Posts Tagged ‘espionage’

Apple to build $1 bln campus in Texas

December 13, 2018

Apple announced Thursday it will build a $1 billion campus in Texas as part of a nationwide expansion.

The facility will be less than a mile from the tech giant’s existing facility in Austin and initially accommodate 5,000 additional employees, with room to grow to 15,000.

As it stands, 6,200 people now work for Apple in the Texan capital — the largest cluster outside its headquarters in Cupertino, California.

Apple will spend $1 billion on its new Texan campus

Apple will spend $1 billion on its new Texan campus Apple will spend $1 billion on its new Texan campus AFP/File

Employees at the new campus will work in fields including engineering, R&D, operations, finance, sales and customer support, Apple said in a statement.

“Apple is proud to bring new investment, jobs and opportunity to cities across the United States and to significantly deepen our quarter-century partnership with the city and people of Austin,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.

“Talent, creativity and tomorrow?s breakthrough ideas aren’t limited by region or zip code, and, with this new expansion, we?re redoubling our commitment to cultivating the high-tech sector and workforce nationwide.”

Apple also said it plans to boost its employee base in regions across the United States over the next three years.

It will expand to over 1,000 employees each at new sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, California, and add hundreds of jobs in Pittsburgh, New York, Boulder, Colorado, Boston and Portland.

Apple said it plans to invest $10 billion in US data centers over the next five years, including $4.5 billion this year and next.

Earlier this month online retail giant Amazon also announced a major expansion, saying it will build a new headquarters divided between Long Island City in New York and Crystal City, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. It says this $5 billion investment will create 50,000 jobs.

AFP

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Apple to Build New Campus in Austin

https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-to-build-new-campus-in-austin-11544691545?mod=hp_lead_pos1

and

Apple CEO Tim Cook calls for Bloomberg to retract Chinese spy chip report

https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/19/18000876/apple-tim-cook-retract-chinese-spy-chip-story-bloomberg

and

Apple Reportedly Weighing Move Away from Manufacturing in China Due to Tariffs

https://www.thestreet.com/technology/apple-considering-moving-china-manufacturing-14809167

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Apple to invest $1 billion in new Texas campus — added 6,000 jobs to its U.S workforce in 2018

December 13, 2018

  • Apple will invest $1 billion in a new campus in Austin, Texas, the company announced on Thursday.
  • The 133-acre campus will be located in North Austin and will accommodate an initial 5,000 employees, with capacity for 15,000 employees in total.
  • Apple also announced plans to open new sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, California over the next three years.
  • Apple Reportedly Weighing Move Away from Manufacturing in China Due to Tariffs
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Apple will invest $1 billion in a new campus in Austin, Texas, the company announced on Thursday.

The 133-acre campus will be located in North Austin and will accommodate an initial 5,000 employees, with capacity for 15,000 employees in total. The new campus will be located less than one mile from Apple’s existing Austin facilities and will house a range of jobs in engineering, R&D, operations, finance, sales and customer support.

Apple said the expansion will make it the largest private employer in Austin.

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“Apple is proud to bring new investment, jobs and opportunity to cities across the United States and to significantly deepen our quarter-century partnership with the city and people of Austin,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a press release.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement Apple’s decision to expand in Texas “is a testament to the high-quality workforce and unmatched economic environment that Texas offers.”

On Thursday, Apple also announced plans to open new sites and add over 1,000 employees in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City over the next three years. It said it will also expand its existing operations in Pittsburgh, New York, Boulder, Boston and Portland, Oregon.

Apple also announced that it has added 6,000 jobs to its U.S workforce in 2018 and is on track to create 20,000 jobs across the country by 2023.

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Apple plans to invest $10 billion in U.S. data centers over the next five years, including $4.5 billion this year and next. On Thursday, the company said its newest data center would be located in Waukee, Iowa. It is also expanding its data centers in North Carolina, Arizona and Nevada.

President Donald Trump has attacked Apple for producing many of its devices outside of the United States. In September, he warned Apple it could face more tariffs, ordering the company to “make your products in the United States instead of China.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Apple prices may increase because of the massive Tariffs we may be imposing on China – but there is an easy solution where there would be ZERO tax, and indeed a tax incentive. Make your products in the United States instead of China. Start building new plants now. Exciting!

55.3K people are talking about this

Apple shares have been under pressure in recent months amid worries about demand for its new iPhones. The tech titan has also been in the crosshairs of the trade war between the U.S. and China. President Trump threatened to place a 10 percent tariff on iPhones and laptops made in China last month. Apple’s stock has tumbled more than 20 percent over the past three months.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/13/apple-to-invest-1-billion-in-new-austin-campus.html

Related:

See also:

Apple to Build New Campus in Austin

https://www.wsj.com/articles/apple-to-build-new-campus-in-austin-11544691545?mod=hp_lead_pos1

and

Apple CEO Tim Cook calls for Bloomberg to retract Chinese spy chip report

https://www.theverge.com/2018/10/19/18000876/apple-tim-cook-retract-chinese-spy-chip-story-bloomberg

and

Apple Reportedly Weighing Move Away from Manufacturing in China Due to Tariffs

https://www.thestreet.com/technology/apple-considering-moving-china-manufacturing-14809167

China suspected in huge Marriott data breach — global espionage effort

December 13, 2018

Investigators believe hackers working on behalf of China’s main intelligence agency are responsible for a massive data breach involving the theft of personal information from as many as 500 million guests of the Marriott hotel chain, a US official said Tuesday.

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Investigators suspect the hackers were working on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of State Security, an official briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press.

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The official, who was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, said investigators were particularly concerned about the data breach in part because Marriott is frequently used by the military and government agencies.

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Marriott, which announced the data breach on Nov. 30, has not disclosed what it knows about the source of the hack, which included the theft of credit card and passport numbers over four years from guests who stayed at hotels previously operated by Starwood.

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Marriott acquired Starwood, which includes such brands as Sheraton, W Hotels and St. Regis, in 2016.

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“Our primary objectives in this investigation are figuring out what occurred and how we can best help our guests,” Marriott spokeswoman Connie Kim said. “We have no information about the cause of this incident, and we have not speculated about the identity of the attacker.”

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The revelation of suspected involvement by China comes amid heightened tension with the US over trade; the arrest in Canada on an American warrant of a top executive of Chinese electronics giant Huawei; and alarm among law enforcement officials about Chinese efforts to steal technology to bolster its growing economy.

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President Donald Trump said he would get involved in the Huawei case if it would help produce a trade agreement with China, telling Reuters in an interview Tuesday that he would “intervene if I thought it was necessary.”

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Officials from the Justice Department, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that China is working to steal trade secrets and intellectual property from US companies in order to harm America’s economy and further its own development.

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Chinese espionage efforts have become “the most severe counterintelligence threat facing our country today,” Bill Priestap, the assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division, told the committee. “Every rock we turn over, every time we looked for it, it’s not only there, it’s worse than we anticipated.”

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Priestap said federal officials have been trying to convey the extent of the threat to business leaders and others in government. “The bottom line is they will do anything they can to achieve their aims,” he said.

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Cyber-security expert Jesse Varsalone, of University of Maryland University College, said the Marriott hack does have signs of a foreign intelligence agency involvement. They included its duration and the fact that the information stolen, including details about travel by individuals, would be valuable to foreign spies.

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“It’s about intelligence, human intelligence,” he said. “To me, it seems focused on tracking certain people.”

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Priscilla Moriuchi of Recorded Future, an East Asia specialist who left the National Security Agency last year after a 12-year career, cautioned that no one has put out any actual data or indicators showing Chinese state actor involvement in the Marriott intrusion.

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In the last few months, the Justice Department has filed several charges against Chinese hackers and intelligence officials. A case filed in October marked the first time that a Chinese Ministry of State Security intelligence officer was extradited to the United States for trial.

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Prosecutors allege the operative, Yanjun Xu, recruited employees of major aerospace companies, including GE Aviation, and attempted to persuade them to travel to China under the guise of giving a presentation at a university. He was charged with attempting to steal trade secrets from several American aviation and aerospace companies.

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Such investigations can be time-consuming and difficult. The Justice Department is training prosecutors across the country to bring more of these cases, Assistant Attorney General John Demers told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “We cannot tolerate a nation that steals the fruit of our brainpower,” he said.

The Associated Press

Germany Is Soft on Chinese Spying

December 10, 2018

Huawei has deep ties to the Chinese government. Berlin might let it build the country’s next generation of communications infrastructure anyway.

The logo of Chinese electronics company Huawei on Sept. 2, 2015 in Berlin. (John Macdougal/AFP/Getty Images)

The logo of Chinese electronics company Huawei on Sept. 2, 2015 in Berlin. (John Macdougal/AFP/Getty Images)

Last week, New Zealand decided to exclude the Chinese technology company Huawei from providing equipment to operate its 5G high-speed mobile network due to “significant national security risks.” The country follows Australia and the United States, which have also excluded Chinese companies from supplying 5G infrastructure.

In Germany, meanwhile, security has so far hardly played any role in the debate over the fifth generation of cellular technology. In the terms of reference published last week by the German Federal Network Agency for its 5G auction, security was not even included in the conditions for awarding the contract. In October, the government announced: “A concrete legal basis for the complete or partial exclusion of particular suppliers of 5G infrastructure in Germany does not exist and is not planned.”

That is dangerously misguided. As Australia’s intelligence chief has pointed out: “5G is not just fast data, it is also high-density connection of devices—human to human, human to machine and machine to machine.” 5G will carry communications we “rely on every day, from our health systems … to self-driving cars and through to the operation of our power and water supply.” 5G will be the backbone of our industries and societies. “Critical infrastructure” hardly gets more critical. And the security risks are accordingly high. Wherever Chinese technology companies supply 5G infrastructure, they will have access to huge volumes of sensitive data and industrial secrets—and there’s reason to think they would eventually be forced to spy on behalf of Beijing. The Chinese government could also use these companies to disrupt other countries’ infrastructure in a future conflict.

Given the massive cybersecurity and national security risks, the only responsible decision is for Berlin to follow the Australian, New Zealand, and U.S. lead and ban Chinese providers from the German 5G network. In doing so, Europe’s strongest economy would send a crucial signal to the rest of the European Union members that are grappling with the same decision.

Contrary to Huawei’s claims, the decisions by Australia, New Zealand, and the United States were not motivated by crude protectionism. In none of these three countries will domestic suppliers be the primary beneficiaries. The anomaly of the 5G market is that there is no leading U.S.-based supplier covering the full technological spectrum. The companies profiting from a ban on Huawei and ZTE are mainly two European companies: Nokia and Ericsson.

Still, those calling for banning Huawei face an uphill battle across Europe. Huawei has strong supporters (not least due to its very professional lobbying operation and deep ties within the political scene). It markets itself as a private company, which is organized as a cooperative and is in no way under the control of the Chinese state. Network operators such as Deutsche Telekom are among Huawei’s cheerleaders. Deutsche Telekom warns against excluding “high-performance suppliers” such as Huawei if the country wanted to build its 5G network quickly and at cost. Huawei already supplies much of the existing German 3G and 4G infrastructure.

For Deutsche Telekom and other network operators, the situation is clear: Huawei offers innovative and reliable products at highly competitive prices. Legally, Deutsche Telekom does not bear any liability for the security risks associated with Huawei technology. And the company does not care about the fact that Huawei’s price advantage is the result of a highly skewed playing field in China. In the world’s largest market, domestic providers control 75 percent of the market, giving them unbeatable economies of scale.

Remarkably, Huawei’s defenders also include the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), Germany’s cybersecurity agency. Its president, Arne Schönbohm, believes the agency has the capabilities to check on whether suppliers meet security requirements, providing “technically substantiated statements of trust.” Huawei, for its part, describes itself as “the most audited company in the world.” The company offers to put its equipment through any inspection in testing centers jointly run with governments. Last month, they put one such center into operation in Bonn in cooperation with the BSI. Schönbohm was enthusiastic: “We welcome the opening of this laboratory, which enables a further and deeper technical exchange between Huawei and the BSI.”

His ebullience is misguided. The Bonn center follows the British model, where the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre has existed since 2010 controlled by the British intelligence service GCHQ, among others. Yet just this year, the British inspection report could give “only limited assurance” that Huawei products do not pose any risks to national security. This prompted the government to warn network operators that current rules could be changed and that certain suppliers (i.e., Huawei) could be excluded. Speaking about building Britain’s 5G network, just this week MI6 chief Alex Younger said the UK needs to take decision on “the extent to which we are going to be comfortable with Chinese ownership of these technologies.”

The final British decision is still pending, but the conclusion for Germany should be clear. If the British GCHQ, which is technically far superior to the German BSI, cannot issue a clean bill of health for Huawei, we don’t have to wait for the BSI’s own efforts. In the future, the testing centers will be in an even worse position. Checking for possible hardware backdoors will only be a small part of the job. Virtualization (and related software) will play a central role for 5G. And with weekly software updates, infrastructure operators will have a front door to compromise systems. No testing center would be able to check weekly software updates in advance.

For good reasons, the German intelligence services, unlike the BSI, take a far more critical view of the Huawei risk. They share the Australian intelligence community’s negative assessment, which, according to anonymously sourced reports in November, is based on at least one case of Chinese intelligence agents using Huawei employees to obtain access codes for a foreign network.

Source:https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/12/09/germany-is-soft-on-chinese-spying/

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Japan’s top three telcos to shun Huawei, ZTE network equipment: Kyodo

December 10, 2018

Japan’s big three telecom operators plan not to use current equipment and upcoming fifth-generation (5G) gear from China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] and ZTE Corp (0763.HK) (000063.SZ), Kyodo News reported on Monday.

The news, for which Kyodo did not cite sources, comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of Chinese tech firms by Washington and some prominent allies over ties to the Chinese government, driven by concerns they could be used by Beijing for spying.

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Last week sources told Reuters that Japan planned to ban government purchases of equipment from Huawei and ZTE to ensure strength in its defenses against intelligence leaks and cyber attacks.

A SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) spokesman said Japan’s third-largest telco was closely watching government policy and is continuing to consider its options. The amount of equipment in use from Chinese makers “is relatively small”, he said.

The country’s top two telecommunications operators, NTT Docomo Inc (9437.T) and KDDI Corp (9433.T), said the firms had not made any decision yet.

Docomo does not use Huawei or ZTE network equipment, but it has partnered with Huawei on 5G trials. KDDI also does not use Huawei equipment in its “core” network, a spokeswoman said, adding it does not use any ZTE network equipment.

Huawei did not respond to Reuters request for comment, while ZTE declined to comment.

Huawei has already been locked out of the U.S. market, and Australia and New Zealand have blocked it from building 5G networks amid concerns of its possible links with China’s government. Huawei has said Beijing has no influence over it.

Japan’s decision to keep it out would be another setback for Huawei, whose chief financial officer was recently arrested by Canadian officials for extradition to the United States.

World financial markets have been roiled since news of the arrest, on worries it could reignite a Sino-U.S. trade row that was only just showing signs of easing.

Shares of SoftBank, which has the deepest relationship with Huawei among the big Japanese telcos, fell the most among the three top Japanese telcos on Monday, ending down 3.5 percent.

Industry sources said SoftBank would find it difficult to replace pre-existing Huawei network equipment that is designed for the company and not easily interchangable.

Docomo and KDDI shares fell around 1 percent, in a wider market .N225 that closed down 2 percent.

Earlier, SoftBank’s Japanese telecoms unit priced its IPO at an indicated 1,500 yen ($13.31) per share and said it will sell an extra 160 million shares to meet solid demand, raising about $23.5 billion in Japan’s biggest-ever IPO.

Reporting by Sam Nussey, Makiko Yamazaki and Yoshiyasu Shida; Editing by Christopher Cushing and Himani Sarkar

Reuters

Will Arrest Of Huawei Exec Meng Wanzhou Derail U.S.-China Trade Talks — Trump Says “No”

December 9, 2018

China has ratcheted up the pressure on Canada to release the detained executive of Huawei Technologies over the weekend by threatening “grave consequences”

China critical of US side’s unilateral hegemonic behaviour — “This is a dilemma, and it is difficult to predict what will happen.”

Donald Trump Upbeat On China Talks; Aides Downplay Huawei Arrest Friction

Donald Trump Upbeat On China Talks; Aides Downplay Huawei Arrest Friction

“China talks are going very well,” Donald Trump said on Twitter, without providing any details (File)

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Donald Trump sounded an optimistic note about trade negotiations with China as two of his top economic advisers downplayed friction from the arrest of a senior executive of Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei Technologies.

“China talks are going very well,” Trump said on Twitter, without providing any details.

Major companies have expressed concerns about how the arrest of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada at the request of U.S. authorities would affect U.S.-China relations or that it would cause a potential backlash against American firms operating in China.

Photographer: Lluis Gene/AFP/Getty Images

Meng, 46, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, appeared in a Vancouver court for a bail hearing as she awaits possible extradition to the United States in the investigation of whether Huawei violated U.S. sanctions against Iran.

Image result for Xi Jinping and Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, photos

Photo: Xi Jinping and Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei

Larry Kudlow, director of the White House’s National Economic Council, told CNBC he did not believe Meng’s arrest would “spill over” into the talks with China aimed at increasing Beijing’s purchases of U.S. farm and energy commodities, lowering Chinese tariffs and making sweeping changes to China’s policies on intellectual property and technology transfers.

Kudlow said the investigation of whether Huawei violated U.S. sanctions against Iran was on a “separate track” from the trade talks and was a matter of national security and U.S. law.

“You can’t break the law. You break the American law, you break the Canadian law, you’ve got to pay the consequences of that,” Kudlow said of the Huawei case. “That was the case with other companies, and will continue to be the case. These are issues of national security.”

Continued concerns over U.S.-China trade relations caused stocks to sell off on Friday, with technology shares leading the decline. The Nasdaq Composite fell 2.4 percent, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 2.1 percent and the S&P 500 index down 1.9 percent in afternoon trade.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told CNN that the U.S.-China trade talks and the Huawei arrest “are two separate events,” calling the timing of Meng’s arrest a coincidence.

Navarro said the arrest was the result of “the bad actions of Huawei,” adding there was a “frightening” risk that the Chinese government could use the company’s products for spying.

“The timing was unusual, but the actions were legitimate.”

Asked if the United States would walk away from trade talks if U.S.-China differences were not resolved in 90 days, Navaro said: “It’s not a question of walking away. It’s a question of moving forward on the strategy, which is to simply raise the tariffs” on Chinese goods.

Kudlow expressed optimism that the United States and China will make substantial progress during the 90-day period allocated for talks, ending around March 1.

“I think there will be a lot of success in the next 90 days; President has indicated, that if there’s good solid movement and there’s good action, he might – he might – be willing to extend the 90 days,” Kudlow told CNBC.

He reiterated that the Trump administration was expecting immediate movement from China on purchases of agricultural commodities and energy and added that he expected Chinese autos tariffs to be reduced. He said it was a positive sign that China was willing to discuss core issues related to intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers and computer hacking of U.S. companies.

However, Kudlow said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who will lead the American side in the talks, will be looking to ensure that any agreements can be fully enforced and monitored to ensure follow-through by Beijing.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou (picture-alliance/dpa/M. Shipenkov)

The chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou of China’s Huawei Technologies

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Beijing escalates dispute over arrest of Sabrina Meng Wanzhou by lodging diplomatic protest

  • China official Xinhua news agency attacks Canadian PM Justin Trudeau for not telling Beijing in advance and ‘letting this nasty thing happen’
PUBLISHED : Sunday, 09 December, 2018, 12:01pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 09 December, 2018, 1:12pm
China has ratcheted up the pressure on Canada to release the detained executive of Huawei Technologies over the weekend by threatening “grave consequences” and accusing Canada of “hurting the feelings of the Chinese people”, escalating the case into one of the worst diplomatic rows between Beijing and Ottawa.

Chinese foreign vice-minister Le Yucheng on Saturday summoned Canadian ambassador John McCallum to lodge a “strong protest” against the arrest of Sabrina Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver and urged Ottawa to release Meng immediately, according to a brief foreign ministry statement.

Meng, the chief financial officer at Huawei and a daughter of the Chinese telecom giant’s founder, was arrested in Vancouver on December 1 and faces extradition to the United States, which alleges that she covered up her company’s links to a firm that tried to sell equipment to Iran in defiance of sanctions.

The arrest of Meng in Canada, which took place on the same night that Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump dined together in Buenos Aires, has infuriated Beijing.

The official Xinhua news agency published an editorial on Sunday morning condemning the arrest as an “extremely nasty” act that had caused “serious damage to Sino-Canada relations”.

“According to the words of the Canadian leader, he had known of the action in advance,” Xinhua said, referring to the fact that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – whom it did not did name directly – had a few days’ notice of the arrest.

“But he didn’t notify the Chinese side. Instead, he let this kind of nasty thing to happen and assisted the US side’s unilateral hegemonic behaviour – this has hurt the feeling of Chinese people,” Xinhua added.

Huawei exec Meng Wanzhou

The last time that Beijing called Canada of hurting the feelings of the Chinese people was more than a decade earlier in 2007 when the then prime minister Stephen Harper hosted the Dalai Lama.

People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist Party, published a similarly strongly worded statement, condemning Canada for arresting Meng and threatening to take action against Ottawa if Meng is not released.

“The Canadian side must realise clearly that there’s no vagueness between justice and arbitrariness,” the People’s Daily editorial reads.

“The Canadian side must correct its wrongs and immediately stop its infringement of the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese citizen to give the Chinese people a right answer so that it can avoid paying a dear price.”

The joint condemnation by China’s foreign ministry, Xinhua and the People’s Daily against Ottawa is an unusual step, reflecting how seriously Beijing is taking the case and its determination to set Meng free.

While China did not specify what action it would take to inflict pains on Canada, the harsh wording suggests that it has plans to retaliate.

These could range from the freezing of diplomatic exchanges to the suspension of trade and would be likely to be set in motion if Meng is extradited to the US.

David Mulroney, a former Canadian ambassador to China, told Reuters on Friday that there will probably be “a deep freeze with the Chinese in high-level visits and exchanges”.

“The ability to talk about free trade will be put in the ice box for a while. But we’re going to have to live with that. That’s the price of dealing with a country like China,” Mulroney was quoted as saying.

Shi Yinhong, director of Renmin University’s Centre for American Studies and an adviser to the State Council, said that the Meng incident put China in a bind between the need to show it can protect its business people abroad without spooking other advanced industrial nations with a strong response against Canada.

“China is concerned that in the future more of its important people abroad will be seen as a threat, and that their safety will become an issue.”

“On the other hand, especially in the context of the comprehensive tension between Beijing and Washington, China has an interest to maintain and improve relations with other advanced industrial countries.

“If China takes a very strong revenge against Canada, it will hurt these relations. This is a dilemma, and it is difficult to predict what will happen.”

Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, said Saturday there is “nothing to add beyond what the minister said yesterday”.

Freeland told reporters on Friday that the relationship with China was important and valued, and Canada’s ambassador in Beijing has assured the Chinese that consular access will be provided to Meng.

A court hearing over whether Meng should be bailed will continue on Monday.

Additional reporting by Reuters

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/2177091/beijing-blames-canada-huawei-arrest-and-threatens-grave

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China threatens ‘serious consequences’ for Canada for Huawei episode

December 9, 2018

Canada’s detention of Meng Wanzhou is “in disregard of the law, unreasonable, merciless and very evil”

Image result for china, canada flags, pictures

By Kathrin Hille in Taipei

China has threatened “serious consequences” for Canada for Ottawa’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei, in a sign the technology stand-off between the US and China is spilling over into other countries’ relations with Beijing.

Canada arrested Ms Meng, the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei on a US extradition request on 1 December on transit in Vancouver.

According to a prosecutor at a bail hearing on Friday, Washington accuses Ms Meng lying to US banks to circumvent US sanctions on Iran.  In a sharply worded statement, the Chinese foreign ministry said Le Yucheng, vice foreign minister, had summoned Canada’s ambassador to Beijing on Saturday to lodge a strong protest.

“China strongly urges Canada to release the detained person to effectively protect her legitimate rights,” the statement said. “Otherwise it will create serious consequences, and Canada will bear the full responsibility.”

Mr Le said Canada’s detention of Ms Meng was “in disregard of the law, unreasonable, merciless and very evil”.

Image result for Huawei, 5g, pictures

Huawei, one of China’s most successful technology companies, has failed to make inroads in the US market as Washington has long blocked its attempts at acquiring local companies and selling its gear to major local networks.

The US administration believes that the Chinese company poses a threat to national security because it is concerned Huawei could help the Chinese military, through compromised equipment, spy on America.

Recommended Analysis US-China trade dispute Huawei executive’s arrest threatens US-China trade talks

US security officials cite the fact that Mr Ren was an officer in the People’s Liberation Army before he founded the company as an indication of close links between the company and the Chinese armed forces. Huawei insists it is a private company owned by its employees.

Until recently, Huawei had found success in western markets, supplying the gear for 3G and 4G networks in the UK. But this year, Washington has launched a campaign to convince its allies of the alleged risks of Huawei gear, and subsequently governments in the ‘Five Eye’ group of countries that share intelligence with the US have moved to exclude Huawei from contracts for 5G, the next-generation mobile networks that are now being deployed.

Ms Meng’s arrest immediately raised fears that the truce in the US-China trade war which US president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping announced a week ago would be derailed.  It has also sent a chill through companies engaged in bilateral economic exchanges as executives feared that they might be targeted should China retaliate.

Huawei, which says it is not aware of any wrongdoing on the part of Ms Meng, said that it would continue to follow the bail hearing on Monday. “We have every confidence that the Canadian and US legal systems will reach the right conclusion,” the company said in a statement on Saturday.

https://www.ft.com/content/7ba065a0-fb6b-11e8-aebf-99e208d3e521

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou: a goldfish in the bowl that is the world’s biggest story

December 8, 2018

How the drama of Meng Wanzhou’s bail hearing played out in a Vancouver courtroom, behind two layers of bulletproof glass

South China Morning Post

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.

The arrest of a top Huawei executive is 'a shot into the heart' of China's tech ambitions, analysts say
Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, attends an investment forum in Moscow in October 2014. Meng has been arrested in Canada and detained for potential U.S. sanctions violations. (Maxim Shipenkov / EPA/Shutterstock)
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Image result for Ren Zhengfei, Xi Jinping, pictures

Photo: Xi Jinping and Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei

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

Media and members of the public line up outside the British Columbia Supreme Court to attend Meng’s bail hearing in Vancouver on December 7, 2018. Photo: AFP

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.

Faced with overwhelming media interest, court authorities shifted proceedings to the high-security, high-capacity Courtroom 20, purpose-built 16 years ago for the Air India terror trial.

The glass encasement gave the court and its players the look of goldfish in a bowl.

“We’ve booked these 20 seats,” a lawyer on Meng’s team told an armed sheriff overseeing the public gallery. The lawyer waved her hands over the two front rows closest to Meng and tried to shoo away reporters to make room for Huawei’s team of executives and an overflow of the tech firm’s lawyers.

The sheriff nodded at the reporters who grumbled and made way, but two courtroom artists who had dashed to the best seats in the house were digging in.

“Well, we need to see everything and we were here first,” said one, defiantly unpacking her sketch pad. The lawyer sighed.

A courtroom sketch of Meng’s bail hearing. Photo: Reuters/Jane Wolsak

The sheriff pointed to a seat that appeared to have been reserved by Team Huawei in the front row.

“Are you saving this seat for the husband?” the sheriff asked, loudly. Reporters leaned forward.

The lawyer sighed again and pulled the sheriff into a tight whisper. The seat remained empty for the entire morning.

The phalanx of Meng’s supporters could be roughly divided according to the cut of their suits. There were the Huawei executives, crisp and perfect, including senior vice-president for corporate affairs Scott Bradley. Then the lawyers, local and Chinese, dressed for a day in the office, some joking lightly with reporters.

Members of the media outside the British Columbia Supreme Court on December 7, 2018. Photo: AFP

But the centre of gravity was held by two men in the front row in dowdy grey suits, whispering in Mandarin. One wore an enamel Chinese flag pin on his lapel.

“I have no comment,” he said, before he could even be properly asked to provide one or identify himself, as he walked briskly away during a break in proceedings.

Meng’s voice went unheard during the whole hearing. Her local lawyer, David Martin, greeted her warmly in the morning, clasping both her hands in his. Like a scene from a silent film, they laughed and chatted soundlessly behind the glass, with the audio turned off before the court was in session.

Court sketch of Meng and her translator. Photo: Reuters/Jane Wolsak

There were no subtitles, unfortunately. “Any lip-readers in the house?” joked a reporter.

But Meng’s initial body language belied the stakes, which were soon laid out by John Gibb-Carsley, the lawyer representing Canada’s attorney general. Meng was accused of multiple fraud charges in the US, he said, which related to supposed breaches of sanctions against Iran. She faces up to 30 years’ jail on each count.

Later, Martin told Mr Justice William Ehrcke that Meng posed no flight risk and should be granted bail.

File photo of Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei. Photo: AFP

To flee would shame her in front of her father, Ren Zhengfei – who is Huawei’s founder – 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.

https://www.scmp.com/news/world/united-states-canada/article/2177026/huawei-cfo-sabrina-meng-wanzhou-goldfish-bowl-worlds

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Dow Jones Dives, But Huawei Shows Donald Trump Is Winning China Trade War

December 8, 2018

The Dow Jones industrial average took another tumble Friday as Wall Street turned from a just-right jobs report to a courtroom in Canada, where recently arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou made an appearance. Yet concern that the Huawei CFO arrest could snare U.S.-China trade talks, and lead to an escalation of Trump tariffs and the China trade war, look exactly wrong. In fact, signs increasingly point to President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping reaching a U.S.-China trade deal allowing both sides — and all the companies caught in the middle — to exhale, at least for a little while.

By Jed Graham
Investors Business Daily

The Dow Jones slid 2.2%, or 559 600 points on the stock marketTechnology stocks were notably weak, with IBM (IBM), Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Intel (INTC) all among the biggest Dow Jones losers, each falling more than 3.5%.

China Huawei Filiale in Beijing (picture-alliance/AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Huawei CFO Arrest Part Of Global Reversal

First, consider all of the headlines about Huawei that don’t involve the arrest. Japan will ban purchases of equipment from both Huawei and ZTE, another Chinese gearmaker that ran afoul of U.S. sanctions. The European Union is raising alarm about Huawei security risks. Meanwhile, Huawei has reportedly finally “caved” in and is willing to revamp its practices after the U.K. raised alarm about security vulnerabilities, the Financial Times reports. U.K.-based BT said this week it will bar Huawei from the “core” of its 5G networks and remove it from the core of its 3G and 4G systems. Already, Australia and New Zealand had moved to block Huawei gear from 5G networks. In other words Huawei, which is considered a “national champion” in China and has overtaken Apple as the No. 2 mobile phone supplier, is under fire on four continents.

Beijing Carries On Despite Huawei CFO Arrest

Now consider Beijing’s reaction after the arrest of Huawei’s CFO. While calling Meng’s arrest a human rights violation, China has kept moving forward with the commitments made at Saturday’s Trump-Xi meeting in Buenos Aires. China’s Ministry of Commerce said Beijing will implement agreements on agriculture, energy and cars. While the exact nature of those deals hasn’t been disclosed, the implication is that China tariffs on U.S.-built autos will drop from 40%, perhaps as low as the 15% tariffs on other foreign vehicles.

Beijing Won’t Derail U.S. China Trade Talks

China buying soybeans and natural gas, and lowering auto tariffs while trade talks continue, isn’t a huge win for Trump. But Beijing has sent a signal that it won’t let pride get in the way of a China trade deal, despite what it sees as the unjust treatment of a key technology executive.

Meanwhile, Beijing also has released updated plans for strict protection of intellectual property. Those plans received positive reviews, despite some skepticism as to whether they will be acted upon.

Every signal Beijing has sent suggests it is determined to avoid an escalation of the China trade war. That may have less to do with the effectiveness of Trump tariffs than China’s vulnerability to a technological blacklisting by the U.S. and its allies.

Although Beijing has mapped out its state-funded Made in China 2025 plan to achieve global leadership in advanced technology industries, right now it’s still building those industries. It still needs technology from the U.S. and other advanced economies to stay on course. We don’t know how far Beijing will go to satisfy Trump, but it’s looking more like there will be a China trade deal.

https://www.investors.com/news/economy/dow-jones-falls-huawei-shows-donald-trump-is-winning-china-trade-war/

EU Worried About Huawei Sending Data Back To China

December 7, 2018
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The EU’s technology commissioner has sounded the alarm over Huawei’s possible links to security services in China. The tech giant immediately expressed its disappointment over the allegations.

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The European Union should be worried about technology giant Huawei cooperating with Chinese intelligence services to compromise the bloc’s security and industry, the EU’s technology commissioner advised on Friday.

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Andrus Ansip warned Chinese tech companies could be cooperating with the state’s intelligence agencies or adding “back doors” to their systems to allow spies access to EU secrets.

“Do we have to be worried about Huawei or other Chinese companies? Yes I think we have to be worried,” he told a news conference in Brussels.

Ansip added Huawei-designed chips could be used by Chinese security services “to get our secrets.”

His remarks come 6 days after Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on suspicion of involvement in the evasion of sanctions.

The Chinese tech giant immediately rejected “any allegation” that it might pose a security threat.

“Huawei has never been asked by any government to build any backdoors or interrupt any networks, and we would never tolerate such behavior by any of our staff,” Huawei said in a statement.

EU Technology Commissioner Andrus Ansip speaks at an event in Hamburg, Germany

EU Technology Commissioner Andrus Ansip speaks at an event in Hamburg, Germany

https://www.dw.com/en/huawei-could-give-chinese-spies-our-secrets-eu-fears/a-46631615

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EU commissioner: ‘We have to be worried’ about Huawei

Andrus Ansip talks tough on Chinese telecom vendors.

European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip said on Friday that Europe should be worried about Chinese telecom vendors like Huawei due to growing concerns about cybersecurity risks.

“I think we have to be worried about these companies,” Ansip, who deals with digital issues at the Commission, said of Huawei and other Chinese telecom companies at a news conference, in unusually strong terms for a top EU official.

“They have to cooperate with their intelligence services. This is about mandatory backdoors. I was always against having those mandatory backdoors,” he said, adding: “[It is] about chips they can put somewhere to get our secrets.”

The Chinese company is under renewed scrutiny after its Chief Financial Officer Sabrina Meng was arrested in Canada Saturday.

“We don’t know exactly what the reason was to arrest somebody in Canada,” Ansip said, but added:” It’s not a good sign when companies have to open their systems for some kind of secret services.”

“As normal ordinary people, of course we have to be afraid,” he said.

European Commission officials think Huawei’s dominance of the telecom vendor space is threatening Europe’s strategic autonomy and long-term security, according to an internal document reported earlier by POLITICO.

“We categorically reject we are a threat to national security,” a spokesperson for Huawei said. “Can anyone in the U.S., in Canada, in Belgium or anywhere else show us any proof [of backdoors]?”

“Huawei has never been asked and would never provide … espionage to any government,” the spokesperson said.

“Let’s treat cybersecurity as a technical issue so we can work together to secure networks. Not politicize it,” the spokesperson added. “We don’t want to be singled out because we’re Chinese.”

https://www.politico.eu/article/ansip-we-have-to-be-worried-about-huawei/