back to article Huawei's horror show 2019 continues as Taiwanese research institute joins banhammer club

It's only the third week of January, but 2019 is turning into a horror year for Huawei: the company's phones have now been reportedly banned from a major research institute in Taiwan. Local news reports (for example, here at Yahoo!'s Kimo arm and here at United Daily News) said the Industrial Technology Research Institute ( …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    8-|

    Shouldn't we be arresting Google, Microsoft and Facebook employees under the same charges?

    1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: 8-|

      I suspect the Chinese government will get around to that soon enough...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 8-|

      Shouldn't we be arresting Google, Microsoft and Facebook employees under the same charges?

      If you are taking the Chinese penny - yes.

      This is USA wallet we are talking about though. While there is suspicion across the globe and some it is justified (*), the ones loudest of all are states which are very closely aligned (that will be a polite description) with USA.

      For example: Poland did the Huawei shit show the same week it announced hosting an Anti-Iran junket orthogonal to Eu foreign policy on USA behalf.

      Now it's Taiwan's turn, whose dependency on USA does not need any further discussion. Cue next week for some extra performances by Columbia and a few other client states.

      (*)Some of the stuff I have picked up interviewing ex-H developers in one of my previous jobs was interesting (to say the least).

  2. DavCrav Silver badge

    "China's government has come to Huawei's aid."

    Well, if you call kidnap and (threatened) murder coming to someone's aid, yes, I guess.

    “We urge relevant parties to cease the groundless fabrications and unreasonable restrictions toward Huawei and other Chinese companies, and create a fair, good and just environment for mutual investment and normal cooperation by both sides’ companies,” Hua said.

    OK, China first then. Drop your ludicrous trade barriers, release your hostages, and then we can talk.

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      "China's government has come to Huawei's aid."

      We can assure you that the private company is completely legit as we, the Great Government of China, know nothing about whatever we have done and have nothing to do with the company at all ... If it was true we'd have seen it on our trojan's phone-home logs ...

  3. spold Bronze badge

    Why is this a surprise?

    It's Taiwan - given relations why would they not climb aboard the bannedwagon

    1. pavel.petrman
      Coat

      Re: Why is this a surprise?

      I can't wait to see if Mrs Hua has it her wei.

      I'll take my coat and leave without Honor.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Why is this a surprise?

      More a surprise they haven't banned mainland Chinese telecom hardware all along. It is hard to imagine that the Chinese government does not spy on Taiwan every chance they can get.

  4. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Accusations

    I have to say at the moment that there's lots of spurious allegations and precious little hard evidence for wrong-doing.

    I'd like to seen some facts ...

    1. Yes Me Silver badge

      Re: Accusations

      You're wrong, if you're referring to insecure products when you say "wrong-doing". There is no evidence whatever in the public domain that Huawei products have intrinsic security issues of the kind that justifies banning them. And if there was any evidence, don't you think they'd publish it in a flash? This and the other bans are just the result of politics and lobbying in support of unfair competition.

      Whether the sanctions-breaking allegations are true is as yet unclear, and nothing to do with product security.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Accusations

        re: "Whether the sanctions-breaking allegations are true is as yet unclear"

        Huawei is under no obligation to obey American sanctions.

        They may be banned from selling in the US but that doesn't mean US authorities can prosecute officials from another country for breaking US rules .

        1. FHR

          Re: Accusations

          US seems to think otherwise.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

        3. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: Accusations

          "Huawei is under no obligation to obey American sanctions.

          They may be banned from selling in the US but that doesn't mean US authorities can prosecute officials from another country for breaking US rules."

          And once again, this nonsense. I assume you mean the crime that she has been arrested for, which is, more or less, fraud. She (allegedly) lied about the corporate structure of Huawei in a call with US investors, to induce them to unwittingly break the law. That's a crime in most jurisdictions.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Accusations

            @DavCrav re: "That's a crime in most jurisdictions."

            I think you'll find there are quite a few bankers ahead of her in the queue on that score, whose actions have had far more serious consequences for the US, and who still walk free. HSBC has been fined but no one went to prison for money laundering for drug lords and terrorists. In the US, at least, "justice" is only for the "little people":

            https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/dec/12/hsbc-prosecution-fine-money-laundering

            BTW Huawei doesn't have US investors:

            https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/dec/12/hsbc-prosecution-fine-money-laundering

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Accusations

              If you really think she is part of "the little people" I suggest you read more news and less propaganda.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Accusations

                The "little people" are defined as anyone not in the US "elites" club.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Accusations

          > Huawei is under no obligation to obey American sanctions.

          As they do business in the US they willingly accepted the US conditions and that included the sanctions against Iran. If you say one thing to the US authorities and turn around to do something else you should not be surprised there will be consequences.

      2. Richocet

        Re: Accusations

        I think that instead of 'publishing it in a flash' they would share it with select allies' intelligence agencies, and use the threat of publishing it as leverage in diplomatic and trade negotiations.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Accusations

      I totally agree. There's swimming pools full of accusations and bluster, but not a thimble's worth of actual proof.

      You'd think, in this day and age, that someone would have reverse-engineered one of Huawei's switches and found something - or nothing, but no, let's just hop on the bandwagon and enjoy the ride.

      I grow weary of this point-me-to-a-target-and-expect-me-to-rage climate that we live in. Come on, it's not that difficult to check, now is it ?

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Accusations

        I grow weary of this point-me-to-a-target-and-expect-me-to-rage climate that we live in.

        Such are the times we live in. It's infiltrated all levels of government and even the population. All we can hope for is sanity to return or a very entertaining one last light show as the countries around the world go into destruct mode.

      2. Theobromaka

        Re: Accusations

        "it's not that difficult to check, now is it ?"

        Not that difficult? I'll illustrate that not only it's difficult but it can be impossible to check, by giving the example of Chinese honey manufacturers: they first added sugar sirup to real honey to increase their profit margin (sell something as honey while it contained a significant percentage of man-added material). But they've been caught. Advances in detection of counterfeited honey revealed that real honey contains pollen in the right proportion. What do you think Chinese honey "makers" did (they may not be the only ones)? Adding a little bit of pollen to there mix of honey / sugar / artificial flavour products! It made that fake (or half fake) honey became undetectable.

        "not that difficult to check?" If you walk in the street and someone's looking at you, observing your demeanour, will you know you're being observed? You may have some suspicion but you may never know for sure.

        <Proofs> in our current world may not exist in the tangible forms one would expect.

      3. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Accusations

        "Come on, it's not that difficult to check, now is it ?"

        Not just difficult, impossible. How do you conclusively prove that it isn't compromised?

        For example, if I give you a string of 1s and 0s, how do you prove that there isn't a hidden message in it? Indeed, every message is hidden in it, given the right key.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Accusations

        >You'd think, in this day and age, that someone would have reverse-engineered one of Huawei's switches and found something - or nothing, but no, let's just hop on the bandwagon and enjoy the ride.

        It is hard enough to find flaws in open source works such as the Linux kernel. It is much harder to find intentionally inserted and professionally hidden back doors where you do not have the source. It is far harder when the backdoor is hidden in an embedded part such as an Ethernet interface, just to take one example.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Accusations

          Or hidden in a algorithm proposed to become an encryption standard. Oh hey, that was not the Chinese, and that one was actually exposed. Or in centrifuges for uranium enrichment. Oh hey, not the Chinese either, and also exposed. Or in the cell phone of the leader of an allied country. Damn, still not the Chinese, still exposed.

          It's hard to find if you're not looking for it. But the governments spreading the FUD all have enough resources to buy samples of the kit, then dice and slice it until they find something funny they can show to the world.

          That lack of evidence is evidence itself that however they wish for it, China is not yet doing what the US already does. Also, they're not crazy. Unlike the US, their economy heavily depends on export. Using those as indiscriminate Trojan horses would be the best way to cripple their economy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Accusations

            >That lack of evidence is evidence itself that however they wish for it,

            Garbage.

            >China is not yet doing what the US already does.

            Yet China invaded Tibet, killed unarmed students at Tienanmen Square, kidnap dissidents outside China (such as the publisher) and more. The US does not do that.

            >Also, they're not crazy. Unlike the US, their economy heavily depends on export

            The US is also dependent on exports. That is why they defend their IPR.

  5. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    China Futures ...... in Special AIDerivative Ventures

    “Groundless” accusations about product security are being used to restrict Chinese vendors' international development, Hua said.

    Bring key developers in-house to develop international product for vendors to sell as Genuine Chinese and Earth Shattering will Cost Nothing whenever everything billed is always System Granted to Command and Control Chinese SMARTR AIMarkets with their Virtual Product Supply.

    Can you imagine the Price to be Paid by Insurance and Assurance Giants for that Failure to Capture Command and Control SMARTR AIMarkets?

    Real Hefty Premium Funding Streams easily simply takes All Due Care and Attention to that Very Particular and Peculiarly Distinct Possibility ..... Realisable Event.

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: China Futures ...... in Special AIDerivative Ventures

      Bring key developers in-house to develop international product for vendors ...

      I tried to run this through...

      1) unsuck-it.com - nothing coherent

      2) English to Klingon (yes, I know there are differences between Martians and Klingons, but I hoped for some mutual roots in their linguistic set) - it simply lacked the vocabulary.

      3) Running it through various online translators going back and forth between one language and another and got this:

      "Bringing the main internal developers to develop international products for publishers to sell as genuine Chinese and the bursting of the earth will cost nothing when all billed is still given to the Chinese SMARTR AIMarkets command and control with their virtual product sourcing."

      If I squint at this and turn my head sideways, I just make out I have had insufficient alcohol and am leaving work early to rectify this.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: China Futures ...... in Special AIDerivative Ventures

        Does this help towards comprehension, Robert Helpmann???

        It says much the same thing but differently.

        amanfromMars 1 Thu 17 Jan 09:16 [1901170916] ...... stating the obvious on https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2019/01/16/huaweis_elusive_mr_ren_were_just_a_sesame_seeding_a_superpower_spat/

        Re: #MySleepingGovernment Wakes Up and Goes on a Bender*

        According to Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD):

        Huawei and ZTE are two sides of the same coin. Both companies have repeatedly violated U.S. laws, represent a significant risk to American national security interests, and need to be held accountable. Moving forward, we must combat China’s theft of advanced U.S. technology and their brazen violation of U.S. law.

        What that does, DerekCurrie, is create more choice and novel market opportunity for advanced technology entrepreneurs which forces the US and the West trying to block systems migration and information sharing of future overwhelmingly advantageous proprietary intellectual property with Eastern partners rather than giving the West very valuable first choice refusal facilities.

        Bender* .... https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=bender

        And it is impossible to not realise it be a counter-productive and destructive to the West action taken by the West. Madness is as Madness does, eh :-) .... and at a Hacked Crack Media Terminal near you.

        Ye Olde Worlde Intelligence Deficit Dilemma in Post Modern PEBKAC Clothes.

        1. Cliff Thorburn

          Re: China Futures ...... in Special AIDerivative Ventures

          Obviously not the time to move from iPhone to Huawei then?

  7. Juha Meriluoto

    Truth to be told...

    ...I'd rather be spied upon by the Chinese government than a bunch of cutthroat American companies...

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Truth to be told...

      That falls under the "Be careful what you wish for" clause.

      1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Truth to be told...

        That falls under the "Be careful what you wish for" clause.

        And needs to be signed in blood and the signatory must be standing in the middle of an inverted pentagram ("around five black candles" is Hollywood).

    2. Theobromaka

      Re: Truth to be told...

      "I'd rather be spied upon by the Chinese government than a bunch of cutthroat American companies..."

      It's not the first time I've heard this and there seems to be a tendency to lean toward China vs the USA... The Chinese government has always been good at appearing like a band of cute little lambs who never means to harm anyone.

      Now if you'd rather be spied upon by the Chinese government, it may be (emphasis on the "may be") that you have nothing that could interest the Chinese government.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Truth to be told...

        "The Chinese government has always been good at appearing like a band of cute little lambs who never means to harm anyone."

        They're objectively far from perfect. Also, they've objectively started and supported far less morally bankrupt wars and conflicts around the world than the US during the last century. So all in all, there's no surprise that many people will consider them a lesser evil right now.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "...I'd rather be spied upon by the Chinese government than a bunch of cutthroat American companies who will be forced to hand over all they know to state authorities...who can then ruin your life if they so choose..."

    TFTFY

    1. gnarlwood

      Which actually happens in China. But whining little morons like you can't come up with an equivalent example from the west. It's all in your silly cynical nihilistic little noggins.

  9. razorfishsl

    its part of a long term plan.

    Winnie already said he wants to turn the "private" companies back into Government run entities , similar to the old style IE companies of decades past.

    So basically you would have a shed load of governments that used HW tech & then next thing you know the company is being run by the China government, removing the tech could then take a decade.

    This is exactly the same shit as we had when our company opened a factory & was told we had to fit a government "bridge" BEHIND our firewall so the local "government" departments could "resolve" internal & external internet connections.

    Unless you work in China yo would not believe the shit that goes on...

    decline a security visit and you get shut down....

    open you mouth about what goes on & you get shut down.

  10. FHR

    How about someone finally publishes some evidence?

    It's hard to refute Huawei's claims when it really does look like a witchhunt to me.

    First Supermicro, now Huawei. Who comes next?

  11. Theobromaka

    Adorable candids

    "create a fair, good and just environment for mutual investment and normal cooperation by both sides’ companies"

    It's desolating to think that an incommensurable number of people worship such hypocritical rhetoric (starting with chinese people themselves but more and more citizens from other countries).

    It's worth adding that no alibaba, no tencent, no xiaomi, no baidu, etc, would currently exist without reverse engineering, illegal and unethical practices.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Adorable candids

      "It's worth adding that no alibaba, no tencent, no xiaomi, no baidu, etc, would currently exist without reverse engineering, illegal and unethical practices."

      They learnt from the best...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How it works in China

    I have worked in China on a part time basis for 12 years, I know what goes on there.

    Companies in China do as the government says or get shut down, so if the Government ask Huawei to do something they will do it, that might be spying, it might be stopping enquipment working (like your cellular network). I would never trust key IT infrastructure to a chinese company, no matter how cheap or good it is.

    The rule of law in China is what the government wishes it to be, hence the recent detentions.

    As for the person who said he would rather be spied on China than US companies, I assure you, you would not, freedom of speech, forget it.

    If you live a normal life in China, don't shout about your anti government views, don't mind officials getting amazingly rich, you can get by without trouble.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How it works in China

      From my own own experience in China, this is pretty much spot on. I'd add that other people than official got rich (I'm acquainted to some), but having good relationships (关系) with officials is crucial.

      Now, the problem is trying to find in that list something that the US government, and particularly the current one, doesn't also do both domestically and abroad :/

      My take is that due process is still much better in the US, though I consider it to be inferior there than in most EU countries.

  13. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    Holmes

    "China's government has come to Huawei's aid"

    There's the entire point of restricting Huawei gear. It's effectively a governmental agency. Of course the company will be used as yet another source of stolen IP and surveillance data on the world.

    - If your government system is a failure, repress.

    - When your repressive government inevitably destroys creative incentive, steal.

    - When suckers feed your repressive government with IP, data and money, build an empire!

    I personally have no interest in being a sucker to China: Criminal Nation.

    [A special wave to comment-invading Red Troll goons!) (^_^)/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "China's government has come to Huawei's aid"

      > [A special wave to comment-invading Red Troll goons!) (^_^)/

      I checked these threads and it seems there are two fifty cent posters in here.

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