Highlights of Xi’s keynote speech at second Belt and Road Forum

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in Beijing on Friday. Here are the highlights:
On Belt and Road Initiative
Xi said that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) aims to build a trade and infrastructure network, adding that joint building of the Belt and Road has opened up new space for the world’s economic growth.
Based on the principles of equality and mutual benefit, the BRI focuses on connectivity and practical cooperation to achieve win-win outcomes and common development.
The principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits should be upheld, Xi said, and open, green and clean approaches should be adhered to.
The goals of high-standard, livelihood-improving and sustainable development should be achieved, according to Xi.
China will work with other parties to promote a coalition of sustainable cities and an international coalition for green development under the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi said.
High-quality infrastructure under BRI
Xi highlighted building infrastructure of high quality, sustainability, risk resilience, reasonable pricing, inclusiveness and accessibility under the BRI.
Calling infrastructure the cornerstone of connectivity and a bottleneck of  evelopment confronting many countries, Xi said building infrastructure with such standards could help countries give full play to their advantages in resources and better integrate into the global supply, industry and value chains for interconnected development.
On people-to-people connectivity
China will support 5,000 people from the innovation sector in Belt and Road countries in conducting exchanges, training programs and joint research over the next five years.
China will work with other participants of the Belt and Road Initiative to promote scientific and cultural exchanges, set up joint science labs, build science and technology parks, and promote the transfer of technologies, Xi said.
A total of 10,000 representatives of political parties, think tanks and non-governmental organizations from countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative will be invited to China for exchanges in the next five years.
On trade and opening-up
Xi said that China will increase imports of goods and services on a larger scale, slash its negative list on imports and will negotiate and sign high-standard free trade agreements with more countries.
China will further lower its tariff rates and the country would continuously open up its market and welcome quality products from around the world.
China is also willing to import more competitive farm produces, finished products and services and will allow foreign investors to operate businesses in more sectors with
controlling or full stake.

China prohibits forced technology transfer

China will step up protecting the legitimate rights and interests of foreign owners of intellectual property rights, and prohibit the forced transfer of technology, Xi said.
It will create a business environment in which the value of knowledge is respected, Xi said.
(With input from Xinhua)

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Penang, a hub for 5G RF chip production

Significant role: Mini-Circuits’ manufacturing facility in Penang is expected to contribute about 10% of the group’s 5G RF chips production over the next few years.

PENANG is one of a handful of manufacturing sites in Asia with a 5G (fifth-generation mobile networks) radio frequency (RF) chip production facility. And the state has become an important production site for Mini-Circuits Technologies (Malaysia), a subsidiary of New York-based Scientific Component.

It is now producing one million 5G RF chips a month for use in 5G telecommunication base stations worldwide.

“We started 5G RF chip production in 2018.

“The plan is to increase the output to between 40 million and 50 million units in three years, depending on how fast telcos worldwide are able to implement 5G base stations,” says Datuk Seri Kelvin Kiew, president and chief executive officer of Mini-Circuits.

In Penang, Mini-Circuits produces 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHZ chips.

What is the fuss over 5G?

“In layman’s terms, 5G, the successor to 4G, is 100 times faster than 4G, with speeds that reach 10 gigabits per second.

“This would let consumers download a full-length high-definition movie in seconds.

“5G will have enhanced bandwidth, allowing it to accommodate the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) such as smart refrigerators to traffic lights to dog collars, enabling them to transmit and receive data.

Faster speed: The 5G technology will benefit both businesses and consumers, says Kiew.

“The potential benefits to 5G are vast for both businesses and consumers – for the former, the additional capacity and speed should allow for greater mobile working whilst for consumers, the speed should offer additional benefits within the ability of your smartphone. 5G is also crucial to the full implementation of AI (artificial intelligence) worldwide.

“For example, a business using a 5G network would mean employees can video conference from any location whilst for consumers, 5G could allow you to download a film to your smartphone in under a second,” Kiew says.

Penang is an important manufacturing site for Mini-Circuits, contributing about 10% of the 5G RF chips – valued at about US$350mil – to be shipped out by the group over the next few years.

“The value of the 5G RF chips shipped out from Penang is estimated to be about US$80mil for 2019, of which, about half of the amount is for the China market,” he says.

In the initial phase, the sub-6 GHZ application will dominate production, as it provides reasonable bandwidth speed and wider coverage.

“In the subsequent phase, the mmWave will be used in areas where there is a need for multi-gigabit communication services.

“The objective with mmWave is to increase the data bandwidth available over smaller, densely populated areas.

“It will be a key part of 5G in many cities, powering data in sports stadiums, malls, and convention centres, as well as basically anywhere that data congestion might be a problem.

“Out in rural towns and villages, sub-6 GHz and low bands below 2 GHz will probably play a more crucial role in ensuring consistent coverage,” Kiew says.

A problem with mmWave is that the signal cannot penetrate walls.

“However, the mmWave will leverage the support from 5G base stations to bounce around until a decent signal is transmitted.

“When it rains, the signal will be impacted.

“Our manufacturing site worldwide, including Penang, will work on improving both the mmWave and sub-6 GHZ band RF modules to overcome the limitations,” he adds.

According to Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) forecast, by 2025, there will be 1.2 billion 5G connections worldwide, with 5G networks covering almost 40% of the global population.

Asia Pacific will account for more than half of these, or 675 million 5G connections, by 2025.

But when will 5G become a reality?

“The first 5G compatible phones will become available in the middle of this year, but consumers will not initially notice vastly faster speeds because 5G coverage will be limited to certain cities or neighbourhoods at first.

“Analysts predict it will be at least a couple of years before the network’s reach will be extensive enough to let you use your 5G phone without relying on current wireless standards most of the time,” he says.

“We had a record year in 2018 shipping over US$400mil worth of RF products that includes filters, power splitters, and amplifiers.

“Growth in 2019 will be between 5% and 10%, impacted by the trade war and the overall slow down in the handheld products.

“Our Malaysia facility is expected to ship US$150mil worth of RF products in 2019,” Kiew concludes.

By David Tan The Star



AI to nearly double the rate of innovation in 2021 | Focus Malaysia

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Spotlight on virtual banking licenses

Bank Negara’s plan to issue up to three virtual banking licences has excited the local financial sector which otherwise has begun to look a little lethargic.

BANK Negara’s announcement this week which
stated that it is looking to issue up to three virtual banking licences has excited the local financial sector which otherwise has begun to look a little lethargic.

The announcement comes at the same time as Hong Kong’s move to issue three licences of this type to a combination of companies partnering finance firms, namely Standard Chartered, BOC Hong Kong Holdings Ltd and online insurance company ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co.

Five more of such licences in the city are being processed.

In Malaysia, the announcement by Bank Negara is significant also because the central bank has not issued any new banking licences for many years now.

That said, both Hong Kong and Malaysia’s move to encourage pure online banking ventures is very much in line with the fact that fintech innovations are slowly but surely seeping into the daily lives of people globally, providing cheaper and more easily accessible financial services.

The idea of virtual banks – which theoretically means a bank without any physical branches whatsoever – however, is not entirely new.

In fact, many countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom have attempted it.

Some have failed, others continue to operate, taking deposits and giving out loans much like traditional banking outfits.

Closer to home, India, China, South Korea and Japan have ventured into this model.

Japan, for instance, went for the zero branch strategy as far back as the 1990s with the setting up of Japan Net Bank.

There have been other Internet banks there since then such as Seven Bank which has been providing financial services via ATMs across 7-Eleven convenience shops in Japan since the early 2000s.

In South Korea, the then-chair of the Financial Services Commission, Yim Jong-yong gave initial approval for the setting up of the country’s first two virtual banks back in 2015.

K Bank was its first, starting operations in April 2017 followed a few months later by kakaobank, which started with some W300 billion (about RM1.077bil) in start-up capital.

To be sure, virtual banks, which primarily target the retail segment including the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), have existed even before the concept of fintech – which is basically using technology to provide improved financial services – gained prominence over the last few years.

The rise of fintech in recent times can be attributed to consumers becoming increasingly tech-savvy and more demanding when it comes to convenience on-the-go.

It also stems from the fact that there are millions of individuals who are unbanked or underbanked but who now have access to the Internet.

In China alone, mobile payments run in trillions of yuan.

It is perhaps this increasing savviness that is contributing to regulators the world over wanting to push for more virtual banks and easing guidelines to fit the concept in.

It is noteworthy that within the Asean region, Malaysia is among the first to attempt this virtual bank model.

Timo, Vietnam’s first bank sans any traditional branch, was officially launched in 2016 while nearest neighbour Singapore currently does not have any banks purely of this nature.Even so, Bank Negara governor Datuk Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus has said that the central bank is currently working towards releasing licensing guidelines for such operations only by the end of this year.

She has stressed that discussions with the few parties interested in setting up virtual banks in Malaysia are still at the preliminary stage.

Still, that’s not stopped industry people from raising questions, many of which are valid.

For starters, notwithstanding theoretical definitions, what will be the exact definition of a local virtual bank ?

 What are the rules?

“Who can apply to operate such banks and will these guys be subject to the same rules that apply to traditional banks such as those involving capital requirements and such?” asks one senior banker attached to a regional bank.

While the jury is still out on rules that will apply in Malaysia should the idea materialise, a broad idea on this can be gleaned from the guidelines that have been set out by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA).

According to the HKMA, firstly, a “virtual bank is defined as a bank which primarily delivers retail banking services through the Internet or other forms of electronic channels instead of physical branches”.

HKMA’s guidelines include rules such as virtual banks having to play an active role in promoting financial inclusion when offering their banking services.

“While virtual banks are not expected to maintain physical branches, they should endeavour to take care of the needs of their target customers, be they individuals or SMEs,” it says, adding that virtual banks should not impose any minimum account balance requirement or low-balance fees on their customers.

In terms of ownership, the HKMA says that because virtual banks will mostly be focused on retail businesses covering a large pool of such clients, “they are expected to operate in the form of a locally-incorporated bank, in line with the established policy of requiring banks that operate significant retail businesses to be locally-incorporated entities”.

It also says that it is generally its policy “that a party which has more than 50% of the share capital of a bank incorporated in Hong Kong should be a bank or a financial institution in good standing and supervised by a recognised authority in Hong Kong or elsewhere”.

While the guidelines cover a lot more, it is worthwhile pointing out that the HKMA is of the view that “virtual banks will be subject to the same set of supervisory requirements applicable to conventional banks”, with some of the rules being changed in line with technological requirements.

It adds that in terms of capital requirement, “virtual banks must maintain adequate capital commensurating with the nature of their operations and the banking risks they are undertaking”.

Noticeable absence of tech players

Interestingly, in the first round of licences given out by the HKMA, there was a noticeable absence of major Chinese tech companies like Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Ant Financial, which many would have thought make obvious choices given their experience in carving out game-changing fintech-centric services especially in their home country of China.

“Mobile payment services offered by the likes of WeChat and Alipay are possible with Internet giants like Alibaba and Tencent behind the entire ecosystem, the fact that they were not included raised some eyebrows,” says one Hong Kong-based banking analyst.

In the same vein, Hong Kong has been criticised for not being proactive enough when it comes to encouraging financial start-ups and being overly protective of conventional banks as evident in its fintech sandbox programme of 2016, which was reportedly introduced to help traditional financial institutions try out new technology instead of supporting fresh start-ups.

“Still, a start is better than no start and we are looking forward to when these virtual banks start operating in nine months’ time,” says the analyst.

He adds that as long as security is not an issue, he hopes that virtual banks will be able to provide what traditional banks are “still not good at”, namely personalised customer service and cheaper services.

While it is early days yet in Malaysia, the general feedback is that virtual banks will be good, specifically for consumers who will have more choices.

But this will come at the expense of increased competition within the banking sector.

Analysts in Hong Kong have predicted that about 10% of revenue belonging to traditional banks there will be “at risk” over the next ten years because of the setting up of virtual banks.

Whether or not it will be the same for Malaysian banks remains to be seen.

A lot of this will depend on the guidelines that the central bank plans to set out in the months to come.

By Yvonne Tan The Star

Breaking ground with new banking concept

Backed by Ma: MyBank is backed by billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Alibaba affiliate
company Ant Financial owns 30% of the online lender. (Photo: AFP)

(The Star Online/ANN) – DURING the height of the fintech revolution that’s been taking place over the last few years, one prominent banker in Malaysia made an interesting comment during a private dinner.

The banker said that while he welcomes fintech companies into the market, he wasn’t really afraid of losing any significant business to them. What he really feared, if anything, were the technology giants turning on a banking facility for the millions of users they have on their platforms.

“This Facebook Bank, Google Bank or Whatsapp Financial Group,” he quipped in half jest.

The logic is simple: with those platforms even then having had the myriad users globally, they are able to tap that user group to offer financial services.

But banking remains a highly regulated space. Not every technology company will be able to fulfill those criteria or even have such intentions.

Still, there are a number of virtual banks that have sprung up globally.

Here are some of the more notable ones in this part of the region.

China: WeBank

WeBank is China’s first private digital-only bank, launched in early 2015.

It is backed by tech giant Tencent Holdings – China’s biggest messaging and social networking company, which is also the operator of WeChat

Besides Tencent, its other backers include investment firms Baiyeyuan and Liye Group.

According to its website, WeBank provides consumer banking services through digital channels, as well as microcredits and other loan products.

The Internet-only lender had turned in a profit one year into operation thanks to surging demand for microloans among blue-collar workers and small entrepreneurs.

In 2017, WeBank made a net profit of 1.4 billion yuan or US$209mil, while its return on equity came in at 19.2%.

Its total lending in that year was nearly twice that of closest rival MyBank for the same period.

A recent stake sale of the bank values the company at US$21bil, making it one of the world’s largest “unicorn” companies.

Banking Tech recently reported that the lender is now eyeing an Australian expansion to compete with payments company Alipay, which is its largest rival.


MyBank is backed by billionaire Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

Alibaba affiliate company Ant Financial owns 30% of the online lender.

Not unlike WeBank, it has a focus on consumer and small and medium-sized enterprises, a sector underserved by traditional banks in China.

It uses credit data from the e-commerce giant’s AliPay product to conduct analysis for loans.

By circumventing human involvement, the bank said it was able to deliver loans to borrowers faster and up to 1,000 times less than it would cost brick-and-mortar banks to do so.

Like WeBank, it turned profitable one year into operations due to its less capital-intensive model.

Ant Financial is reportedly looking to go public in the near future.

India: Digibank

Singapore’s banking giant DBS Bank launched Digibank in April 2016 – a move that has enabled it to penetrate the Indian retail banking market.

Breaking away from conventional banking norms with their onerous form-filling and cumbersome processes, Digibank incorporates a host of ground-breaking technology, from artificial intelligence to biometrics.

DBS CEO Piyush Gupta expects the mobile-only bank to break even in three to four years, which according to him is not such a bad deal as compared to the traditional branch model, which needs 15 to 20 years to break even.

Digibank has over 1.5 million customers and it is handling them with 60 people rather than the 400-500 staff members it would normally need under the traditional model. Its cost-to-income ratio is in the low 30s.

Following its Indian venture, DBS went on to launch a similar mobile-led bank in Indonesia where the government expects the country’s digital economy to reach US$130bil or about 12% of its gross domestic product in 2020.

Other Singaporean lenders have also jumped on the bandwagon. United Overseas Bank (UOB) said it would launch “digital banks” for its five key markets in Asean, starting in Thailand. It aims to have three to five million customers in the next five years

Elsewhere, OCBC is also reportedly pursuing a similar idea in Indonesia.


Established in 2008, Jibun Bank reached profitability in less than five years. The outfit is a joint venture between Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and local mobile network operator, KDDI.

The story goes that instead of competing with each other, the two organisations decided it would make more sense creating a “separate bank” that complement their goals.

The Asian Banker in a case study on Jibun Bank noted that in its first year, the lender had accumulated over 500,000 new customers. By 2015, Jibun Bank’s asset volume surpassed that of Japan’s oldest Internet bank, Japan Net Bank. Asian Banker also noted that the lender’s deposit volume has grown to a size that is comparable to that of a mid-tier regional bank – all of this without the help of a branch footprint.

 South Korea: K-bank and Kakao Bank

The two South Korea’s online-only banks have signed up new customers by the millions since beginning operations in 2017.

Kakao Bank is run by mobile messaging Kakao and Korea Investment Holdings, while K-bank is operated by telco KT.

The authorities there are hoping that K-bank and Kakao Bank would spur growth in a banking industry that has stagnated amid rising credit costs, narrowing interest margins and heavy regulation.

The Financial Times in an October 2017 report wrote that about 300,000 new accounts were opened with Kakao Bank in the 24 hours following its launch in late July. This figure was more than what traditional banks in South Korea got in a year through online channels. And as at end-September that year, it had already garnered 3.9 million users.

The news agency said that Kako Bank users can wire money abroad for just a tenth of typical commission fees.

Its peer K-bank, meanwhile, attracted over half a million users in the few months following its April 2017 launch.

In contrast, international banks operating traditional branch networks in the country were looking at downsizing their branches.

Early this year, Shinhan Financial Group inked a deal with mobile app maker Viva Republica to set up an Internet-only bank, making it the third player in the game.

by gurmeet kaur The Star



SC to regulate digital assets

Good move: Lim says many people have bypassed Malaysia because the policy was not clear about digital assets

Move seen to spur growth in digital currency sector

Regulatory oversight of digital currencies and tokens, which kicks in from today, offers timely clarity and transparency to various players in the fledgling industry.

Omni Capital Partners Sdn Bhd managing director Scott Lim said everything would be above board with the regulation and governance under the Securities Commission (SC).

“Digital assets in Malaysia have been underwhelmed mostly. A lot of people have been bypassing Malaysia because the policy was not clear about it.

“Certainly, now that this is regulated by the SC, it’ll be good. We shall wait for the guidelines,” he said.

Celebrus Advisory co-founder Edmund Yong said the regulation is very much welcomed and one which is needed, as it would spur growth in the industry.

Celebrus is a compliance-first blockchain consultancy firm.

He added that the statement by the Finance Ministry was very accommodative with the intention to use tokens and the recognition of it as a fund-raising tool.

“In fact, it can be an indirect source of foreign direct investment, a borderless method to raise funds.

“But from now until March 31, there will be a twilight period. Many activities will be stopped in their tracks because they don’t know where they stand.

“Some would possibly even move offshore because of the draconian RM10mil and 10-year imprisonment punishment,” said Yong.

He said digital tokens could also be for points in computer games or reward points, and it too would be quite draconian if it is all painted with the same brush.

The Capital Markets and Services (Prescription of Securities) (Digital Currency and Digital Token) Order 2019 kicks in today and any person operating unauthorised initial coin offerings (ICOs) or digital asset exchanges faces up to a 10-year jail term and up to a RM10mil fine.

Digital currencies and digital tokens are collectively known as digital assets, which will now be prescribed as securities.

The SC is putting in place relevant regulatory requirements for the issuance of ICOs and the trading of digital assets at digital asset exchanges in the country.

This is expected to be launched by the end of the first quarter this year.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the offering of such instruments, as well as its associated activities, would require authorisation from the SC and needed to comply with relevant securities law and regulations.

“The Finance Ministry views digital assets as well as its underlying blockchain technologies as having the potential to bring about innovation in both old and new industries.

“In particular, we believe digital assets have a role to play as an alternative fund-raising avenue for entrepreneurs and new businesses, and as an alternative asset class for investors,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Any person offering an ICO or operating a digital asset exchange without the SC’s approval will face an imprisonment term not exceeding 10 years and a fine not exceeding RM10mil.

Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad mooted the idea of the Harapan Coin last year, which would be the world’s first political fund-raising platform using blockchain and cryptocurrency technology.

In November last year, shareholders of Country Heights Holdings Bhd approved the company’s plan to conduct an ICO to issue its own cryptocurrency, called “horse currency”.

Country Heights founder and chairman Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew had said that the company would like to be the first to launch cryptocurrency in the country when the regulations are ready.

The company’s plan is to eventually issue one billion horse currencies backed by RM2bil worth of physical assets held by the holding company, with an initial 300 million open to the public for circulation.

StarBizBy ROYCE TAN roycetan@thestar.com.my



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Huawei unveils server chipset as China cuts reliance on imports

New chip: A Kunpeng 920 chip is displayed during an unveiling ceremony in Shenzhen. Huawei is seeking growth avenues in cloud computing and enterprise services. — AP

HONG KONG: Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has launched a new chipset for use in servers, at a time when China is pushing to enhance its chip-making capabilities and reduce its heavy reliance on imports, especially from the United States.

Huawei, which gets the bulk of its revenue from the sale of telecommunications equipment and smartphones, is seeking growth avenues in cloud computing and enterprise services as its equipment business comes under increased scrutiny in the West amid worries about Chinese government influence over the firm.

Huawei has repeatedly denied any such influence.

Chinese firms are also seeking to minimise the impact of a trade dispute that has seen China and the United States slap tariffs on each other’s technology imports.

For Huawei, the launch of the chipset – called the Kunpeng 920 and designed by subsidiary HiSilicon – boosts its credentials as a semiconductor designer, although the company said it had no intention of becoming solely a chip firm.

“It is part of our system solution and cloud servicing for clients. We will never make our chipset business a standalone business,” said Ai Wei, who is in charge of strategic planning for Huawei’s chipsets and hardware technology.

The Shenzhen-based company already makes the Kirin series of smartphone chips used in its high-end phones, and the Ascend series of chipsets for artificial intelligence computing launched in October.

It said its latest seven nanometre, 64-core central processing unit (CPU) would provide much higher computing performance for data centres and slash power consumption.

It is based on the architecture of British chip design firm ARM – owned by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp – which is seeking to challenge the dominance in server CPUs of US maker Intel Corp.

Huawei aims to drive the development of the ARM ecosystem, said chief marketing officer William Xu. He said the chip has “unique advantages in performance and power consumption”.

Xu also said Huawei would continue its “long-term strategic partnership” with Intel.

Huawei’s new ARM-based CPU is not a competitor to the US company’s x86 CPUs and servers, but complementary, Xu added. Redfox Qiu, president of the intelligent computing business department at Huawei, said the company shipped 900,000 units of servers in 2018, versus 77,000 in 2012 when it started.

Huawei was seeing “good momentum for the server business in Europe and Asia Pacific” and expects the contribution from its international business to continue to rise, Qiu added.

Huawei also released its TaiShan series of servers powered by the new chipset, built for big data, distributed storage and ARM native applications.

The firm founded chip designer HiSilicon in 2004 to help reduce its reliance on imports.

In modem chips, Huawei internally sources 54% of those in its own devices, with 22% coming from Qualcomm Inc and the remainder from elsewhere, evidence presented at an antitrust trial for Qualcomm showed. — Reuters


Huawei’s revenue growth rebounds despite `storm-tossed’ 2018

From trade war to global anarchy?


The arrest of a top Huawei executive may spark a conflict that could cripple America’s rival and unleash chaos in the world order.

WE shouldn’t be misled into thinking that the “trade war” between the United States and China is being resolved following their presidents’ recent meeting.

Instead, President Donald Trump is taking the conflict way beyond tariffs into many other areas in a comprehensive attempt to stop or slow down China’s economic development. This has implications not only for China and countries like Malaysia, which are integrated into the Chinese production chains.

The evolving conflict spells the end of the Western countries’ belief in the win-win benefits of trade and investment liberalisation. It accompanies the emergence of an alternative view that China and some other countries are not partners after all but rivals that must be checked.

Just as Trump and China Presi­dent Xi Jinping were sitting down for dinner on the sidelines of the G20 summit to thrash out a “truce” to their tariff war, the Canadian authorities were arresting the daughter of the owner of Huawei, China’s giant technology company whose smartphone sales are now bigger than that of Apple’s iPhone and second globally only to Samsung phones.

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was in transit at Vancouver airport when she was detained at the request of the US on the grounds that her company violated US sanctions against Iran years ago. Only after many days was she released on bail, and she has to wear an electronic tracker.

The Chinese government called the action “very nasty” and Chinese citizens are outraged. It would be equivalent to China arresting Melinda Gates, co-head of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for alleged violation of China’s regulations on healthcare. In the whole Western world, there would have been a tremendous outcry and threats of very dire consequences.

Yet the Chinese are supposed to accept Meng’s arrest as a routine matter that is unrelated to the trade war. It cannot be sheer coincidence that years after the alleged crime, the arrest took place at the exact hour that Xi was having dinner with Trump to work out a truce.

The incident reminds us of the US accusation against another Chinese tech leader, ZTE Corp, in 2017 of breaking the same sanctions. A ban was imposed on ZTE from buying telecom chips from US company Qulcomm, which paralysed the company for weeks. Only much later was a political deal struck, with ZTE paying a fine before resuming production.

With China, Trump is concerned not so much with his country’s big trade deficit, but more with the threat to America’s global supremacy.

Suspicions over China’s global ambitions became certainty in the fevered minds of Trump and his hawkish advisers when Xi moved from the rhetoric of the Chinese dream to the concrete industrial plan of Made in China 2025.

This was to get Chinese firms to be world leaders in 10 high-tech sectors, including artificial intelligence, robotics, semiconductors, electric cars and aerospace.

Alarmed by the prospect of Chin­ese domination of the commanding industries of the future, Trump has been countering the ways by which China is developing its world-class companies. This is through trade, investments, subsidies and support, and acquisition of technologies and intellectual property.

The extra tariffs are meant to inhi­bit Chinese exports. The new Export Control Reform Act increa­ses powers to regulate US exports of emerging and foundational technologies of importance to national security, and can be used to ban sales of components and technologies to China.

To prevent Chinese companies from buying into US companies (and acquiring their technologies), the review powers of the US Com­mittee on Foreign Investment have been strengthened.

Last month, new national security rules were passed to allow review of small minority investments into sensitive US technologies, including biotechnology, nanotechnology and wireless communications equipment. The aim is to hinder Chinese firms from buying even small stakes in US tech start-ups.

The US has also been blocking attempts by Chinese firms to take over or buy controlling stakes in US companies, also on national security grounds. For example, the same com­mittee recently refused to app­rove a US$1.2bil (RM5bil) deal bet­ween Money Gram, a US money transfer company, and Ant Financial, a Chin­ese electronic payment company.

European countries and Australia are also increasingly restricting Chinese companies from investing in or taking over domestic firms.

Moreover, the US has banned the use of Huawei’s 5G-related equipment, with Australia and New Zealand following suit.

US officials have also been touring Europe to warn against choosing Huawei equipment, leading to growing concerns over the risk of Chinese spying and the security of 5G networks that use Huawei technology.

When slapping extra tariffs on Chinese products, Trump accused China of intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer.

The US actions cited national security grounds or used the unilateral Section 301 of its domestic trade law. Most World Trade Organ­isation (WTO) law experts view these actions to be a violation of various WTO laws.

Many countries have taken cases against the US in the WTO.

Perhaps feeling that the WTO rules constrain several of its planned actions, the US has moved to cripple the organisation’s dispute settlement system by blocking its appellate body from adding new members.

By the end of 2019, that body will not have enough members left and the WTO will become ineffective as it loses its strongest function.

There would be no more formal way within the multilateral trade system to legally challenge the US actions against China or other countries. Or for any country to challenge the actions of another. The system would break down.

Then the global trade order would slip from rules-based to each country for itself. America first, France first, Britain first, are already in vogue, and many others will follow suit.

The trade war that started with some aluminium and steel may thus snowball into a world of anarchy, where only might prevails.

It is an awful scenario, but not an unrealistic one to ponder upon as 2018 draws to a close.

It is not too late to halt this trend, but something has to give or change drastically in the US, if we are to have even a small chance to avoid disaster.

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Global Trends  by martin khor

Martin Khor is adviser of the Third World Network. The views expressed here are entirely his own.

About TWN – Third World Network

Escalating US-China trade war threatens global trading system


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Battle for global 5G mobile phone technology the real reason for Huawei CFO arrest


This photo of Shanghai Bund is taken by Chinese Satellite with 24.9 billion pixels of quantum technology. It’s worth seeing! You can zoom in, zoom out when you look at it. You can clearly see every gesture, even face of pedestrians on the road. You can see the license plate. Photos can also be moved up and down, left and right. It is said that this is the latest development of China’s military science and technology achievements, hidden, indeed suffered harm!!! It can also be rotated. Press’+’to zoom in and’-‘ to zoom out. Left and right rotation. It’s too  clear!
 Quantum Technology will be used in 5G phone very soon. Europe and US are scared to death now because this technology is monopoly in nature

Why did Canada arrest the CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei? – Samsung surrendered its Chip IP right to US companies in order to survive

By Janus Dongye, Researcher at University of Cambridge

The detailed reason for this arrest has been revealed. Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng is suspected of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial US institutions. The US Judiciary found that there was a company called Skycom that traded with Iran during  2011–2014 and Huawei was suspected to control the company Skycom at that time.

So the accusation is about the old Iran sanctions 7 years ago. And you might wonder why someone brought this up at this particular time.

There is something else that you need to know to understand this incident.

Global 5G Battle

5G is the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications. It succeeds the 4G (LTE/WiMax), 3G (UMTS) and 2G (GSM) systems. 5G is the new critical node for the future global supply chain. This is the ultimate technology that determines the communication/mobile networks in the next 10 years. Therefore this is a big cake that everyone wants to get a slice from it.

The whole 5G framework can be divided into two key technology: the modem chipset and router infrastructure. On one hand, the modem chipset is installed in your phones and other sensors that need to be connected to the Internet.

The current 5G modem chipset patent (IP) is held by:

Huawei (China), Qualcomm (US), Samsung (Korea), MediaTek (Taiwan), Intel (US), Apple (US) (rumoured). On the other hand, the router infrastructure is placed in base stations all over the buildings and towers. It directly talks to the 5G modem in your mobile phones and translates your 5G requests to the Internet.

The current 5G router patent (IP) is held by:

Huawei (China), Nokia (Finland), Ericsson (Sweden), ZTE (China) Surprise Hah?, Cisco (US), Samsung (Korea).

There are two hidden traps from this 5G technology that other people might not tell you:

The router and the modem chipset must be compatible, and therefore a standard must be settled in order for them to talk.

The modem chipset is deeply coupled into the system on a single chip with CPU and GPUs. The system is normally shipped as a package.

If you hold the 5G modem IP in a SOC (System-on-chip), you can also bind your CPU and GPU IP in a package. That means whoever controls the 5G IP would also control the whole market of the CPU and GPU intellectual property. If you hold the 5G router standard, you can also control the modem standard and then control the whole system standard.

For example, if the US were to allow Huawei to sell its 5G router devices to Verizon or AT&T, then Huawei could make all of its base stations to only support its own modem standard. Then you could end up with the whole system package delivered by Huawei as well. Then the US might have to buy more devices made by Huawei in order to use 5G.

That’s how Qualcomm rose from a small company to the top simply based on its 3G patents. And you can see that Huawei and Samsung is the dominant player here that they both control the modem and router patents.

However, owing to the pressure of the US government, Samsung surrendered its chip IP right to US companies. This is the fundamental difference between Samsung and Huawei. Because the South Korean market is so small and therefore Samsung has to surrender to the US in order to survive.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Comes with Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 SoC and 5G Service – Tech News Watch

You might wonder why Samsung does not use its Exynos processors in US but it has to use Qualcomm one? That is the pressure from the US government.

Meanwhile, Huawei gets the full cultivation in the Chinese market and does not fear the US government. It never intends to go to the US market as well. What it focuses on is the adoption in China and the rest of third-world countries. If you read the following recent news, you can get a feeling that China is really leading the global 5G battle in all three fields: technology, adoption and market.

Chongqing launches first 5G trial network

‘World’s first’ 5G call completed by Vodafone and Huawei

China Mobile and China Unicom to start 5G trials | TelecomLead

Briefing: China’s mobile operators granted nationwide 5G licenses · TechNode

The Chinese government said it would perform nationwide 5G adoption using Huawei technology around March 2019. Please note that this is a market of 1.4 billion people that is US population and Europe population combined. And the Chinese government is pushing this really hard, unlike the US stuck in legislation as you can imagine.

Meanwhile, the first adoption of 5G belongs to South Korea, which is four months ahead of China:

South Korean carriers set surprise commercial 5G launch for December 1 And compared to the US government, both Chinese and Korean government are very efficient in promoting 5G infrastructures. In this manner, US companies are really lagging behind. This could firstly cause wide-spread fears among the US companies. It is very likely that those companies would lobby the US Congress to ban Huawei at first. The arrest happens just before the Huawei 5G technology is going to be adopted commercially in China.

It is very likely that some people wanted to disrupt the growth of Huawei. Everyone talks about the Huawei arrest. But no one is talking about who initiated the investigation against Huawei and who filed the case in the US juridical system in the first place?

Another interesting side note during the incident:

Cisco temporarily bans employees from China

I suspect CISCO could be the one who actually filed the case to ban Huawei.

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