Huawei Surprise goldfish in a bowl


Uncertain future: In this courtroom sketch, Meng sits beside a translator during a bail hearing in Vancouver. She
faces extradition to the US on charges of trying to evade US sanctions on Iran. – AP 
The arrest of Huawei ‘heiress’ has thrown a rare spotlight on the family of the reclusive smartphone giant founder, Ren Zhengfei.

WHEN Huawei CFO Sabrina Meng Wanzhou appeared on Wednesday in a Vancouver courtroom, clad in an unbranded green tracksuit, the moment was witnessed by a single reporter from the local Vancouver Sun newspaper who happened to notice her name on the hearings list that morning.

By the end of the day, Meng’s arrest in Canada at the request of Washington was the biggest story in the world.

And when her bail hearing resumed on Friday, Meng entered court to see about 100 reporters, craning to look at her through two layers of bulletproof glass.

Meng who faces extradition to the United States, was charged for helping Huawei allegedly cover up violations of US sanctions on Iran.

Like many top Chinese executives, Meng is a mysterious figure even in her home country, but the 46-year-old chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies had been widely tipped to one day take the helm of the tech giant her father founded.

That was until her shock arrest, a move that has entangled her in the protracted diplomatic tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Crucially, Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei – one of China’s leading businessmen, an ex-People’s Liberation Army officer and an elected member of the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

In other words, Meng is part of China’s elite.

Her father Ren moves in the highest government circles in China and founded Huawei in 1988, after he retired from the Chinese armed forces. Born into a rural family in a remote mountainous town in the southwestern province of Guizhou, Ren rose to the equivalent rank of a deputy regimental chief in the PLA and served until 1983, according to his official Huawei biography.

Officials in some governments, particularly the United States, have voiced concern that his company is close to the Chinese military and government. Huawei has repeatedly insisted Beijing has no influence over it.

Ren is one of the most watched entrepreneurs in China and was on Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 and again in 2013.

But like his elder daughter, Ren has largely kept a low profile.

Ren has married three times. His first wife was Meng Jun, daughter of a former senior official in Sichuan province, Meng Dongbuo; she bore Ren two children: Sabrina Meng Wanzhou and a son, Meng Ping.

Meng’s current wife is Yao Ling, who gave him a younger daughter, Annabel Yao, 20. In a rare move, the three posed last month for a family photoshoot for French lifestyle magazine Paris Match. Annabel, a Harvard computer science student, became a sensation at last month’s Le Bal des Debutantes (or Crillon Ball) in Paris.

Ren’s third wife is Su Wei who, according to Chinese media reports, is a millennial who was formerly his secretary.

Interestingly, all his children opted not to take on their father’s surname – Meng adopted her mother’s surname after her parents divorced. According to Chinese news websites, Meng’s brother Ping, who also works for Huawei, followed her in taking their mother’s surname to “avoid unnecessary attention” – though the son was also known as Ren Ping in the past.

(This practice is not uncommon among the families of China’s elite. The co-founder of Chinese auction house China Guardian, Wang Yannan, opted not to take her father’s surname – she is the daughter of late Chinese premier Zhao Ziyang.)

Born in 1972, Meng joined the company in 1993, obtained a master’s degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 1998, and rose up the ranks over the years, mostly holding financial roles.

In her first media appearance before the Chinese press in 2013, Meng said she had first joined the company as a secretary“whose job was just to take calls”.

In the interview with China’s 21st Century Business Herald, Meng said she began her first job at China Construction Bank after graduating with her first degree in 1992.

Arrested Meng: Like her father, the Huawei CFO had led a quiet life, out of the spotlight. – Reuters

Arrested Meng: Like her father, the Huawei CFO had led a quiet life, out of the spotlight. – Reuters

“I joined Huawei one year later because a branch closed its operations due to the business integration [of CCB],” said Meng, describing her early jobs in Huawei as “very trivial”.

Meng has served in various roles at the company since, until her latest role as the Hong Kong-based CFO of Huawei.

In 2003, Meng established Huawei’s globally unified finance organisation, with standardised structures, financial processes, financial systems, and IT platforms.

Since 2005, Meng has led the founding of five shared service centers around the world, and she was also the driver behind completion of a global payment center in Shenzhen, China. These centres have boosted Huawei’s accounting efficiency and monitoring quality, providing accounting services to sustain the company’s rapid overseas expansion.

Meng has also been in charge of the integrated financial services (IFS) transformation program, an eight-year partnership between Huawei and IBM since 2007. This has helped Huawei develop its data systems and rules for resource allocation, and improve operating efficiency and internal controls.

In recent years, Meng has focused on advancing detailed financial management at Huawei, working to align these efforts with the company’s long-term development plans.

Meng’s importance at Huawei became apparent in 2011, when she was first named as a board member. Company insiders describe her as capable and hardworking. Earlier this year, Huawei promoted Meng, to vice-chairwoman as part of a broader reshuffle. Meng is one of four executives who hold the vice-chair role, while retaining her CFO position. Despite assertions by Ren that none of his family members would succeed him in the top job, it is widely speculated that she was being groomed to take over the reins of the company eventually.

Married with a son and a daughter, Meng’s revelation that her husband did not work in the industry, dispelled the speculation she was married to a senior Huawei executive.

Meng did not conduct public interviews before 2013 and has seldom mentioned her personal life until recently, when she used her son to illustrate the importance of persistence.

“My son did not want to go swimming one day and he almost knelt on the ground and begged my husband so that he would not have to go. But he was rejected,” Meng said in a speech at Chongqing international school in 2016. “Now my son is proud to represent his school in swimming competitions.”

Meng recently made a speech at a Singapore academic conference in 2018, in which she talked of Huawei’s future role in technology development.

“Without universities, the world would be left in darkness. Without industry, science would be left in the ivory tower,” said Meng. “The fourth industrial revolution is on the horizon and artificial intelligence is one of its core enabling technologies. Huawei is lucky to be part of it.”

While her brother, Meng Ping, as well as her father’s younger brother and his current wife all work at Huawei and related companies, none has held such senior management roles.

“The other family members are in the back office, Sabrina is CFO and sits on the board,” a Huawei source said. “So she is viewed as the boss’s most likely successor.”

But her fate now is uncertain.

She faces up to 30 years’ jail for the alleged crime. Her lawyer in Canada, David Martin, had told the court that Meng posed no flight risk and should be granted bail. To flee would shame her in front of her father and all of China, said Martin.

“Her father would not recognise her. Her colleagues would hold her in contempt. She would be a pariah,” he said.

Meng leaned forward in her seat and dabbed at her eyes with a tissue.

When the hearing adjourned, she was led away with her head bowed, a goldfish in a bowl that is the biggest story in the world. – South China Morning Post

Younger Huawei daughter: ‘I’m just a normal girl’

Arresting Yao: ‘My daily life is actually pretty boring compared to this.’

JUST last month, the reclusive Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei made headlines by appearing in French lifestyle magazine Paris Match with his younger daughter and current wife.The daughter, Annabel Yao, 20, posed with a smile in front of a grand piano with her mother, identified by the magazine as Yao Ling, and Ren, who wore a blue shirt with his hand resting on her shoulder.

Suddenly, the whole family are making headlines again – even if for quite different reasons.

Few outsiders had previously heard of the younger daughter, a Harvard computer science student and ballerina. But Yao recently made a high-profile appearance at the exclusive Le Bal Debutante ball in Paris.

While Le Bal des Debutantes in Paris each year is a nod to the tradition of young society ladies entering the elite social scene of Europe, these days it courts modern debutantes, aged 16 to 21, who are chosen for their looks, brains and famous parents – prominent in business, entertainment and politics.

They parade in glamorous couture gowns, waltz with their cavaliers – young men who accompany the “debs” for the evening – and take part in photo shoots and interviews.

The schedule at the event, organised by Ophélie Renouard, is full of young women such as Baroness Ludmilla von Oppenheim, from Germany; Julia McCaw, daughter of AT&T founder Craig McCaw; and Yao – one of three debutantes chosen for the opening waltz this year.

“I definitely treated this as a debut to the world,” said Yao after the ball. “From now on, I’ll no longer be this girl living in her own world, I’ll be stepping into the adult world where I have to watch my own actions and have my actions be watched by others.”

Today’s Le Bal, is a diverse affair, a microcosm of the shifting tides of the global elite. Of the 19 debutantes of 2018, there were young ladies from India and America, Europeans from Portugal, France, Belgium and Germany, as well as Hong Kong’s Angel Lee, Kayla Uytengsu from the Philippines and China’s Yao.

Yao – who has lived in Britain, Hong Kong and Shanghai – was one of several Chinese debutantes in recent years. Hollywood offspring, such as the daughters of actors Forest Whitaker, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone, have also become Le Bal regulars.

“All the girls were down-to-earth, easygoing, helpful and outgoing. No one was pretentious,” said Yao.

“All of them attended top universities or high schools like Stanford, Brown and Columbia, so it’s a group of girls who are privileged, but also work really hard.”

 

Diverse affair: Today’s ‘Le Bal’ is a microcosm of the shifting tides of the global elite like Yao (far right, front row).

 

As they swapped their jeans for tiaras and couture gowns and trade teenage antics for waltzing, the girls got to play fairytale princesses for three days and make their grand debut in high society.

They all arrived in Paris two days before the ball to meet, socialise with other girls and their cavaliers (Yao’s cavalier was the young Count Gaspard de Limburg-Stirum), rehearse and take part in portrait sessions.

Girls are given questionnaires about the fashion styles they like, and then choose from a selection. Yao donned a champagne gold J Mendel gown.

“An American designer with a very French style I wanted something modern,” she said. “I’m not super girlie inside, so I prefer something more chic and not so princessy It’s very elegant, and I’m not a fan of very [strongly] pigmented hues. I also loved the tulle texture of the dress, as it reminds me of a ballerina.”

“I definitely feel very honoured to be included, as there are only 19 girls in the world this year,” Yao added. “It means I have to work harder, try to accomplish great things in my life and be a role model for other girls.”

She said: “As people who have more privilege than others, it’s more important for us to help those with less opportunity. I want to get involved in philanthropy and charity I still consider myself a normal girl; it’s important for me to work hard and better myself every day.

“My daily life is actually pretty boring compared to this. I usually live like a normal student.”

Computer science is a heavy subject with a high workload, so she studies a lot. Her spare time is often taken up at the Harvard Ballet company (she’s been dancing since childhood). “I try to dance as much as possible,” she said.

A quick glance at the Ivy League student’s social media shows her jetting around the world wearing Dior, Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent, but she’s quick to show her serious side. This summer, she did an internship at Microsoft “on a team focusing on machine learning and image recognition”.

However, she noted: “As much as I enjoy coding, I enjoy personal interactions a lot I have a passion for fashion, PR and entertainment.”

In the future, she sees herself working on the business side of technology. “I’ll try to integrate the tech knowledge I have,” she said. “I don’t think I’ll be a software engineer but maybe I’ll be more on the management side. I enjoy building connections.” – South China Morning Post

Growing stronger, opening wider key to resolving Huawei crisis

Huawei is now facing its most severe test since it became the world-renowned innovative tech company.

With executive’s arrest, US wants to stifle Huawei

The Chinese government should seriously go behind the US tendency to abuse legal procedures to suppress China’s high-tech enterprises. It should increase interaction with the US and exert pressure when necessary. China has been exercising restraint, but the US cannot act recklessly. US President Donald Trump should rein in the hostile activities of some Americans who may imperil Sino-US relations.

 

Related posts:

Huawei CFO arrest violates human rights as US takes aim at Huawei, the real trade war with China

In custody: A profile of Meng is displayed on a computer at a Huawei store in Beijing. The Chinese government, speaking
through its embassy in Canada, strenuously objected to the arrest, and  demanded Meng’s immediate release.  
AP

China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft, a world’s first mission to moon’s far side, boosts Beijing a space superpower


A Long March 3B rocket launches China’s Chang’e 4 lunar probe from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 7, 2018 (Dec. 8 local Chinese time). The probe is expected to make the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon
in early January 2019.

Credit: Jiang Hongjing/Xinhua/Zuma

Probe on far side of moon

 
BEIJING: China launched a rover destined to land on the far side of the moon, a global first that would boost Beijing’s ambitions to become a space superpower, state media said.

The Chang’e-4 lunar probe mission – named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology – launched early yesterday on a Long March 3B rocket from the south-western Xichang launch centre at 2.23am (local time), according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The blast-off marked the start of a long journey to the far side of the moon for the Chang’e-4 mission, expected to land around the New Year to carry out experiments and survey the untrodden terrain.

“Chang’e-4 is humanity’s first probe to land on and explore the far side of the moon,” said the mission’s chief commander He Rongwei of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the main state-owned space contractor.

“This mission is also the most meaningful deep space exploration research project in the world in 2018,” He said.

Unlike the near side of the moon that is “tidally locked” and always faces the earth, and offers many flat areas to touch down on, the far side is mountainous and rugged.

It was not until 1959 that the Soviet Union captured the first images of the heavily cratered surface, uncloaking some of the mystery of the moon’s “dark side”.

No lander or rover has ever touched the surface there, positioning China as the first nation to explore the area.

China over the past 10 or 20 years has been systematically ticking off the various firsts that America and the Soviet Union did in the 1960s and 1970s in space exploration,” said Jonathan McDowell, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

“This is one of the first times they’ve done something that no one else has done before.”

It is no easy technological feat – China has been preparing for this moment for years.

A major challenge for such a mission is communicating with the robotic lander: as the far side of the moon always points away from earth, there is no direct “line of sight” for signals.

As a solution, China in May blasted the Queqiao (“Magpie Bridge”) satellite into the moon’s orbit, positioning it so it can relay data and commands between the lander and earth.

Adding to the difficulties, Chang’e-4 is being sent to the Aitken Basin in the lunar south pole region – known for its craggy and complex terrain – state media has said.

The probe is carrying six experiments from China and four from abroad.

They include low-frequency radio astronomical studies – aiming to take advantage of the lack of interference on the far side – as well as mineral and radiation tests, Xinhua cited the China National Space Administration as saying.

The experiments also involve planting potato and other seeds, according to Chinese media reports.

Beijing is pouring billions into its military-run space programme, with hopes of having a crewed space station by 2022, and of eventually sending humans to the moon. — AFP

Exploring new terrain: A Long March 3B rocket taking off with the rover that is  destined to land on the far side of the moon. — AFP
Exploring new terrain: A Long March 3B rocket taking off with the rover that is destined to land on the far side of the moon. — AFP

China’s robotic Chang’e 4 spacecraft streaked away from Earth today (Dec. 7), launching atop a Long March 3B rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at about 1:23 p.m. EST (1823 GMT; 2:23 a.m. on Dec. 8 local China time).

If all goes according to plan, Chang’e 4 will make history’s first landing on the lunar far side sometime in early January. The mission, which consists of a stationary lander and a rover, will perform a variety of science work and plant a flag for humanity in a region that remains largely unexplored to date.  [China’s Moon Missions Explained (Infographic)]

China’s Chang'e 4 lunar probe lifts off the pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 7, 2018 (Dec. 8 local Chinese time).
China’s Chang’e 4 lunar probe lifts off the pad at Xichang Satellite Launch Center on Dec. 7, 2018 (Dec. 8 local Chinese time).

The moon is tidally locked to Earth, meaning the natural satellite takes about the same amount of time to spin once on its axis as it does to orbit our planet. So, here on Earth, we always see the same face of our cosmic neighbor.

That would be the near side. The far side remains forever out of view, and that explains why this obscured surface has yet to welcome a robotic visitor.  Communicating with a far-side lander or rover is difficult, because the entirety of the moon’s solid, rocky body would block direct signals traveling to and fro.

The far side of the moon and distant Earth, imaged by China's Chang'e 5 T1 mission service module in 2014. The Chang'e 4 mission will launch toward the far side on Dec. 7, 2018.

The far side of the moon and distant Earth, imaged by China’s Chang’e 5 T1 mission service module in 2014. The Chang’e 4 mission will launch toward the far side on Dec. 7, 018. Credit: Chinese Academy of Sciences

 To solve this problem, China launched a satellite called Queqiao this past May. Queqiao has set up  shop at the Earth-moon Lagrange point 2, a gravitationally stable spot beyond the moon from which  the satellite will be able to relay  communications between mission control and Chang’e 4. 

The spacecraft’s signals will likely be coming from the floor of Von Kármán Crater,  a 115-mile-wide (186 kilometers) hole in the ground that’s the mission’s expected landing site. Von Kármán is part of the South Pole-Aitken Basin, one of the biggest impact features in the solar system; it spans a whopping 1,600 miles (2,500 km) from rim to  rim.

China's Yutu moon rover, photographed by the Chang'e 3 lander in December of 2013. The lunar far-side mission, Chang'e 4, which launched on Dec. 7, 2018, was designed as a backup for Chang'e 3.China’s Yutu moon rover, photographed by the Chang’e 3 lander in December of 2013. The lunar far-side mission, Chang’e 4, which launched on Dec. 7, 2018, was
designed as a backup for Chang’e 3. Credit: CASC/China Ministry of Defense

Chang’e 4 features a total of eight scientific instruments. The landers’ are called the Landing Camera (LCAM), the Terrain Camera (TCAM), the Low Frequency Spectrometer (LFS), and the Lunar Lander Neutrons and Dosimetry (LND), which was provided by Germany.

The rover sports the Panoramic Camera (PCAM), the Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR), the Visible and Near-Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (VNIS), and the Advanced Small Analyzer for Neutrals (ASAN), a contribution from Sweden.

This gear will allow Chang’e 4 to characterize its surroundings in great detail. For example, the LFS will return data about surface composition, while the LPR will tease out the layered structure of the moon’s subsurface.

Such information could help scientists better understand why the lunar far side is so different from the near side. For example, huge, dark basaltic plains called maria cover much of the near side but almost none of the far side. (By the way, don’t call the far side the “dark side”; it receives just as much sunlight as the near side.)

Chang’e 4 will also conduct some radio-astronomy work, taking advantage of the peace and quiet on the far side, which is shielded from the radio chatter coming from Earth. Queqiao is collecting astronomy data as well, using an onboard instrument called the Netherlands-China Low-Frequency Explorer.

The spacecraft carries a biological experiment as well: a small tin containing silkworm eggs and seeds of tomato and Arabidopsis plants. Researchers will keep tabs on how these organisms live and develop on the lunar surface. [Moon Master: An Easy Quiz for Lunatics]

Chang’e 4 marks the latest step in China’s ambitious, long-term moon-exploration strategy.

The nation launched the Chang’e 1 and Chang’e 2 spacecraft to lunar orbit in 2007 and 2010, respectively. In December 2013, Chang’e 3 put a lander and a rover named Yutu down on the moon’s near side. (Chang’e 4 was originally developed as a backup to Chang’e 3 but was repurposed after the latter’s success.)

And in October 2014, China launched Chang’e 5T1, which sent a test capsule on an eight-day trip around the moon that ended in a parachute-aided touchdown here on Earth.

All of this is leading up to the Chang’e 5 sample-return mission, which could launch toward the near side as early as next year. (The nation’s line of robotic lunar missions is named after Chang’e, a moon goddess in Chinese mythology.)

And then there’s the crewed side of things. Chinese officials have said they want to land people on the lunar surface, though the timeline for this goal is unclear. The moon is not China’s human-spaceflight focus in the near term; the country is working to get a crewed space station up and running in Earth orbit by the early 2020s.

Source:
 Space.com. by

Mike Wall, Space.com Senior Writer

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