The fund provides subsidies to provide service in rural or hard-to-reach areas, and to libraries and schools. “Given the threats posed by Huawei and ZTE to America’s security and our 5G future, this FCC will not sit idly by and hope for the best,” Pai said on Friday. “This is not a political issue.” The FCC argued the companies’ ties to the Chinese government and military apparatus, and Chinese laws requiring that such companies assist the Chinese government with intelligence activities, pose a U.S. national security risk. Congress has been considering legislation to authorize up to $1 billion for providers to replace network equipment from the Chinese companies. The FCC could tap its fund to pay for replacing equipment if Congress does not act. About a dozen rural U.S. telecom carriers that depend on inexpensive Huawei and ZTE switches and equipment were in discussion with Ericsson (ERICb.ST) and Nokia (NOKIA.HE) to replace their Chinese equipment, Reuters reported in June. On Monday, the Commerce Department issued a new 90-day temporary license to allow U.S. firms to do business with Huawei to minimize the impact on rural U.S. carriers. The Rural Wireless Association said Friday it remains “cautiously optimistic” that the order will allow carriers to “maintain existing critical communications services so long” as government funds are not used to fund Huawei or ZTE directly or indirectly. The United States has been pressing nations not to grant Huawei access to 5G networks and alleged Huawei’s equipment could be used by Beijing for spying, which the Chinese company has repeatedly denied. U.S. Attorney General William Barr this week backed the FCC proposal, saying the two Chinese firms “cannot be trusted” and calling them “a threat to our collective security.” Source
  22. It feels like it's been a while since we've seen new laptops from Huawei, but it was only February at Mobile World Congress 2019. A lot has happened for the Chinese firm since then though. It was added to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Entity List, banning U.S. companies from doing business from Huawei. It's even had to launch its Mate 30 flagship smartphone without Google apps. But if you're a fan of the company's PCs, there's some good news, as there are more on the way. According to a leak from Evan Blass (via MSPU), there's a new MateBook 14 on the way, along with Huawei's first 15-inch MateBook, likely called the MateBook 15. Pictured above and codenamed Bohr, the MateBook 15 packs three USB Type-A ports and a single USB Type-C port. It's likely that the Type-C port will be USB 3.1 Gen 1, since Huawei typically doesn't use Thunderbolt 3 in its non-Pro MateBooks. It has an 84% screen-to-body ratio, and oddly enough, it has a 16:9 screen, while the company usually uses a 3:2 aspect ratio. And then there's the new MateBook 14, which is codenamed Nobel. It has two USB Type-A ports, a USB Type-C port, and an HDMI port. It's likely that these will be announced at Mobile World Congress this year. What's still unknown is how Huawei will handle licensing with Microsoft for Windows 10, given the current political climate. Source: Huawei has a 15-inch MateBook in the works (via Neowin)
  23. The US gives Huawei its third 90-day support exemption from export ban US kicks the can down the road again, hopes carriers will replace Chinese equipment. Enlarge / A sign outside Huawai's offices in Santa Clara, California, August 17, 2017. Getty Images | Smith Collection/Gado For six months now, the Trump Administration has banned US companies from doing business with Huawei. Nearly the entire time, there has also been a "temporary general export license" provision that allows current Huawei customers to continue to receive support for existing devices. The original order in May gave existing customers a 90-day license, and it was then extended for another 90 days after that. That leads us to November 18, and today the US has given Huawei a third 90-day support window. Huawei is the world's largest telecommunications-equipment manufacturer and second largest smartphone manufacturer after Samsung (and before Apple). The company doesn't have a huge presence in the US, in part because the US House Intelligence Committee has for years flagged Huawei as security threat thanks to its close ties to the Chinese government. The US government has banned federal agencies from using Huawei equipment, and it has used political pressure to shut down consumer deals with US carriers. Huawei has still managed to get some telecommunication equipment in the US, though, particularly thanks to rural carriers in states like Wyoming and Oregon. A coalition of these smaller carriers, the Rural Wireless Association, estimates that replacing Huawei and ZTE equipment could cost its members up to a billion dollars. “There are enough problems with telephone service in the rural communities—we don’t want to knock them out," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business Network on Friday. "So, one of the main purposes of the temporary general licenses is to let those rural guys continue to operate.” As far as smartphones go, Huawei could possibly build hardware without further assistance from US companies, but doing it without US software is tough. The company has already had to ship the Mate 30 Pro in Europe without the Google apps, meaning it's one of the few Android smartphones that doesn't come with Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and the Play Store (which provides access to 2.8 million Android apps). For now, Huawei is focusing on Android with its "Huawei Mobile Services" in lieu of Google apps. Huawei Mobile Services have been up and running in China for some time since Google Play is not available in China. The company is also working on its own operating system called "HarmonyOS," but the company said that won't be ready for smartphones for at least three years. In the lead-up to today's expiration or renewal deadline, Huawei has been out in force in the media. The overall messaging has been "the US needs Huawei more than Huawei needs the US." For instance, Huawei's Chairman, Liang Hua, told CNBC today, “No matter whether there will be an extension, in terms of its real impact on Huawei, it will be very limited. Our products are able to be shipped without the reliance on the US components and chips.” In translated remarks, Liang said banning Huawei would “pose a bigger damage” to the US than it would to Huawei, and the move would "only damage the broadband network suppliers in those rural areas. It would only cause a bigger digital divide in the US.” This latest 90-day extension means we should be dealing with this again on February 17, 2020. Source: The US gives Huawei its third 90-day support exemption from export ban (Ars Technica)
  24. Huawei finally ships the foldable Mate X, complete with a protective pouch For now it's only in China, but the market's second major foldable is finally out. First image of article image gallery. Please visit the source link to see all images. Huawei's futuristic foldable smartphone, the Huawei Mate X, is finally a real product. The phone went on sale in China today for the heart-stopping price of $2,421 (16,999 yuan). Just like that other foldable smartphone on the market, the Galaxy Fold, the Mate X had a very bumpy road on its way to market full of delays and setbacks. The phone was originally scheduled for release in "the middle of the year," but in the midst of the US' Huawei export ban and the Galaxy Fold's initial delay, Huawei opted to delay the Mate X. The new launch target was September, but when September rolled around, the phone was delayed again to today's November 15 launch date. Not much has changed since the initial announcement. Wrapped around the body of the Mate X is a flexible OLED display made by BOE. The panel is an 8-inch 2480×2200 tablet when open. When closed, it splits into a 2480×1148, 6.6-inch display on the front and a 6.3-inch, 2480×892 display on the back. The back is a bit smaller because it also houses the component bar, which is the one section of the phone that doesn't split in half. This thicker section houses important components like the three cameras, a power button, a fingerprint reader, and a USB-C port on the bottom. The internals are a Huawei Kirin 980 SoC, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of storage, and a huge 4500mAh battery. 5G support is mandatory in this phone, thanks to the "Balong 5000" modem included in all models. Keep in mind this is only for China's (and the rest of the world's) "mid-band" 5G, not the US' "mmWave" 5G. They are two totally different technologies on different chunks of the spectrum. The Huawei Mate X is a unique design even within the emerging foldables market so far. Unlike the Galaxy Fold, which puts the foldable display on the inside of the device and opens up like a book, the Mate X wraps the display around the outside of the device. The Mate X design has a few advantages: it can be a phone when folded up and a tablet when unfolded, and it does this all with a single screen, unlike the two screens (inside and outside) that are on the Galaxy Fold. By wrapping the display around the outside of the phone body, the Mate X doesn't put a hard crease in the display, like the Galaxy Fold does. A single camera can act as both the "front" selfie camera and "rear" main camera, just by flipping the phone around. The major downside to this design is that, for now, the only flexible display cover on the market is a delicate soft plastic. The plastic display covers are easy to scratch, dent, and permanently damage. The Galaxy Fold protects the soft display by putting it on the inside of the phone, so when it's closed, it's not exposed to the world. With the display on the outside, the soft, delicate plastic is going to be constantly grinding against whatever's on the table, or whatever's in your pocket, so the durability of the Mate X is a serious concern. Huawei seems to have a solution, though. Enlarge / The Mate X's protective case. Huawei This a protective leather handbag that seems to ship with the phone. It's an envelope style design, and you can't use the phone at all when it's in the case. It's unclear when exactly you're expected to use this. Taking the phone in and out of the case every time you use it would be incredibly cumbersome. Does it come with a belt loop like an old-school Blackberry? Many people use protective cases on their smartphones like a rubber bumper, which allows you to use the phone while having a protective ring of rubber along the outside. It's hard to imagine a case in that style that would protect the Mate X design while it's in use. Someday, it sounds like we're going to have flexible glass for these foldable devices, and then a design like this will be a lot more feasible. Corning is working on a foldable version of Gorilla Glass, and Samsung has teamed up with a fellow Korean company called "Dowoo Insys" to make an "ultra-thin glass" that will be used in future Samsung foldables. For now, however, we only have scratchable plastic, and the Mate X seems ahead of its time. It's not clear if the Mate X will ever leave China. Any foldable at this point is going to be a very expensive, borderline experimentation device with limited appeal. For Huawei specifically, it is still dealing with the fallout from the US export ban. The last phone it launched in Europe, the Mate 30 Pro, didn't come with Google apps. Source: Huawei finally ships the foldable Mate X, complete with a protective pouch (Ars Technica) (To view the article's image gallery, please visit the above link)
  25. Huawei expected to get another six months license extension to work with U.S. companies The Commerce Department is expected to grant Huawei a six-month extension that will allow it to do limited business with U.S. companies. The Commerce Department put Huawei and other Chinese companies on an Entity list earlier this year which prevented them from doing business with U.S. companies. However, it granted the Chinese company a 3-month temporary waiver which allowed it to do limited business with U.S. firms for that time period. At the end of that three-month cycle, the temporary reprieve was again extended for 90 days which is set to expire on November 18. After this, if the license is not extended, Huawei will not be able to do any business with U.S. companies. However, since a number of rural telecommunication companies rely on Huawei for networking equipment, the U.S. Commerce Department is expected to grant the Chinese company another license extension of six months. The previous extension was also granted on similar grounds. This will still be a limited license meaning Huawei still cannot buy chips from companies like Intel or Qualcomm. It also means that it cannot get new devices certified from Google which prevents it from launching new smartphones pre-installed with Google's Play suite. It will only allow the company to continue pushing software updates to its existing devices like the P30 Pro, Mate 20 series, etc. Huawei has already launched the Mate 30 series without Google's mobile suite. While the phone runs on Android 10, it does not come pre-loaded with the Google Play Store and other Google apps. While the company can push Google apps to the Mate 30 "over one night," it needs the ban on it to be lifted first and granted a full license to work with U.S. companies. Source: Huawei expected to get another six months license extension to work with U.S. companies (Neowin)
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