Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei survived a famine, but can he weather President Trump?


https://youtu.be/rqRItBZOp5g

  • Ren Zhengfei leads Huawei Technologies, one of the world’s largest manufacturer of telecommunication hardware and mobile phones.
  • Ren is the son of school teachers and grew up in a mountainous town in southern China’s Guizhou Province.
  • Ren held technician posts in China’s military and worked for Shenzhen South
    Sea Oil before establishing Huawei with the equivalent of $3,000 in 1987.
  • Huawei today does business in more than 170 countries with 180,000 employees.

Mr Ren Zhengfei survived Mao Zedong’s great famine and went on to build a telecom giant with US$92 billion in revenue that strikes fear among some policymakers in the West.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) – At the sprawling Huawei Technologies campus in Shenzhen, the foodcourt’s walls are emblazoned with quotes from the company’s billionaire founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei.

Then there’s the research lab that resembles the White House in Washington. Perhaps the most curious thing, though, are three black swans paddling around a lake.

For Mr Ren, a former People’s Liberation Army soldier turned telecom tycoon, the elegant birds are meant as a reminder to avoid complacency and prepare for unexpected crisis. That pretty much sums up the state of affairs at Huawei, whose chief financial officer, Ms Meng Wanzhou, who’s also Mr Ren’s daughter, is in custody in Canada and faces extradition to the United States on charges of conspiracy to defraud banks and violate sanctions on Iran.

The arrest places Huawei in the cross-hairs of an escalating technology rivalry between China and the US, which views the company, a critical global supplier of mobile network equipment, as a potential national security risk.

Hardliners in President Donald Trump’s administration are especially keen to prevent Huawei from supplying wireless carriers as they upgrade to 5G, a next-generation technology expected to accelerate the shift to Internet-connected devices and self-driving cars.

Mr Ren is a legendary figure in the Chinese business world. He survived Mao Zedong’s great famine and went on to build a telecom giant with US$92 billion (S$126 billion) in revenue that strikes fear among some policymakers in the West. Huawei is the No. 1 smartphone maker in China, and this year eclipsed Apple to become second maker globally, according to research firm IDC.

Though it has a low profile compared with China’s Internet giants, Huawei’s revenue last year was more than Alibaba Group Holding, Tencent Holdings and and Baidu Inc combined. About half of its revenue now comes from abroad, led by Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The company’s high-speed global expansion has come under fire for years, starting with the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US’ derailing of an acquisition in 2008. More recently, Australia, New Zealand and the US have blocked or limited the use of Huawei gear.

The arrest and prosecution of Ms Meng in US courts comes amid a far bigger US-China struggle for technology dominance in the decades ahead – and could have huge, and potentially severe, consequences for Huawei. Mr Ren declined an interview request from Bloomberg News.

“It gives Trump a bargaining chip,” said Mr George Magnus, an economist at Oxford University’s China Centre. “She’s the daughter of the CEO, Ren Zhengfei, himself a former PLA officer, and Huawei’s alleged dealings with Iran are just the latest in a string of concerns.”

An outright ban on buying American technology and components, should it come to that, would deal Huawei a crushing blow. Earlier this year, the Trump administration imposed just such a penalty on ZTE Corp, also a Chinese telecom, and threatened its very survival before backing down.

Both Huawei and ZTE are banned from most US government procurement work.

A full-blown, commercial ban in the US would not only apply to hardware components, but also cut off access to the software and patents of US companies, Mr Edison Lee and Mr Timothy Chau, analysts with Jefferies Securities, wrote in a report.

“If Huawei cannot license Android from Google, or Qualcomm’s patents in 4G and 5G radio access technology, it will not be able to build smartphones or 4G/5G base stations,” they note.

The company’s legal troubles in the US may also spill into other markets.

“Government telecommunication infrastructure requirements are essentially locking out the Chinese supplier in critical growth markets,” noted Morningstar Research equity analyst Mark Cash in an e-mail. “Additionally, telecom providers without government imposed restrictions may start limiting their usage of Huawei equipment for their 5G network build-outs.”

If there’s a Darth Vader in the minds of Chinese national security hawks in Washington worried about China’s rising tech power, it’s Mr Ren. In China, though, he’s feted as a national hero, who rose from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of wealth and status in Chinese society.

His grandfather was a master of curing ham in his village in Zhejiang province, which afforded Mr Ren’s father the chance to become the village’s first university student, according to a 2001 essay by Mr Ren about his upbringing, which was published on a website linked to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

His father, Mr Ren Moxun, was a Communist Youth League member, who later worked as a teacher and an accountant at a military factory, but who kept up his rebel fervour under the Kuomintang by selling revolutionary books.

After moving to rural Guizhou province, he met his wife Cheng Yuanzhao and gave birth to Mr Ren Zhengfei, the oldest of two sons and five daughters.

The family lived on modest teaching salaries. In one of Mr Ren’s speeches, he remembered how his mother read him the story of Hercules, but withheld the ending until he came home with a good report card.

Famine Years

During the Great Leap Forward campaign that started in the late 1950s, a famine came to his home town after Communist Party industrialisation and collectivisation policies went off the rails. Mr Ren recalled in his essay how his mother stuffed into his hand each morning a piece of corn pancake while asking about his homework. His good grades gained him entry to the Chongqing Institute of Civil Engineering and Architecture.

After graduation, he worked in the civil engineering industry until 1974, when he joined the PLA’s Engineering Corps as a soldier, and worked on a chemical fibre base in Liaoyang. Huawei says he rose to become deputy director, but did not hold military rank. He does, however, often pepper his speeches with military references.

“Our managers and experts need to act like generals, carefully examining maps and meticulously studying problems,” Mr Ren said in a speech posted on a website for Huawei employees.

Mr Ren’s Communist Party credentials aren’t as deep as his father’s. He attended the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party in 1982, and once cited the party’s dogma of “a struggle that never ends” when defending the company’s tough work hours.

But Mr Ren was a bookworm as a child and was denied acceptance into the Communist Youth League, according to the book Huawei: Leadership, Culture And Connectivity, a book co-authored by David De Cremer, Tian Tao and Wu Chunbo.

He didn’t become a Communist Party member in the PLA until late in his military career. However, a 2012 House permanent Select Committee on Intelligence report on Huawei asked why a private company had a Communist Party Committee, which has become common among China’s Internet giants.

Mr Ren retired from the army in 1983, and joined his first wife to work at a Shenzhen company involved in the city’s special economic zone. It was around then that he had to sell off everything to pay a debt related to a business partner, and lost his job at Shenzhen Nanyou Group, as well as his first marriage, according to Ren Zhengfei And Huawei by author Li Hongwen.

Comeback Play

After a period of sleepless nights while living with family members, Mr Ren saw an opportunity. When China began its economic opening under Deng Xiaoping, the telephone penetration rate was lower than the average rate in Africa, or 120th in the world. He founded Huawei with four partners in 1987 with 21,000 yuan in initial working capital, just above the minimum threshold required under Shenzhen rules.

Huawei started out as a trader of telecom equipment, but the company’s technicians studied up on switchboards and were soon making their own. Workers put in long hours in Shenzhen’s swampy heat with only ceiling fans. Mr Ren kept up morale with subtle gestures, like offering pigtail soup to workers putting in overtime.

The company became known for its “mattress culture” in which workers would pass out on office mattresses from exhaustion. In 2006, a 25-year-old worker Hu Xinyu, who had made a habit of working into the wee hours and then sleeping at the office, died of viral encephalitis. Some Huawei employees subsequently committed suicide.

The deaths triggered a revision of the company policy on overtime, and the creation of a chief health and safety officer role.

It wasn’t the only move Mr Ren made to stabilise morale. He used to pay his workers only half their salaries on payday, but eventually decided to convert the other half of employee salaries and bonuses into shares. The company’s 2017 report shows that he has a 1.4 per cent stake, giving him a net worth of US$2 billion.

Wolf Culture

Huawei struggled for market share, with foreign companies using so-called “wolf culture” of aggressive salesmanship, which sometimes materialised in the form of Huawei employees flooding sales events with several times more salespeople than competitors.

The company ventured into international markets in the 2000s, with telecom equipment that was more affordable than products of competitors such as Cisco Systems. Huawei later admitted to copying a small portion of router code from Cisco and agreed to remove the tainted code in a settlement.

Mr Ren since stepped up the company’s research and development. Of its 180,000 employees, about 80,000 are now involved in R&D, according to the company’s 2017 report, and the company has been known to recruit some of China’s top talent out of universities.

The company recently refocused on existing markets after the US government called Huawei a national security threat, and cited concerns over its possible control of 5G technologies. Mr Trump signed a Bill banning government use of Chinese tech including Huawei’s, and has even contacted allies to get them to avoid using Huawei equipment.

Collectively owned by its employees, the company is known for a culture of discipline, in which no one, Mr Ren included, has their own driver or flies first class on the company dime. Lately, Mr Ren has been warning employees against using fake numbers or profit to enhance performance. The company set up a data verification team in 2014 within the finance department, which was overseen by Mr Ren’s daughter.

In a recent speech posted on the Huawei employee network, however, he called for patience with critics, but rejected foreign intervention. “We will never give in or yield to pressure from outside,” he said.

That maxim is going to be soon put to the test by the US Department of Justice.

Source: Bloomberg

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https://youtu.be/3z58zHmz-6k https://youtu.be/17KDxqffVFI Professor Dr. Wang Former Executive of Halliburton DID HUAWEI VIOLATE .

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Did Huawei violate Iran sanctions? No, it shows deeper US-China battle for global influence as power coming from high-tech sector


Professor Dr. Wang
Former Executive of Halliburton

DID HUAWEI VIOLATE IRAN SANCTIONS?

No, they didn’t.

CFO Meng was arrested supposedly for “violating Iran sanction”. This has to be the most grotesque distortion of justice since the US was the country who unilaterally pulled out IN VIOLATION of an agreement they had signed with multiple nations earlier !!! In other words, the guy who broke a solemn promise made, violated the agreement, then made sanction an American domestic law is now force feeding this law arbitrarily on the rest of the world by arresting someone who refuses to violate the agreement ! Is this making any sense to anybody?

Huawei created a subsidiary to do business with Iran, and the CFO is being charged with lying about the relationship between Huawei and the subsidiary.

This seems totally ridiculous to me since when I worked at Halliburton, we did EXACTLY the same thing ! Not only was our CEO never arrested, he was invited to join the government & became Vice President Dick Cheney !!!!!!!

The moral of this story is for normal businesses to be extremely vigilant & recognise the true faces of America & Saudi! One tosses you in jail for breaking twisted laws they make up as they go along & the other goes after you with a bone saw. Both are gangsters, far worse than the Mafia, because the Mafia at least have the decency to commit crimes secretively, while the thugs in American & Saudi governments commit their crimes blatantly in the open, with complete disregard to the laws & sovereignty of another country, bullying their way through, trying to justify their actions by smearing the victims… then run publicity campaigns to sway public opinions while accusing others of crimes against human rights.. ??!!

I am sure there are nice people in USA & in Saudi & i don’t want to generalise, but i have seen time & again in the States that if ever their oversized egos feel threatened, they can turn into totally evil, nefarious subhumans capable of the most despicable deeds.

The arrest of Meng is a case in point.

I went to the States starry eyed with high hopes & expectations, ready to learn a democratic system far superior than ours. Well, after my Ph.D and a few working years, I stand corrected.

Life in the States has taught me to be proud of my people and my country. Grass is definitely NOT greener on the other side. America is very strong in “hypes”, they talk big but deliver little. China does the opposite. American government spends on military, lives in “now”, supports the rich, & works for re-election. The Chinese government spends on infrastructure, works for the people, eradicated poverty & follows 5-30 year plans. These are facts, not propaganda, not campaign promises.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be home again. Not only is the food much better, more importantly, I can finally stop worrying myself sick… about my elderly mom getting mucked, my attractive wife getting raped…my children getting bullied, drugged or shot in schools…Having to live in constant fear everyday is the ultimate violation of my human rights.

Gosh, it’s good to be back in civilisation.

Dr. Wang Wins Halliburton

Huawei clash shows deeper US-China battle for global influence as power coming from high-tech sector

Bail hearings proceeded this week after Meng Wanzhou(pic), the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co, was arrested in Canada on Dec 1 because of alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran. The case threatens to derail a trade truce struck the same day between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.

HONG KONG: The Trump administration has insisted the arrest of a top Huawei executive has nothing to do with trade talks. In Beijing, it’s just the latest US move to contain China’s rise as a global power.

Bail hearings proceeded this week after Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co, was arrested in Canada on Dec 1 because of alleged violations of US sanctions against Iran. The case threatens to derail a trade truce struck the same day between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.

Even if the two leaders manage to strike a broader deal, the arrest shows that the US-China conflict goes far beyond trade. The world’s biggest economies are now engaged in a battle for global influence that will ultimately determine whether the US remains the globe’s predominant superpower, or China rises as a viable counterweight.

“The sentiment in Washington now is not just a Trumpian mercantilism – the desire to bring back factory jobs to Wisconsin or wherever,” said Nick Bisley, a professor of international relations at La Trobe University in Melbourne who has written books on great-power politics. “It is a desire to significantly cut ties with China because of that larger perception it presents a strategic risk.”

A bipartisan consensus has emerged in Washington that China’s entry into the World Trade Organisation hollowed out US manufacturing and allowed it to grow rich. That increased economic power is now at a point where it risks eroding key American military advantages around the globe.

China insists it plays by the rules, and doesn’t challenge US dominance. Even so, three areas in particular worry American strategic planners: Technology, the dollar and the ability to project military power overseas.

A year ago, the White House identified China’s growing technological prowess as a threat to US economic and military might. American companies have long argued that China forces them to transfer intellectual property and sometimes steals trade secrets – all of which Beijing denies.

In justifying tariffs, Trump’s team has cited Beijing’s “Made in China 2025” strategy to become a global leader in state-of-the-art technologies from aerospace to robotics. So far, China has resisted those demands, arguing that doing so would crush its economic potential.

Huawei in particular epitomises the threat. Earlier this year, Trump blocked Broadcom Inc’s US$117bil hostile takeover bid for Qualcomm Inc over concerns that Huawei would end up dominating the market for computer chips and wireless technologies.

The fear is that wireless carriers may be forced to turn to Huawei or other Chinese companies for 5G technology, potentially giving Beijing access to critical communications. Those concerns have prompted the US to ban Huawei’s products for government procurement, and Australia, Japan and New Zealand have reportedly followed.

China has fought back, with foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang saying this week that Huawei didn’t “force any enterprise to install forced backdoors.”

“The competition is really focused in the areas where future strategic and economic dominance come from,” said Michael Shoebridge, director of the defense and strategy programme at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

“The Huawei arrest is right in the middle of this because both America and China see their future global power as coming from the high-tech sector.”

The dominance of the dollar has allowed the US to effectively control the world’s financial system, underpinning its superpower status. Yet Trump’s increased use of sanctions to assert its foreign-policy goals has prompted a wide range of nations – from China to Russia to the European Union – to look for an alternative.

The Trump administration added nearly 1,000 entities and individuals to its sanctions list in its first year, almost 30% more than the Obama administration’s last year in office, according to law firm Gibson Dunn. The complete list now runs to more than 1,200 pages.

Sanctions are a key tool for the US to subdue potential adversaries like North Korea, but they also can affect friends and allies. The EU, which objected to reimposing sanctions on Iran, this month unveiled plans to mitigate the so-called “exorbitant privilege” of the dollar.

During a visit to China last month, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the two nations were looking at ways to boost the use of their currencies through allowing the use of China’s UnionPay credit card in Russia and Russia’s Mir card in China. “No one currency should dominate the market,” he said.

“We are potentially at the beginning of a systemic shift that may take some time to play out,” said Gregory Chin, associate professor at York University in Toronto, and a political economy specialist. “The political will is building and coalescing.” — Bloomberg

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> https://youtu.be/WvrXDbRy8dU  https://youtu.be/OzCKON8KT2E https://youtu.be/SaQKhepUEOM  https://youtu.be/2KpC1OzIYyM

In custody: A profile of Meng is displayed on a computer at a Huawei store in Beijing. The Chinese government, speaking through its emb.

Internet Protocol Version 9 第一代互联网 IPv9, Quantum Computing, AI and Blockchain: The Future of IT


Internet Protocol Version 9 第一代互联网 IPv9 

Great news and why Washington is harboring so much envy and hatred against China.

After watching the video “National Sovereign Network IPV9 officially unveiled”, I realized why cyber security is national security and what enabled the US Government to amass so much wealth from every other country in the world.

Day after day and each time we surf the internet, read our emails, WeChat, QQ, WhatsApp, etc., and use WiFi for whatever reasons including video streaming on smartphones and smartTVs, we have to use the United States Internet protocol IPV4. This is the parent server and the main root server for WWW or the worldwide Internet.

China had signed an agreement with the United States to rent the worldwide Internet for 20 years from the year 2000. Every year, China and the rest of the world have been, and currently still pay rents to the United States monopoly. The annual rents are increasing with the ever rising increase in usage, including 500 billion in 2007 and 1.8 trillion in 2017. By the end of 2020, it is estimated to be even more which is only the rent from China alone! Every other country in the world are also paying rents for Internet usage to the US. How much is that transfer of wealth! How can a country not be rich when it possesses such a humungus monopoly? If the ordinary American people ain’t receiving a share of this fabulous windfall, then their country’s elites like Trump, Clinton, Bush, Wall Street banksters like Goldman Sachs, etc., can perhaps be made to divulge their secret.

Thankfully for China (also quite likely for Third World countries) by 2014, China independently developed the IPV9 parent server and the main root server with independent intellectual property rights. Having achieved this quantum leap, China tried to negotiate with the United States to introduce to the world its new IPV9 protocol. Not surprisingly, it was rejected.

Then in 2015, a team of Chinese delegation of technological experts unveiled and gave a test introduction of IPV9 to members of the UN General Assembly. The team of experts were able to prove that both the security and quality of IPV9 far exceeded that of the United States’s IPV4 and IPV6.

The two nations were then given the opportunity to present their case at the end of which the UN Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of China’s IPV9.

After further discussions, the UN General Assembly handed over management of the worldwide internet to China for 100 years. That is to say, when the current lease with the US expires in 2020, China will assume leadership and management of the worldwide internet with its superlative IPV9 parent server and the main root server.

All the receiving and transmitting stations in China have now been completed. To date, 25 countries have signed lease agreements with China with the rest of the world to follow. In 2019, IPV9 will be put into trial operation. When the lease with the US expires in 2020, the old and outdated American IPV4 will be closed and China’s new generation Internet, namely the “Internet of Things IPV9”, will be up and running. If Internet IPV4 and IPV6 made the United States brilliant, then the Internet of Things IPV9 will bring immense glory and blessings to China and the rest of the world for the next hundred years!

Quantum Computing, AI and Blockchain: The Future of IT – Talks at Google

Prof. Shoucheng Zhang discusses three pillars of information technology: quantum computing, AI and blockchain. He presents the fundamentals of crypto-economic science, and answers questions such as: What is the intrinsic value of a medium of exchange? What is the value of consensus and how does it emerge? How can math be used to create distributed self-organizing consensus networks to create a data-marketplace for AI and machine learning?

Prof. Zhang is the JG Jackson and CJ Wood professor of physics at Stanford University. He is a member of the US National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He discovered a new state of matter called topological insulator in which electrons can conduct along the edge without dissipation, enabling a new generation of electronic devices with much lower power consumption. For this ground breaking work he received numerous international awards, including the Buckley Prize, the Dirac Medal and Prize, the Europhysics Prize, the Physics Frontiers Prize and the Benjamin Franklin Medal.

He is also the founding chairman of DHVC venture capital fund, which invests in AI, blockchain, mobile internet, big data, AR/VR, genomics and precision medicine, sharing economy and robotics.
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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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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 urges release of Huawei executive

– In violation of universal human rights

Chinese officials are urging the US and Canada to clarify why Meng Wanzhou, a senior executive of Huawei Technologies, has been detained and to immediately release her, slamming the arrest as a violation of her rights.

Experts said on Thursday that Meng’s detention is a move by the US to heat up the ongoing trade war between China and the US.

Meng, who is Huawei’s chief financial officer and the daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, was detained as she was transferring flights in Canada, according to information provided by Huawei, one of China’s tech giants.

Meng’s detention was made following a request by the US, which is seeking her extradition on as yet unspecified charges made by prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York, a Huawei spokesperson told the Global Times on Thursday.

Meng was arrested in Vancouver on Saturday, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing a spokesperson from Canada’s Justice Department.

“China has demanded that the US and Canada immediately clarify the reasons for Meng’s detention and to release her,” Geng Shuang, spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a daily press briefing on Thursday.

He noted that Chinese consular officials in Canada have already provided assistance to Meng.

Meng’s detention, made without any clearly stated charges, is an obvious violation of her human rights, said Geng.

The Chinese Embassy in Canada also said on Thursday morning that it firmly opposes and has made strong protests over the action which has seriously curtailed the rights of a Chinese citizen.

“The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the US and Canadian side, and urged them to immediately correct the wrongdoing and restore the personal freedom of Meng Wanzhou,” the Chinese Embassy in Canada said in a statement published on its website.

A Canadian source with knowledge of the arrest was quoted in the Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail on Thursday as saying that US law enforcement authorities allege that Huawei violated US sanctions against Iran but provided no further details.

Although Meng’s detention stems from terms of the US-Canada extradition treaty, the US should not be taking such legal action without providing concrete evidence, especially when it has been trying to restore relations with China, Hao Junbo, a Beijing-based lawyer, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Chinese officials and experts criticized the US for its long-arm jurisdiction, which not only hurts individuals but also enterprises.

Rising obstacles

Huawei has been targeted by the US for many years, from patent infringement lawsuits to political pressure, Xiang Ligang, chief executive of the telecom industry news site cctime.com, told the Global Times on Thursday.

“As the Chinese company grew stronger, it faced more obstacles in foreign markets as it is considered as a threat to local players,” he said.

Cisco Systems filed the first lawsuit against Huawei in 2003. Motorola filed a lawsuit accusing Huawei of theft of trade secrets in 2010, according to media reports. The company also faced investigation by the US Congress on security issues.

Since at least 2016, US authorities have been probing Huawei’s alleged shipping of US-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of US export and sanctions laws, Reuters reported in April.

The US also asked its major allies to say ‘no’ to Huawei equipment, as it was worried about alleged potential Chinese meddling in 5G networks, the Wall Street Journal reported on November 23.

While the company faces rising difficulties in the US market, it has been actively exploring other markets such as the EU and Africa.

It became the world’s largest telecom equipment provider in 2017, surpassing Ericsson and ZTE, industry website telecomlead.com reported in March, citing IHS data.

Huawei has a 28 percent market share in the global telecom infrastructure industry, followed by Ericsson and Nokia, which have 27 percent and 23 percent respectively, said the report.

Escalating trade war

The US will not stop countering China’s rise in the technology sector and will never drop its hostility toward China’s “Made in China 2025” strategy, Wang Yanhui, head of the Shanghai-based Mobile China Alliance, told the Global Times on Thursday.

“Huawei has become another card for the US to play against China in the ongoing trade war,” he said.

China and the US announced a trade truce following a meeting between the two countries’ top leaders in Buenos Aires on Saturday.

But experts warned that China should be prepared for a long-lasting and heated trade war with the US, as it will continue to attempt to counter China’s rising power.

“The latest Huawei incident shows that we should get ready for long-term confrontation between China and the US, as the US will not ease its stance on China and the arrest of a senior executive of a major Chinese tech company is a vivid example,” Mei Xinyu, a research fellow with the Beijing-based Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Huawei said there is very little information about specific allegations and that the company is not aware of any misconduct by Meng.

“The company complies with all laws and regulations in the countries in which it operates, including export control and sanctions laws applied in the UN, the US and the EU,” Huawei said. – Global Times by Chen Qingqing

Canada’s treatment of Meng Wanzhou in violation of human rights

We hope that Canadian authorities handle the case seriously and properly. We also hope that Ms Meng will be treated humanely and will be bailed out. We would like to see Meng’s case being handled properly, so that she can regain her freedom as soon as possible. Chinese society has always respected Canada, and it is sincerely hoped that the way how Canadian authorities handle this matter will live up to Chinese people’s expectation and impressions regarding the country.

 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.

US takes aim at Huawei

 Arrest of telecom giant’s CFO escalates US-China tech battle

THE Trump administration’s efforts to extradite the chief financial officer of China’s Huawei Technologies Co over criminal charges mark the start of an even more aggressive phase in the technology rivalry between the United States and China and will increase pressure on Washington’s allies to shun the telecommunications company.

Armed with a US extradition request, Canadian authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou on Dec 1, the same day as President Trump was holding a summit with Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping. But White House officials said Trump had no advance knowledge of the arrest, indicating the action was on a separate track from trade talks currently under way between Washington and Beijing.

Meng’s detention underscores a sense of urgency, at the Justice Department and other US agencies, to address what they see as a growing threat to national security posed by China’s ambitions to gain an edge in the tech sector. For years, Washington has alleged the Chinese government could compel Huawei, which supplies much of the world with critical cellular network equipment, to spy or to disrupt communications.

Huawei has long said it is an employee-owned company and isn’t beholden to any government, and has never used its equipment to spy on or sabotage other countries. The Chinese government, speaking through its embassy in Canada, strenuously objected to the arrest, and demanded Meng’s immediate release.

US prosecutors made the extradition request based on a sealed indictment for alleged violations of Iran sanctions that had been prepared for some time, people familiar with the matter said. A federally appointed US overseer, formerly charged with evaluating HSBC Holdings PLC’s anti-money-laundering and sanctions controls, relayed information about suspicious Huawei transactions to federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York, some of the people said.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei, is now in custody in Vancouver, and a bail hearing has been scheduled for Friday, according to a spokesman for Canada’s justice department.

Some worried a lack of coordination on the various strands of the Trump administration’s China initiatives could be counterproductive, especially if Trump decides to use the detention of Meng as leverage to extract concessions in the trade talks. The two sides agreed on a 90-day window from the Dec 1 summit to settle a trade dispute that has seen the two sides exchange tit-for-tat tariffs on each other’s goods.

“I’m very concerned that that’s just going to ratchet this trade war and make negotiations much more difficult,” said Gary Locke, former US ambassador to China. “This is I think a really hot-button, almost a grenade with respect to the 90-day negotiations.”

China has a long history of reading darker motives into US actions. “The risk is conspiracy theories in Beijing,” said China scholar Michael Pillsbury at Hudson Institute, who consults regularly with the Trump trade team. He compares the events to when China rejected US explanations that the United States had made a mistake when it bombed the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in 1999 during the Kosovo war.

The arrest indicated the Justice Department had significant evidence against Meng, and that additional charges were likely, said Brian Fleming, a trade and national security lawyer at Miller & Chevalier. “This is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.

The arrest could also add ammunition to an extraordinary US government campaign to persuade wireless and Internet providers in allied countries to stop using telecommunications equipment from Huawei, said national security experts. US officials say they are intensifying efforts to curb Huawei because wireless carriers world-wide are about to upgrade to 5G, a new wireless technology that will connect many more items—factory parts, self-driving cars and everyday objects like wearable health monitors – to the Internet. US officials say they don’t want to give Beijing the potential to interfere with an ever-growing universe of connected devices.

 

By Kate O’keeffe and Bob Davis

 

Huawei reveals the real trade war with China

Tech rivalry: The high-tech trade war shows that for all the hoopla over manufacturing jobs, steel autos and
tariffs, the real competition is in the tech sector. — Reuters

IF you only scan the headlines, you could be forgiven for thinking that the US-China trade war is mainly about tariffs.

After all, the president and trade-warrior-in-chief has called himself “Tariff Man”. And the tentative trade deal between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping was mainly about tariffs, especially on items like automobiles.

But the startling arrest in Canada of a Chinese telecom company executive should wake people up to the fact that there’s a second US-China trade war going on – a much more stealthy conflict, fought with weapons much subtler and more devastating than tariffs. And the prize in that other struggle is domination of the information-technology industry.

The arrested executive, Wanzhou Meng, is the chief financial officer of telecom-equipment manufacturer Huawei Technologies Co (and its founder’s daughter). The official reason for her arrest is that Huawei is suspected of selling technology to Iran, in violation of US sanctions.

It’s the second big Chinese tech company to be accused of breaching those sanctions – the first was ZTE Corp in 2017. The United States punished ZTE by forbidding it from buying American components – most importantly, telecom chips made by US-based Qualcomm Inc.

Those purchasing restrictions were eventually lifted after ZTE agreed to pay a fine, and it seems certain that Huawei will also eventually escape severe punishment. But these episodes highlight Chinese companies’ dependence on critical US technology.

The United States. still makes – or at least, designs – the best computer chips in the world. China assembles lots of electronics, but without those crucial inputs of US technology, products made by companies such as Huawei would be of much lower quality.

Export restrictions, and threats of restrictions, are thus probably not just about sanctions – they’re about making life harder for the main competitors of US tech companies.

Huawei just passed Apple Inc to become the world’s second-largest smartphone maker by market share (Samsung Electronics Co is first). This marks a change for China, whose companies have long been stuck doing low-value assembly while companies in rich countries do the high-value design, marketing and component manufacturing.

US moves against Huawei and ZTE may be intended to force China to remain a cheap supplier instead of a threatening competitor.

The subtle, far-sighted nature of this approach suggests that the impetus for the high-tech trade war goes far beyond what Trump, with his focus on tariffs and old-line manufacturing industries, would think of. It seems likely that US tech companies, as well as the military intelligence communities, are influencing policy here as well.

In fact, more systematic efforts to block Chinese access to US components are in the works. The Export Control Reform Act, passed this summer, increased regulatory oversight of US exports of “emerging” and “foundational” technologies deemed to have national-security importance. Although national security is certainly a concern, it’s generally hard to separate high-tech industrial and corporate dominance from military dominance, so this too should be seen as part of the trade war.

A second weapon in the high-tech trade war is investment restrictions. The Trump administration has greatly expanded its power to block Chinese investments in US technology companies, through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

The goal of investment restrictions is to prevent Chinese companies from copying or stealing American ideas and technologies. Chinese companies can buy American companies and transfer their intellectual property overseas, or have their employees train their Chinese replacements.

Even minority stakes can allow a Chinese investor access to industrial secrets that would otherwise be off-limits. By blocking these investors, the Trump administration hopes to preserve US technological dominance, at least for a little while longer.

Notably, the European Union is also moving to restrict Chinese investments. The fact that Europe, which has opposed Trump’s tariffs, is copying American investment restrictions, should be a signal that the less-publicised high-tech trade war is actually the important one.

The high-tech trade war shows that for all the hoopla over manufacturing jobs, steel, autos and tariffs, the real competition is in the tech sector.

Losing the lead in the global technology race means lower profits and a disappearing military advantage. But it also means losing the powerful knowledge-industry clustering effects that have been an engine of US economic growth in the post-manufacturing age. Bluntly put, the United States can afford to lose its lead in furniture manufacturing; it can’t afford to lose its dominance in the tech sector.

The question is whether the high-tech trade war will succeed in keeping China in second place. China has long wanted to catch up in semiconductor manufacturing, but export controls will make that goal a necessity rather than an aspiration. And investment restrictions may spur China to upgrade its own homegrown research and development capacity.

In other words, in the age when China and the United States were economically co-dependent, China might have been content to accept lower profit margins and keep copying American technology instead of developing its own. But with the coming of the high-tech trade war, that co-dependency is coming to an end. Perhaps that was always inevitable, as China pressed forward on the technological frontier. In any case, the Trump administration’s recent moves against Chinese tech – and some similar moves by the EU – should be seen as the first shots in a long war.

— Bloomberg by Noah Smit

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Huawei to sell servers with own chips in cloud computing push

 

China-US trade truce set to benefit world


Illustration: Peter C. Espina/GT

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump’s meeting in Argentina on Saturday yielded results that boosted the confidence of both countries and the world. The US agreed to hold off on raising tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 percent and the two countries decided to start a new round of negotiations in the next three months. The meeting has prevented bilateral relations from going into a nosedive, showing how rewarding diplomacy between heads of state can be.

The meeting lasted an hour longer than expected, created a cordial atmosphere for talks and ended with a spontaneous group photo. A White House statement released on Saturday said the meeting was “highly successful.”

These details are very indicative. After US Vice President Mike Pence delivered a stinging speech on its China policy at the Hudson Institute in the beginning of October, many worried that a new Cold War between the two countries was looming. But now, the Xi-Trump meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit has shown that Beijing and Washington have the wisdom and ability to avoid the shadow of the Cold War shroud the world once again.

The compromise between China and the US is a wise decision to deal with their respective domestic challenges. The intensified trade war in the past few months upset farmers, enterprises and financial institutions of both countries. US farmers planted 89.1 million acres of soybeans this year, some were reportedly letting their crops rot as they were unable to sell them to their biggest buyer and the storage costs rose amid the trade conflict with China.

In addition, US companies involved in the international economy are suffering because of a worsening global economic environment. Although the US economy has maintained relatively rapid growth thanks to tax cuts and increased federal expenditure, the economies of Europe, China and Japan have all contracted.

Just as IMF Chief Christine Lagarde recently warned, the headwinds of trade friction, notably between China and the US, “could have slowed momentum even more than we had expected.” She also said that if Trump follows through on this threat to impose steep tariffs on auto imports, it would result in retaliation from trading partners on US exports and could cut a large chunk out of the world economy.

An escalation in trade disputes worldwide will inevitably bring more pressure on both Chinese and American companies. According to a statement by the WTO on November 22, countries belonging to the G20 group of the world’s biggest economies applied 40 new trade restrictive measures between mid-May and mid-October, covering around $481 billion of trade. Trimming its outlook for the global economy, the OECD calculated that a full-blown trade war and the resulting economic uncertainty could knock as much as 0.8 percent off global gross domestic product by 2021.

In this context, the efforts made by China and the US in Argentina to ease trade tensions are valuable to save the global economy. How to take the next step is of course full of challenges. Reaching an agreement on a number of sensitive issues within the next three months will be a big test for both countries.

The Trump government should not overestimate its bargaining chips. It should review the fundamental role healthy and balanced globalization can play in helping the US economy maintain sustainable growth. Trump recently asked General Motors to stop making cars in China and open a new plant in Ohio. As General Motors is highly dependent on the Chinese market, such requirements appear to run counter to common sense and reason.

Besides, the Trump government threatened to impose export controls on new technologies like robotics, hoping to weaken China’s position in the global supply chain and win an upper hand in technological competition with China. Such an approach has been opposed by sane minds in Silicon Valley who argue that it will only benefit companies in Europe and Japan.

China needs to accelerate the implementation of the new round of reform and opening-up policy in the following three months. The Chinese government in the past few months rolled out more policies to support private companies, which is necessary, but more importantly, it should hasten steps to establish a more mature market economy.

If China can reform its own development model based on its own plan under the pressure of a trade spat, it will be the biggest winner and the whole world will also benefit from it.

By Zhao Minghao Source:Global Times

The author is a senior research fellow with The Charhar Institute and an adjunct fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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