back to article US govt asks Huawei and ZTE for more answers

US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee chair, congressman Mike Rogers, has turned yet another blowtorch onto Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE, alleging that the Chinese government is subsidizing the price of kit they sell in America. The committee has been investigating allegations of close ties between the Chinese …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So we trust Korean companies, but not Chinese companies?

    In one case corruption, and crime syndicates, the other is the same, but with an additional nationalistic as well as the commercial zeal.

    I am not sure our politicians have done their homework (I am sure that very few of them ever have been to China, or Korea for first-hand knowledge).

    Besides, isn't the iPhone assembled in China? Horrors - imagine how many spying bugs those fiendish nasties could place into sophisticated thingys like that...

    (anon for obvious reasons...)

    1. Charles Manning


      So why should we trust any of that kit made in USA?

      Of course this is all FUD. Anything half decent is going through encrypted pipes etc anyway. No competent company/govt service is sending clear text over long haul networks.

      This is just sabre rattling from morons that don't understand technology. Some while back one of these idiots said that a secret satellite was still transmitting while the friendly receiving stations were down. The transmissions must still be going somewhere, so if the friendlies are not listening then it must be the enemies.

      Not anon coz if they wanted to they would have got me already,

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: s/Korean/USAian/

        Curiouser and curiouser... A few questions come to mind after reading your E2E rant.

        Do you trust the encryption gear? What makes you so sure that your branch office VPN router or your VPN concentrator do not have backdoors in them?

        How exactly do you send any information if the network has gone down because it has a backdoor in its management (or even worse in its processing - so you can do inband commands) which has told it to go down.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Definition of paranoid

        When someone tells you that anything made in China is a spy device and will report back home.

        My kettle

        My toaster

        Car tyre

        Happy Meal toys






        Training shoes

        Washing Machine

        Children's scooter

        Sounds like McCarthyism is strong in the US.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Do I

      Detect a little protectionism in the air?

      Sniff, sniff,

      Oh yes I do believe I can.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do I

        KInda... The other vendors have now figured out why their gear is cheaper - extensive use of Clingon Software Development techniques: "It is a good day to die, I say we ship it".

        90% of the cost of small routers (and slightly less for big ones) is software and out of that 90% is software quality assurance. The network is an immensely complex beast. Just open a Cisco IOS or JunOs manual, scroll through it and give it a thought - how much testing and verification does this bloody thing need. Now, multiply that by the fact that a lot of it was built and designed prior to the invention of unit testing and continuous integration. Think happy thoughts for a while, rinse, repeat.

        As most network engineers who have had to deal with big H and small Z gear in the field will attest, they do less of that prior to shipment. They ship it earlier and fix bugs later as the customers file them.

        Depending on the way the gear is presented (specifically support lifetimes), support structured, SLAs, etc it can be "disruptive behaviour by a new player" or "dumping". My take on this is - "READ THE F***ING SMALL PRINT" and think 10 times on how your support and replacement cycle is structured. Once you have thought that out, do all sums and see if they are _REALLY_ cheaper.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Do I

          Said the all-round 1st-level IT bod that read a few books that says "Support is 75pc of the outlay" blah, blah.

          Sunrise in Switzerland (Tier-2 Telco) are deploying Huawei both in the access layer and in the Radio network. In fact the entire Operations and Engineering staff are now outsourced to Huawei from Alcatel. Juniper still in the MPLS core and Cisco probably gonna get kicked out sooner or later.

          That whole process went on for at least 3-4 years of discussion.

          But if you give them a call, maybe you can remind them that "support" (which is what you do), is the costliest part and bring them to re-consider.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Governments are generally run by old men who went to school before the computer age and never really took to it. Hence a poor understanding of IT. It is inevitable they will get it wrong.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The phrase "they doth protest too much" comes to mind, keeping in mind that practically every US software product and service already bears that risk through the PATRIOT Act, I cannot see why I suspect any less from IT hardware. Not that I don't suspect the Chinese do indeed have some create data acquisition going, but the way the US are going about it is as if they would never ever do such a thing..

      Yeah, right - they even spy on their own. Mind you, they are not "their own" that much longer - the only reason that number doesn't increase is because they avoid proper staffing of that function (at $450 a throw, this is self funding from a staff perspective - that is, until you add the costs of guarding that specific member of staff from, umm, "defecting" as well)..

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe if the US firms didn't have such an over inflated retail price there wouldn't be a problem

  3. Aitor 1 Silver badge

    I guess that the US government fears that the chinese government is doing the same as they do. My guess is that may be right. but hey, who knows...

  4. Sarah Davis


    most likely someone (like Apple, HTC, Samsung, or similar) has paid the US gov to do this to delay Huawei and ZTE from the hitting the US market and taking over with their reasonably priced full featured phones

    whatever the exact details you know the reason will be greed, toys thrown out of pram in tantrum, and several man with very small peni !

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So Cisco makes 80% gross margins on their core switches and everyone's worried about a bit of competition? I say bring it on.

    After all, the amount of business that the US federal, state and local governments, school districts (through E-rate subsidies) and agencies that buy Cisco are doing is likely larger than anything the Chinese government is throwing at Huweii.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everyone is Missing the Point!

    I've been selling core telecommunications infrastructure in Asia (including China) since 1996. I've been involved in some deals over $100M for switching, radio equipment and transmission equipment. If you knew what I know about how Huawei and ZTE do business, especially in the developing world, you wouldn't be so quick to judge this as simple "protectionism."

    Westerners tend to underestimate just how "long term" Chinese think. They will easily lose money for 10 years in a market just to kill off all the competition until they're the last ones standing. As state-owned enterprises, they don't have shareholders who insist that they actually turn a profit every quarter.

    There seems to be a naive "pro-China" trend among young, tech-savvy westerners. I think you simply see China as a "counterweight" to America and supporting them dovetails with your anti-American sentiment. America has many shortcomings, but I can tell you if you're hoping for a future in which China reigns supreme expect that it will be filled with corruption, censorship, human rights abuse and misery.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Everyone is Missing the Point!

      That is exactly why I said (in an earlier point) - read the small print (yours too, not just theirs).

      What is your replacement strategy? Do you do a rolling replacement (ala new age telcos like Level3, Sonus, etc)? Do you replace upon failure or based on demand only like most incumbent telecoms? Do you replace on a known cycle like mobile based on standard generation change?

      If you rolling replace - H and Z are out of luck. Your timescales are not their timescales, their kit is out of the network before they can reap the fruit of the long wait. That is why rather unsurprisingly you will find very little H and Z kit in such networks. H and Z do not sell to them.

      If you replace strictly upon failure and demand without scheduled replacement - you are royally screwed. H and Z kit will be in your network _AFTER_ the "cheap" contract expires and they will take you by the balls and your soul and mind will follow. If you have outsourced them the support (as someone mentioned Sunrise a few posts above) ... Well... you get whatever Christmas you deserve and H and Z are not at fault that your tech strategy is err... how to put it politely... idiotic in its commercial ineptitude will be a good description.

      If you have a standards based generation change replacement cycle like mobile here are some news for you - H and Z are on all standards boards and they actively drive them in a direction which they like - some of that with some success. It is to some extent better than the failure driven replacement - you can try bargaining for your "best guess" support timeframes and sometimes get them.

      In any case you really have to do the math on _THEIR_ scale - 10 years or longer. I you do not, well, there will be some bad news for you and read lots of fine print.

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