back to article No Huawei out: Prez Trump's game of chicken with China has serious consequences

Chinese telecom giant Huawei – the most prominent target of the Trump administration's decision to declare a national emergency to protect American IT infrastructure by banning technology provided by foreign adversaries – on Monday received a reprieve that allows it to do business with US suppliers. But its days are numbered …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Huawei forward

    Huawei could open up a branch company in the USA. Design, program, manufacture, and market those USA products as a USA company. Nothing left to target.

    Of course, still sending the profits home.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Huawei forward

      No good. They would still be a subsidiary of a Chinese mother company that can call the shots against its will. The basic stance is that ANY company with a Chinese tendril in it can't be trusted with national infrastructure, end of.

      1. Olivier2553 Silver badge

        Re: Huawei forward

        Then Chinese investors could buy a significant number of shares of US companies, making them suspect of Chinese affiliation, and the US government will be faced with the dilemna of closing US companies.

        1. Fatman Silver badge

          Re: Huawei forward

          Apparently, Trump conveniently forgets that the Chinese holds US Treasury debt.

          Just wait until that shit hits the fan.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Huawei forward

            "Apparently, Trump conveniently forgets that the Chinese holds US Treasury debt."

            They don't forget it, they completely ignore it. For as long as the US$ is seen as a preferred currency to do business in, the demand for US$ remains high.

            The threat is perhaps in the opposite direction - the US could decide that the Chinese debt is worthless and not honor the issued notes. There would be consequences, but I'm not sure who would be hurt most. .

            1. TheVogon Silver badge

              Re: Huawei forward

              "Prez Trump's game of chicken with China has serious consequences"

              Quite - China are apparently going to ban the export of rare earth metals to the US in retaliation. That will screw loads of US interests.

              1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

                Re: Huawei forward

                Temporarily. Rare earth metals aren't rare.

                1. TheVogon Silver badge

                  Re: Huawei forward

                  "Temporarily. Rare earth metals aren't rare."

                  Some of them are. And China supplies ~90% of current requirements. It would take years to bring alternative sources on stream.

            2. veti Silver badge

              Re: Huawei forward

              14th amendment (again):

              "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, [...] shall not be questioned."

            3. Brent Beach

              Re: Huawei forward

              China is busy dumping its US$ holdings into the Silk Road. It is buying up what it can with those US$ around the world, turning paper into real property. Anyone with US$ holdings should do the same.

          2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Huawei forward

            Trump conveniently forgets..

            Anything that doesn't accord with his very, very limited world view. He also tends to forget which lies he told last time and will happily contradict himself..

          3. Jim Mitchell

            Re: Huawei forward

            I don't think China is going to shoot itself in the fiscal head by selling that debt at a deliberate loss.

          4. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
            FAIL

            Re: Huawei forward

            Apparently, Trump conveniently forgets that the Chinese holds US Treasury debt.

            The better to get out from under China ASAP rather than make the matter worse!

            Add to that the ever more encroaching consequences of the US government to stop the leftist and rightist budget busting games and keep the thing constantly balanced for a change. BOTH worthless parties are guilty of the grotesque US debt, each for their own inane reasons.

            Meanwhile, whenever I discuss the consequences of US debt with anyone, the typical answer is: "We'll just print more money! Really? The consequence of that would be grotesque inflation.

            It's peril all ways 'round. But the immediate imperative is to STOP China's surveillance of and robbery of the world. If you think money is a more important factor, you're delusional. In fact, the better financial future results from disconnecting China from stealing the vast IP they are incapable of creating themselves.

            1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: Huawei forward

              You seem to be living in the 1980s...

              China has moved on, and that vast IP stealing just isn’t needed any more. Besides, US has indulged in questionable practices itself.

            2. fajensen Silver badge
              Flame

              Re: Huawei forward

              BOTH worthless parties are guilty of the grotesque US debt, each for their own inane reasons.

              Last I bothered to check BOTH parties agreed totally on increasing US military spending by 5%/pa every year about since Eisenhower.

              Nobody gives a shit about The Debt except as a retarded and dishonest reason why no one else, except the many virulent strains of security forces and defence contractors, can get anything that corresponds to a 1'st world nation should deliver on "Taxpayers Money"!

              The USA is going out the same way as the USSR. It's only that by starting from a much better position, it takes longer for the USA to build up more corruption, incompetence, waste and graft than can be carried by the economy.

          5. fajensen Silver badge

            Re: Huawei forward

            The FED can - and will - just buy it all in the market should the Chinese decide to dump it. We won't even get to see a blip of a few base-points.

            The Chinese have to look at finding and leveraging very specific pressure points if they want to fight with the US on something like an even ground: Rare Earths, Epoxy for silicon die encapsulation, ...

            The tool to use could be the strategic application of Customs processing of deliveries to / from US subsidiaries and Customs processing of US-citizens, payments and so on. Everybody knows that there are no problems at all and of course those customs officials are just doing their jobs, very, very thoroughly. It's totally not anyones fault that "processing" just drags on and on.

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Huawei forward

          No, the US government could simply prevent Chinese companies from becoming owners or even majority shareholders as frequently happens.

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: Huawei forward

        Unless the Chinese govt rolls over and declares Trump the winner of his trade war, apparently. If that happens, all the security worries will blow away like a fart in the wind.

        How does that work, exactly? Well, since Trump has never bothered to spell out what he wants the Chinese to do, he can declare victory at any moment, but he wants a statement of surrender to show the faithful.

        1. chromechronicle

          Re: Huawei forward

          ^ Fabulously well put.

          This is Trump's M.O. no matter what business he's involved in.

          All he's ever after, in every situation, is to be the top dog, alpha male, leader of the pack, I'm the winner and everyone else is subordinate to me.

          Once he thinks he's won and shown the world what a winner he is, what comes next is of little consequence to him. As long as he thinks he's a conquering hero in the eyes of his nation, that's his ego inflated and satiated for another day.

          1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

            Re: Huawei forward

            Another man in a democracy desperately hoping for another term to stave off prosecution (hi Bibi)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Huawei forward

            I suspect you are correct in your analysis of his troubled mind.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Huawei forward

        Can you say Fortinet?

        1. The First Dave Silver badge

          Re: Huawei forward

          Can _you_ say: not even with a 10-foot barge-pole?

    2. DJ

      Re: Huawei forward

      Perhaps they could lease some space from our new Foxconn factory; they aren't using it for anything.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Collateral Damage

    Sounds like there's going to be a lot of it in this war. I wonder if our leader has heard of it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Collateral Damage

      The sort of result that's to be expected from a Fire-Aim-Ready approach to policy making

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Collateral Damage

        The USA , traditionally, expects collateral damage to happen to other countries and not its own people.

        In previous times, this damage was US aircraft taking out our vehicles. their soldiers trying to shoot ours and so on.

        Nowadays, lines are not so clear. A protectionist move by an economic illiterate now endangers the very US companies that it was supposed to help!

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Collateral Damage

          The US needs better gun laws. Those feet are too big a target.

          1. STOP_FORTH
            Coat

            Re: Collateral Damage

            If a big bunch of people shot each other in the foot would that be "phalanx on phalanx"?

            I'm terribly sorry, I couldn't help myself.

            I'll get my coat.

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: Collateral Damage

          "In previous times, this damage was US aircraft taking out our vehicles. their soldiers trying to shoot ours and so on."

          As my father said to me:

          When the English shot, the Germans ducked.

          When the Germans shot, the English ducked.

          When the Americans shot, everybody ducked.

    2. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Collateral Damage

      The only type of damage Trump cares about is damage to himself.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disgusting

    They're trying real hard to take a large company out of business without any evidence of said company doing anything wrong. Never even looked at them before but this definitely makes me want to get a Huawei phone next. And to stay well clear of everything from any US based company.

    1. Cxwf

      Re: Disgusting

      Nothing here is really Huawei’s fault - they’re just the coincidental closest target to impact point of a greater trade war. All the posturing against Huawei specifically is just that - posturing.

      But that’s not the same as saying the greater trade war is without merit. It absolutely makes a difference how overall trade between the US and China is structured, and a certain segment of our market has been saying for a long time that we had the short end of the stick here and needed to change things. Even the El Reg author acknowledged that.

      Of course it’s much more complex to ask whether this tactic is actually going to fix anything, or just make things worse. Your mileage may vary.

      And I can imagine that if you are neither an American nor a Chinese citizen, then you don’t really stand to gain anything from this fight no matter who wins, so it’s understandable if you’re more frustrated than anything else. I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to jump into a fight that doesn’t affect them - just remember that it does affect someone else.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Disgusting

        It will be interesting to see what the Chinese targets are going to be. Probably GM and farmers since that hits Trump's base - just as electioneering starts for 2020.

        Then wait for Boeing to be really suffering from the 737Max before announcing a ban on Boeing in China (airbus manufacture there)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Airbus & China

          There is a lot of 'good ole boy' stuff that goes into every Airbus plane no matter where it is made so Trump could easily stop Airbus from operating in China.

          China could retaliate by treatening to start calling in all the US Debt that it carries. That will sink the DOW in a flash. The Trump bubble will burst and he'll be impeached (well that's what I hope)

          The Yuan could easily replace the USD as the world's currency.

          Trump had better watch out or this will end badly for him. His grasp of history relating to trade wars can probably be measured on a pinhead.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Airbus & China

            "His grasp of history relating to trade wars can probably be measured on a pinhead."

            Just trade wars?

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: Airbus & China

              a pinhead

              That's overly generous.

              1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

                Re: Airbus & China

                Pinhead? The other end of the pin would be ample space

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Airbus & China

                  Everyone wants to kick the winner while forgetting that he won - and kinda proves the other option was even worse in many eyes - perhaps we need a sharper pin?

                  1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                    Re: Airbus & China

                    Everyone wants to kick the winner while forgetting that he won

                    He won the presidency but he didn't win more votes. He won the opportunity to put a handful of signature policies into practice, with little success so far. No wall. No better healthcare. No repair of infrastructure. The only thing he's managed to do is enact a temporary tax cut for the middle class and a permanent one for the wealthy and for corporations, while at the time promising his tax cuts wouldn't benefit him personally (hint: they did). And the promises he's made since being elected haven't been impressive: remember 'trade wars are quick and easy to win'? China disagrees.

                    All in all, he's well worth kicking. He's not going to go down in history for the reasons he'd like.

                    1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

                      Re: Airbus & China

                      "He won the presidency but he didn't win more votes. "

                      Yep, but you can't change the rules AFTER the game.

                      Did you know that the UK is a first-past-the-post country as well? A government can easily win majority seats with a minority of votes.

                      That's why a number of countries moved to some sort of proportional representation.

                      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                        Re: Airbus & China

                        Thanks for explaining something to me that I learned at school back in 1979.

                        My point about Trump not getting the most votes was to counter the claim "and kinda proves the other option was even worse in many eyes". I suppose I should have quoted the entire sentence rather than leaving it to chance. Or even explain why as poor logic it doesn't prove a single thing, since not liking one candidate doesn't mean you have to vote for one of the others whom you don't like,

              2. Ms B Haven

                Re: Airbus & China

                FAKE NEWS !!!!!

                Twitter is rumoured to be setting up an IQ access, set at 1 higher than Trump

                1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

                  Re: Airbus & China

                  So, negative seven, then?

            2. JMcL

              Re: Airbus & China

              "Just trade wars?"

              Well to be fair to him (sarcasm off), he was aware enough of the Vietnam war to avoid going there on 5 occasions

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Airbus & China

            The Yuan could easily replace the USD as the world's currency.

            Not at the moment it couldn't: capital restrictions mean it is currently not readily convertible and, thus, doesn't have the same liquidity as the US dollar.

            But the rise of any SPVs (special purpose vehicles) for trading outside the dollar system could easily spook investors and cause yields on US debt to spike: it woudn't take much to cause potential real problems.

            1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

              Re: Airbus & China

              How 'bout (pfft) the euro?

              I'll get me coat. It's the one with the sticker that says "No means No and Leave means Leave"....

              1. fajensen Silver badge

                Re: Airbus & China

                Whoever has the honour of providing the reserve currency has also to be running a serious trade deficit - because that is how the reserve currency is distributed.

                The EUR and the Eurozone is not set up for that, I think.

          3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Airbus & China

            His grasp of history relating to trade wars can probably be measured on a pinhead.

            With enough to spare for his grasp of history relating to other kinds of war.

          4. vtcodger Silver badge

            Re: Airbus & China

            There is a lot of 'good ole boy' stuff that goes into every Airbus plane no matter where it is made so Trump could easily stop Airbus from operating in China.

            You might want to google Comac C919. It's not clear that China's home built commercial airliners are quite ready for prime time, but they are probably close. They have pre-production versions flying. Who knows, they might even make their scheduled 2021 first deliveries to (domestic) customers.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Airbus & China

              Actually the Comac C919 has been coming in for a lot of criticism and some of China's airlines would definitiely prefer Airbus if they were allowed, which would be more likely if a trade war started and Boeing was effectively off the table. Would require all kinds of SPVs but, unlike Iran, the Chinese market is big enough for some comparnies prepared to take the risk of losing the US one.

              However, I don't think the current spat will go that far. As the US election cycle heats up, the GoP might start listening to its donors: lots of Republican Senate seats up for election in November 2020. If the Orange Baby proves to difficult they could even sign up for impeachment…

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Airbus & China

              Isn't it about time the self-piloting plane became a thing? Since the best innovation the west is capable of is manifested in Boeing, it'll be left to the communists to have freight and people (so human freight, basically, in the eyes of the Party) flying by itself.

              1. Dagg

                Re: Airbus & China

                >>Isn't it about time the self-piloting plane became a thing?

                Yea, right search for QF72 before making that statement...

              2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

                Re: Airbus & China

                The Max self-piloted into the ground...

          5. John Jennings

            Re: Airbus & China

            The Yuan would never replace the dollar as the reserve currency - Any prez would go to kinetic war - with anyone - to prevent that.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Airbus & China

              Never say never, as history has often taught us.

              I agree that the Renmimbi is unlikely to replace the US Dollar, but that doesn't mean that the Dollar's hegemony won't be challenged, especially if it adopts an isolationist position for any period of time. The current status is probably worth at least 1% for US interest rates. Of course, if yields did spike, then there would be a move into US debt, but if rates stayed high then a debt servicing costs would rise and a recession would be likely.

              However, as with the decline of British Pound in favour of the US Dollar, any realignment is likely to take time. The Renminbi won't be relevant until it becomes convertible and the Chinese government has lots of reasons why it wants to avoid this. But we may well see more and more deals, initially government but then commercial ones, that are not in US Dollars. Still a drop in the ocean but some asian econmies could move away from the dollar fairly quickly. The Asian Development Bank and the Belt & Road initiatives are bumbling attempts to pave the way for this. Sadly, however, Trump's attitude towards partners and allies is proving about the best advert for them.

              1. DougS Silver badge

                Re: Airbus & China

                Until China completely untethers their currency from the dollar, there would be no point in using it as a reserve currency in favor of the dollar. They have multiple reasons why they aren't going to want to do that anytime soon.

                Until that happens it will just be used by smaller countries for their direct trades with China, and there is little practical difference with those countries holding reserves of dollars like they did previously.

          6. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            debt background info

            https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/080615/china-owns-us-debt-how-much.asp

            China really doesn't have a weapon here, US Debt is very easy to sell.

            Then there's this printing press thing, which of course is a stealth tax, and a way to keep zombie banks and businesses alive that in actual capitalism, would long ago have suffered creative destruction and we'd all be better off had we torn off the bandaid of printing and repressed interest rates long ago.

            The bozo businesses would have died, the Gini coefficient improved, newer businesses opened to fill the space, and we'd all be better off. Especially if some of the ridiculous regulations in the US and EU that act as barriers to entry were cut back a bit.

            But asking for macroeconomic literacy is a high bar - not only in the oval office.

          7. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

            Re: Airbus & China

            "China could retaliate by treatening to start calling in all the US Debt that it carries"

            Err, you can't "call-in" bonds. You can only sell them to another investor.

          8. Barstard

            Re: Airbus & China

            China can call in the US Debt, US will simply ignore with fallacies.

            US can stop Airbus operating within China but to no effect as the Chinese have their own plane manufacturers, COMAC will replace Boeing and Airbus.

            Boeing will collapse when they are required to close their Chinese facilities and Airbus will struggle to compete.

            Untrue that China steals intellectual properties, they simply purchase companies and become owner of the technologies, it's just business.

            China foresaw Economic warfare two decades ago and began preparing.....

        2. Fungus Bob Silver badge

          Re: Disgusting

          "It will be interesting to see what the Chinese targets are going to be. Probably GM and farmers since that hits Trump's base"

          GM, yes. Farmers, probably not - Chinese citizens probably need food more than we need new shiny toys. But I could be wrong.

      2. Joe W Silver badge

        Re: Disgusting

        Currently everybody else is losing. Forcing other countries (supposedly friends and allies) to abandon equipment of one manufacturer for that of your own company is not very nice and for us quite expensive. And that is not even factoring in the known fact that some of these manufacturers had backdoors in their equipment - for which actual proof exists. So considering our own national security we should forbid companies to do business with e.g. Cisco...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Disgusting

          Since that kind of lawful intercept is going to be built into ANY infrastructure equipment at that level, the ONLY way to avoid bending over is to roll your own. Think you can pull that off?

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Disgusting

            "Since that kind of lawful intercept is going to be built into ANY infrastructure equipment at that level,"

            Somewhere in the repository of this great web-site (I CBA searching for it) is a report of the hardware itself being intercepted in transit to a target and a back-door being sneaked into it. Is that what you consider lawful?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Disgusting

              If you're the government, you hold sovereign power. You ARE the law, essentially.

              1. Rich 11 Silver badge

                Re: Disgusting

                I don't think you've heard of separation of powers.

                1. WonkoTheSane Silver badge
                  Trollface

                  Re: Disgusting

                  "I don't think you've heard of separation of powers."

                  Pretty sure the White House Squatter isn't familiar with the term.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Disgusting

                    Very sure the legislative branch, demanding the AG break the law, and demanding to redo the justice dept investigation - one that was already done by haters of the admin - is at least as unaware of the separation of powers here.

                    As for foreign interference, that special relationship with MI6 comes to mind here - all of RussiaGate leads to UK, not Russia.

                    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

                      Re: Disgusting

                      You might want to read your constitution again on that…

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Disgusting

                        Ink on a page for someone with enough power. Ever heard of a "hostile takeover"?

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Powerful vs Lawful

                Powerful is not the same as lawful, no matter what those in positions of power might claim or like to imagine.

                Is this a distinction worth making? Yes, because otherwise law enforcement officers come to think that their word is law, and that they are themselves above the law. The result of that is a police state.

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: Powerful vs Lawful

                  But it's also relative. If you have enough power, you can change the laws to see fit. Police state or not is up to you because you have enough power to cast anyone else aside. IOW, lawful is relative to the laws themselves, and law itself is very tenuous at that.

                  1. Kiwi Silver badge
                    Facepalm

                    Re: Powerful vs Lawful

                    If you have enough power, you can change the laws to see fit.

                    And who is it you imagine has such power? Chump - who hasn't manage to get more than a couple of inches of his much-fabled wall built?

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Powerful vs Lawful

                      Combine that with his fanatical power base, some of which has considerable financial backing, and you can't rule out an uprising. Even 2020 can look pretty dicey, especially if he loses and the fanatics decide that's the last straw.

            2. Snorlax Silver badge

              Re: Disgusting

              "Somewhere in the repository of this great web-site (I CBA searching for it) is a report of the hardware itself being intercepted in transit to a target and a back-door being sneaked into it. Is that what you consider lawful?"

              NSA "Tailored Access Operations" took Cisco kit out of the supply chain to install backdoors...

              https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/05/photos-of-an-nsa-upgrade-factory-show-cisco-router-getting-implant/

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: Disgusting

            "Since that kind of lawful intercept"

            Why soft-peddle that with the term "lawful intercept"? It's a backdoor.

      3. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Disgusting

        Nothing here is really Huawei’s fault

        Probably true. Huawei are probably just collateral damage in the inevitable socio-economic conflict between the US and China. The US is used to running the world (not especially well if you ask me). China with four times the population and an economy about the same size as the US that is growing much faster doesn't actually seem to have that much interest in running the world. But since the US is run by folks with no principles, poor memories, few useful skills,and no planning ability whatsoever, I have to guess that the Chinese will "win" in the long run.

        Welcome to the Chinese Century folks.

        1. DCFusor Silver badge

          Re: Disgusting

          Heh, it's Huawei's fault for being a Chinese company that's producing arguably better tech at a fairer price than that other Chinese company - Apple - but failing to send as big a percentage of the profits to the US.

          (Not that either primarily sends their bucks to the US)

          That is all.

          There's a time when, after copying enough, you catch up and start innovating on your own, we seem to be there. And other companies cruising on their laurels and failing to continue innovating made them an easy target.

          All it takes to see this is to not be a fanboi of either one.

      4. Ilsa Loving

        Re: Disgusting

        > and a certain segment of our market has been saying for a long time that we had the short end of the stick here and needed to change things

        I would be far more sympathetic to that stance if it wasn't by their own design. The current conditions are exactly what US companies wanted in the first place, because it reduces their costs and they get to pocket the difference.

        The fact that it's a long term negative due to less money being available locally is irrelevant. All that's important are those quarterlies.

    2. andrewjknox

      Re: Disgusting

      Pretty irritating that Huawei is simply leverage while the US and China thrash out a trade deal.

      I have a Mate 10 Pro and the best phone I've had, was planning to go for the Mate 30 Pro when it comes out.

      Reckon I still will, I've already been reducing dependence on Google before this happened anyway. I'll have to shift my business email over to ProtonMail like I already do with my personal accounts. I'm trying out OSM instead of gmaps. I've already ditched gplay music. Just need Proton calendar which is in development and that's another service binned off.

      Not sure what's going to happen with apps I've bought through Google and have active subs though...

      1. MrBanana

        Re: Disgusting

        The problem isn't the apps you use, there certainly are equivalents of the Google ones. But they still mostly rely on the Google Play API to interface with your phones devices and storage mechanisms. OSM is a pretty good replacement for gmaps, but will be of little use without Google Location Services.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Disgusting

          "OSM is a pretty good replacement for gmaps, but will be of little use without Google Location Services."

          There are a number of apps that use OSM data and don't require Google Location Services.

      2. To Mars in Man Bras!
        Holmes

        Re: Disgusting

        Will the ban actually prevent anyone using a Huawei device from accessing a Google service (eg. Gmail) or just prevent them from downloading the official Google apps to do so? I suspect the latter as the first would seem impossible to police. In which case there are better alternatives out there.

        The ban might actually provide a bit of a boost to other software developers, if it prompts users to look beyond the Google offerings that came with their phone and seek out some alternatives. In most cases, the alternatives are far better.

        For email, try AquaMail. Easily handles my many email addresses split across Gmail, own domains using Google's mailservers, Yandex and own domains using Yandex's mailservers.

        OSMAnd+ provides as good mapping as Google Maps (better in remote and off-road areas), is much more customiseable and you can download entire country maps to your phone, without pissing about with Google Maps's silly area selection download. And its navigation is pretty decent, lthough it lacks the Googley stuff like weather and nearest junk food shop listings.

        Wire is an encrypted messaging/video-calling/VOIP app, offering everything Hangouts (or whatever Google's offering is called this week) does.

        Yandex browser or Kiwi browser are Chrome but with added support for extensions

        PulseSMS is text messaging with built in backup and the ability to send and receive SMS through your phone from your laptop.

        etc. etc.

    3. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
      FAIL

      Re: Disgusting

      Disgusting... They're trying real hard to take a large company out of business without any evidence of said company doing anything wrong.

      I need to put this on a rubber stamp:

      Your naïveté regarding China does not qualify you to judge this situation.

      Please do your homework and research:

      A) The lack of creative incentive of 'communist' countries

      B) The resulting requirement to steal IP in order to catch up with creative countries

      C) The stagnation of the world that results if IP robbery is allowed to continue

      D) The vast and consistent Chinese surveillance of and IP robbery from the world over the past 20 years.

      Everything is documented on the Internet for anyone to find, read and understand. Please catch up.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nuts in May

    Basically it's because Mr. President is paranoid and somewhat crazy. A sane president would not be so childish,

    1. Azerty

      Re: Nuts in May

      It's an empire in decline fighting the was for global supremacy, the democrats are just as crazy, not that I like Trump

      1. DCFusor Silver badge

        Re: Nuts in May

        It's often said that wounded animals are the most dangerous. That's what this looks like to me. The US empire might be near dead, but one swipe of its huge tail can still break you if you get in the way.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Tail swipe

          I usually associate dragons more with China than the USA.

      2. DougS Silver badge

        Empire in decline?

        I seem to remember the same being said in the 80s when it was Japan that had the huge trade advantage over the US. Now granted China is FAR larger and will easily overtake the US as world's largest economy without its per capita GDP needing to exceed 30% of the US's, but like Japan did with its aging population China has some demographic challenges awaiting it when the parents of the two "one child" generations reach retirement age, which is just beginning.

        The US will never be as dominant as it was in the decades after WW II, but that was a one shot deal mainly because it had the only large industrial base that hadn't been blown to smithereens by the end of the war.

  5. alain williams Silver badge

    Excellent article El Reg

    Showing that this is a lot more than security concerns.

    Please can we have a thumb up/down facility on articles without needing to make a comment.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Excellent article El Reg

      There was one at one point but it was taken out to pasture.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Excellent article El Reg

      Unfortunately the uncritical mention of the telent "backdoor" could earn it thumbs down. I suppose in mitigation t was attributed to Bloomberg so maybe it was just an invitation to point and laugh.

      1. DCFusor Silver badge

        Re: Excellent article El Reg

        Indeed. And how much have we heard about backdoors in Cisco and others here of late - it's a multiple, not a percentage. They all need a bit of pointing and laughing in a sense. IIRC, the telnet "backdoor" required one to be inside the LAN already...while the other baddies the Reg has reported on did not.

      2. Nifty

        Re: Excellent article El Reg

        What makes the Huawei router telnet backdoor (now patched) unusual is that for 8 long years GCHQ has been code-reviewing Huawei products in a dedicated department. Didn't that include routers?

  6. Magani
    Unhappy

    As it was in the beginning...

    ...though the administration's response to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of Saudi operatives suggests trade interests matter more than human rights.

    T'was ever thus.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Stop

      Re: As it was in the beginning...

      @Magani ~ +1

      would have been my comment too... Dollars over morals and ethics...

    2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: As it was in the beginning...

      I think it may have been Bird & Fortune, although it could have been someone else, who did a sketch where a government minister was being interviewed by a journalist. Some foreign country was looking a bit dodgy, and the interviewer was grilling the minister as to what this government was going to do about it.

      "Well, we've performed a thorough analysis of <whatever the country was> and found them to be above board, not so need for any action from us."

      "And just how thorough was this analysis?"

      "Oh, we looked at copies of all of the invoices"

  7. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

    Japanese CPU designer Arm has a facility in Austin, Texas, USA, that validates Arm-compatible and licensed chip designs for customers around the world, including those in China, and thus is restricted by the White House's latest crackdown.

    Moral of this story. Don't do business with the US, they will turn on you whenever it's financially beneficial for them and unilaterally break deals, without any means for recourse.

    An unreliable partner. Like any other bully, best to let them play in the sandbox by themselves.

    1. mark l 2 Silver badge

      For ARM, if this ban were to continue it might make more sense to shutter their Texas operations so they can then start to sell to Huawei again, than to keep a plant open in the US and loose out on the sales to one of the largest smart phone manufactures.

      1. el kabong Silver badge

        Having a presence in the US has become a liability

        ARM would be wise to shut their operations in Texas.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Having a presence in the US has become a liability

          On the same basis, foreign tech companies would be wise to reconsider future plans to invest in the US- R&D and/or production- full stop.

        2. DCFusor Silver badge

          Re: Having a presence in the US has become a liability

          Not just for tech. Ask Swiss bankers about the FATCA act that forces them to reveal things that they used to be able to boast of keeping secret. In the interest of prosecuting tax avoidance, of course. /sarc

      2. Chet Mannly

        True - and they could keep selling to everyone else...

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      The way things are going it will soon become a distinct disadvantage to being a US tech business.

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      So, how long before there is another facility elsewhere that can do the validation? It'll presumably be wrapped up as a Softbank subsidiary, in Delaware no doubt, with no direct connection to ARM so that plausible deniability is possible.

      But at some point there could be a real risk of the US cutting itself off from technological developments elsehwere in the world. Presumably meaning it would have to resort to stealing technology like it did routinely in the 19th century. Oh, the irony.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Presumably meaning it would have to resort to stealing technology like it did routinely in the 19th and 20th century.

        FTFY

  8. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    This is going to be very interesting, especially to other countries in Africa, that does business with both the West and the Middle Kingdom.

    I'm not looking forward to it, especially when the governments will be pushed to go either Western or Middle Kingdom... as we are set to run into supply problems.

    Of course smugglers will save the day... but we will have to wait and see.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A chunk of Africa is already middle K. some of south america is leaning that way. Pakistan & India, likely not.

      US 'allies' - they are f***ed either way.

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Strange Game

    The only winning move is not to play.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Strange Game

      The only winning move is not to play.

      Although not voting a dayglo orange psychopath in to office as Leader Of The Free World is a pretty strong move too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Strange Game

        It was a frigging great move if the motivation was to get the utterly corrupt unelected rats to reveal themselves, and to in general, just burn the thing down so a fresh start could be made without a bloody civil war. Pretty much everyone I know of who voted that way had that in mind. No one actually liked either candidate. (this should sound familiar to most in almost any country)

        But it's funny to watch the rats scurry when one who didn't go through the normal selection process (normally needed for the less wealthy candidates) got in. The unelected, used to having the actual power - are freaking out, it's obvious (from the depts to the news agencies) and if you understand what's really going on, it's entertaining.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Strange Game

      "The only winning move is not to play."

      But what if it's like thermodynamics, where the ironclad rules are, "You can't win, You can't break even, and You can't leave the game"?

  10. casperghst42

    5G patents....

    What is interesting is that Huawei got some fundamental patents in connection to 5G, without licensing these patents there will be no 5G role out, and Nokia and Ericsson are at least 1 year behind Huawei in development of 5G ...

    This is political, and is being used by Trump to get China to move on the Trade agreement, which he want to "fix", but it might end up causing the rollout of 5G to be delayed by years.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: 5G patents....

      Hmm. Delay 5G by five years? Not a bad idea.

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: 5G patents....

      "Trade agreement, which he want to "fix"".

      The problem is that he has no idea of what to fix and how, and he still claims China is paying for his import tariffs, or is he just lying.

      Lock him up...

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: 5G patents....

      >without licensing these patents there will be no 5G role out

      So the US ignores the Chinese patents.

      What are the Chinese going to do - sue them in Federal court ?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: 5G patents....

        "What are the Chinese going to do - sue them in Federal court ?"

        What could happen is that Huawei starts to sue every competitor, in every market the competitor sells in, whose competing products use the components they're not allowed to use on the basis of unfair competition, illegal government subsidy or whatever fits in the jurisdiction. There are a lot more courts around the world than Federal courts.

    4. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

      Re: 5G patents....

      As if the US is goi g to honour those patents when it's no longer convenient.

      International law is for everyone else, just look at the US' violations of the the Venezuan embassy in Washington and railroading the UN's investigation into US war crimes.

      We have a US govt that thinks that 'might makes right'. Literally the definition of a rogue state.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: 5G patents....

        International law is for everyone else, just look at the US' violations of the the Venezuan embassy in Washington and railroading the UN's investigation into US war crimes.

        We have a US govt that thinks that 'might makes right'. Literally the definition of a rogue state.

        How about the Hague Invasion Act?

    5. Chet Mannly

      Re: 5G patents....

      The roll out is already happening (at least in Australia).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "EE and Vodafone have withdrawn Huawei phones from the launch of their 5G networks in the UK, the latter company having acknowledged last month that routers provided by Huawei a decade ago had backdoors."

    Didn't we have this discussion a little while back on El Reg where it was quoted in the article as saying:

    "The 'backdoor' that Bloomberg refers to is Telnet, which is a protocol that is commonly used by many vendors in the industry for performing diagnostic functions. It would not have been accessible from the internet," said the telco in a statement to The Register, adding: "Bloomberg is incorrect in saying that this 'could have given Huawei unauthorized access to the carrier's fixed-line network in Italy'.

    "This was nothing more than a failure to remove a diagnostic function after development."

    1. jmch Silver badge

      "he latter company having acknowledged last month that routers provided by Huawei a decade ago had backdoors"

      That seemed odd to me too so I had a look at the Bloomberg article linked. the article itself mentions an unspecified security problem that is thereafter referred to a a 'backdoor'. That is extremely fishy journalism, as a backdoor is something put there deliberately while a security vulnerability can just be bad design or bad coding. Saying now that it is actually Telnet is even worse. Sure Huawei should have disabled Telnet but Bloomberg is a 'supposedly' reputable organisation and the repeated use of the word 'backdoor' to describe what is clearly not a backdoor is just a more subtle implementation of fake news

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        re: Bloomberg Journalism

        Remember it was Bloomberg that published the article about motherboards that were made in China having an extra chip that 'leaked' stuff back to china.

        Apple and Supermicro were the main targets (amongst others).

        Both companies undertook extensive investigations and found no evidence of these chips.

        Despite repeated appeals Bloomberg refused to relase their evidence to the world.

        To me this implies that it was a bit of fiction designed to make certain stocks go down so that shorters could make a killing.

        Who would you rather believe eh?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: re: Bloomberg Journalism

          >Who would you rather believe eh?

          A Wall St. billionaire with ambitions to run for President - obliviously

  12. STOP_FORTH
    Unhappy

    Techno-balkanisation

    People may take it for granted that their 'phones work everywhere but it was not ever thus. I used to have to borrow a tri-band 'phone for visits to the US. My normal mobile worked everywhere except the US. Later on I had the same problem with South Korea.

    There was a time (back in the analogue TV days) when a TV bought in one European country wouldn't work in many of the others. Digital TV is based on common underlying compression standards. (Although, even here there is scope for creating artificial incompatibilities.) Unfortunately there is no common transmission standard, although DVB satellite transmission schemes are fairly widely adopted.

    People can now move almost anywhere in the world reasonably cheaply. Some of their gadgets are useless outside their home country.

    Many of these problems are caused by "special interest groups", manufacturer inspired protectionism and plain political stupidity.

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Techno-balkanisation

      "Many of these problems are caused by "special interest groups", manufacturer inspired protectionism and plain political stupidity.".

      And sometimes it's just that one country starts first, selecting the standard of the day, and later other countries coming later have the advantage of using a later standard. This is what happened to the TV standard, and there are other examples too.

      1. STOP_FORTH

        Re: Techno-balkanisation

        That's certainly one interpretation and is perfectly valid in some cases. I can offer one counter-example. Brazil did not adopt the NTSC Color system but instead opted for a hybrid of NTSC and PAL called PAL-M which was one of the better analogue video systems. (No flicker and reduced cross-colour.)

        This was ostensibly developed to protect the "native Brazilian TV manufacturing industry". There was no such thing. After the new standard was adopted a whole new industry arose. They imported US NTSC Color TVs and converted the circuitry so that they worked with the new Brazilian standard.

        I don't know why PAL-N was invented but I have never talked to any Argentinian broadcast engineers.

        British troops stationed in Germany found that the sound did not work on their tellies when they returned to the UK. (You could get the sound but then you would lose the video.)

        French colour TVs worked in France, Rumania and Russia (and probably quite a few Pacific slands an North African countries.) Then the French improved the system so that they could carry teletext (or their version of teletext.)

        I could give further examples but won't. Analogue TV was a complex balkanised mess. Some of this could be explained by first movers making all the mistakes for others to avoid, but not all of it by any means.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Techno-balkanisation

          The best example is that the USA put "national security" tarrifs on LCD screens because they might be use din jet fighters. So Toshiba and sharp had a lot of laptop shaped LCD panels that they couldn't profitably sell in the USA - so they decided to make laptops instead.

    2. Spanners Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Techno-balkanisation

      People can now move almost anywhere in the world reasonably cheaply. Some of their gadgets are useless outside their home country.

      Many outside electrical gadgets have problems in the USA. They use a different voltage and AC frequency from that used by developed countries. Happily, that means that their stuff doesn't work outside the "land of the fee".

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Merrill

      Re: Techno-balkanisation - PCM Standards

      Back in the day of circuit switched digital telephony, the US used mu-Law non-linear Pulse Code Modulation and Europe used A-law non-linear PCM. I was told by a US member of the CCITT (now ITU) standards group that the US had offered to agree to and change to match the Europeans. He was told that regardless of what the US would agree to, Europe would be different.

  13. EastFinchleyite

    Difficult to back out

    The Trump administration has started a trade war with China, which has responded in kind. Trade wars eventually come to an end even if it takes a long time. The "Cold War" with the Soviet Union was carried out as both an arms race, and a trade war and while that took 45 years to conclude, it did end.

    Masking the US/China trade war as a security issue doesn't work very well. Threatening to stop the sale of mobile phones using a US designed open source operating system because of concerns about security holes in a yet to be rolled out 5g core network is a weak argument. If there are 5G issues, why not 4G?. Where is the evidence, given that Huawei have set up a joint venture with GCHQ to examine the core network software.? Is this another "Weapons of Mass Destruction" report where we are asked to believe without evidence. We all ended up with egg on our collective faces then. Tony Blair's reputation was, and still is, trashed. May's reputation could similarly ............ (Ok, I concede that would be a stretch!)

    The weakest part of the argument is that it denies itself a way out when the trade war ends (or is suspended). Donald and Xi could come to a truce tomorrow (a beautiful victory?) but that would leave the declared security issues unresolved. If the US removes the trade ban on Huawei surely they will be letting Chinese spying tools into strategic national networks. What about the mobile phones?. They are said to be a security risk now because the US (parroted by 5 eyes) says so. That won't magically disappear because the US and China come to an agreement on steel imports. Will the UK and other countries who have followed the lead of the US similarly change track when the US and China make up. ?

    We are following our special relationship partners down a deep rabbit hole based on the assertions of some highly suspect political operators.

    1. Reg Reader 1

      Re: Difficult to back out

      Well said. Much of this problem is due to the deregulation of Corporate financials. I'm not a finance person so am not sure that's the correct term. What I'm talking about is at the time of globalization/free trade when RRSPs were allowed to participate in corporate stock outside of national scope. Such was the case in Canada at the time. Since then, these corporations outsource as much work as possible to developing economies to reduce cost and most no longer have any R&D worth mentioning, all in the name of increasing profit for the Ponzi/Pyramid scheme that is the deregulated stock market and that is effect of changing the corporate tax burden. Since the late 1970s corporations have been able to increasingly buy their own taxation system, it seems. The more regulated, or in authoritarian regimes financially controlled, corporations still seem to have effective R&D.

      The above boils down to the populace having been duped by bad faith politicians. As much I don't like Trump and his crazy train this all started a long time before him.

      1. DCFusor Silver badge

        Re: Difficult to back out

        Actually, the politicians themselves were duped by the bad faith bankers and in general people who got compensated in options. It can even look like good intentions.

        The deregulation that allowed for evil things like CDS (being able to buy fire insurance on your neighbor's house...without his knowledge, and even get a can of gasoline in the deal) - was sold as a way to make getting loans easier for minorities so they could buy homes and have a stake in society - a good thing that would result in less crime and violence and more self-policing.

        What it actually was is more interesting - in the insurance biz it's illegal to sell insurance to other than the entity directly involved, and there are also regulations that the insurance company has to keep the buck to pay claims in hand - this was all missing from the Frank-Clinton removal of Glass Steagall.

        The road to hell is indeed paved with good intentions, or at least can be sold as such.

        In hindsight, we know that some of the financialization tech new instruments invented as a result by Blythe Masters of JP Morgan and some others developed in the City of London turned out to be "weapons of financial mass destruction".

        There was plenty of blame to go around (in this case the left side of the aisle started the ball rolling, but...no one was at all innocent). From the banks making loans that were obviously never going to be paid off - no need to care as now Goldman Sachs, AIG, JP Morgan, and of course Deutsche bank were standing there buying the loans to sell tranches at a profit - to the people taking those loans, to the people buying the tranches of them....

    2. cjrcl

      Re: Difficult to back out

      It seems that China will be the latest name on the list including Iran, Syria, North Korea ecetera.

      If so I think it is time for China to take Taiwan back.

      1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        Re: Difficult to back out

        If so I think it is time for China to take Taiwan back.

        That wouldn't the US modus operandus. There'd need to be a false flag operation like the USS Liberty (but done without exposing it's actually a false flag.

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Difficult to back out

          USS Liberty a false flag operation - ahh setting up a US intelligence vessel to be shot up by the Israelis. How did rhapsody work or were they hit by US aircraft in disguise?

      2. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge
        Facepalm

        Re: Difficult to back out

        The People's Republic of China has never had control of Taiwan, merely a claim they've never been able to enforce(but refuse to drop).

  14. Werepaws

    America's mental illness

    Wow. The Americans have certainly let their paranoia show immensely

    But this move of what they have done is bassically similar to what the USA were claiming Huawei and China could do shutting off 5G services because of their kit

    America certainty have a paranoid schizophrenia mental illness building

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: America's mental illness

      If you of a certain age you can remember the

      "Are you now or were you ever a member of the Communist party" questions of the 1950's. The reds under every bed paranoia of that age is alive and kicking.

      1. WonkoTheSane Silver badge

        Re: America's mental illness

        "Are you now or were you ever a member of the Communist party?"

        That question was STILL on the forms they used to hand out on flights into the USA in 2001 (pre-9/11).

        1. DCFusor Silver badge

          Re: America's mental illness

          Yeah, I had to answer that one for a security clearance in the '70's myself. One wonders how Brennan, Chief of CIA for the previous admin, was an avowed communist yet still managed to get that job?

          His role in the current thrashing is interesting to say the least.

          1. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: America's mental illness

            Brennan is not an "avowed communist". That lie came about based on the fact that he voted for Gus Hall, the Communist Party presidential candidate in 1976. There is no evidence that Brennan himself was ever a member of the Communist Party or even that his political viewpoint is communist generally.

            But that his political enemies consider calling him a communist to be an effective attack says a lot about American paranoia.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: America's mental illness

          >That question was STILL on the forms they used to hand out on flights into the USA in 2001

          Do they still ask 3 year olds if they were involved in Nazi war crimes?

  15. Milton Silver badge

    Right ... but perhaps for the wrong reasons

    Ok: Trump is a nasty, corrupt, ignorant child and his motivations in this are probably as petty and wrong as is ever the case. And you can't ignore the fact that this is happening in the context of a wider trade war, which, while it may have some logical underpinnings (China does steal and cheat on a an epic scale) is also contaminated by the Orange Idiot's floundeing incompetence and wayward spite.

    So I am no apologist for Trump or his toxically incompetent administration: it may actually be almost as vile as the Chinese regime at this point in time.

    But the fact that the attack on Huawei is being mounted by people who are stupid, ignorant and explicitly odious doesn't mean it is the wrong thing to do.

    I've said before that it is irrelevant whether Huawei has been caught producing dodgy hard- or software and I have framed my point in terms of capabilities and intentions: emphasising that capabilities are what count here.

    It's simply this: China has an authoritarian, undemocratic, repressive, ofttimes murderous regime; it ruthlessly oppresses minorities among its citizens; practises draconian censorship; has shown every sign of territorial aggressiveness and growing military adventurism; is building up its armed forces at a worrying rate; is becoming ever wealthier and more powerful; and has the ability both in technological know-how and in industrial capacity to supply a sizeable fraction of the free world's communications and computing infrastructure. With no checks or balances or transparency, the Chinese state could compel any of its companies to do whatever it wishes ("Make this happen for us, and keep your mouths shut about it, or next month you will be executed for corruption"), and every aspect of its behaviour in the last 20 years proves that it will use technology—a wonderful equaliser in the world of asymmetric warfare—for its own ends, lying, stealing and cheating at every turn. I don't see how this is even a controversial statement by this point.

    So the question is not what China intends, but what it can do, and this ought to worry us very badly. Given everything we know of China's government, it would be suicidally stupid to gift it with power, influence or any kind of entry into our just-about-free societies.

    As the west wakes up to the threat of China, actual conflict becomes ever more likely (I would personally suggest, inevitable, unless regime change occurs, which seems most improbable). China will become ever more strongly motivated to resort to technological sabotage and espionage. Right now we don't want China stealing data on our (for example) nuclear submarine fleet. If it comes to conflict, we don't want them bricking those boats while they're still dockside.

    So Huawei is just the start. China certainly could use its companies for malign ends: so we must act protectively, as if it is doing so, and will do so in the future.

    1. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Right ... but perhaps for the wrong reasons

      "So the question is not what China intends, but what it can do"

      This goes against pretty much every standard the Western world stands for. China COULD compel Huawei to put in backdoors. But then again Huawei kit is probably the most closely-studied kit in the world, and it is trivially easy to compare firmware releases to make sure that the kit you have is running the same version as a trusted reference version. It might be more difficult to check that the hardware you get isn't a one-off specially modified version instead of the standard one, but the organisations likely to be targeted in this way are either big enough to have the resources for deep checks or would not be buying Huawei kit anyway.

      For the vast majority of commercial customers and 100% of retail customers, having eg GCHQ check out the kit is a perfectly acceptable safeguard, indeed one which they do not even get from other vendors' kit (eg Cisco) which might be backdoored with other countries' spying malware.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Right ... but perhaps for the wrong reasons

        For the vast majority of commercial customers and 100% of retail customers, having eg GCHQ check out the kit is a perfectly acceptable safeguard, indeed one which they do not even get from other vendors' kit (eg Cisco) which might be backdoored with other countries' spying malware.

        In the case of Cisco, there is no "might be" involved, the backdoor (placed by the NSA) was found, so American stuff is right out as far as I am concerned.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Right ... but perhaps for the wrong reasons

        > China COULD compel Huawei to put in backdoors.

        Which is exactly why you should use them.

        Which is better security?

        A, buy kit from china and check it for backdoors, weaknesses, vulnerabilities.

        C, buy kit from a company HQ in Finland (but with chips made all over the world) and don't bother checking for any flaws, vulnerabilities etc but trust it implicitly cos Finns are really nice people.

        1. jmch Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: Right ... but perhaps for the wrong reasons

          "Which is better security?

          A, buy kit from china and check it for backdoors, weaknesses, vulnerabilities.

          C, buy kit from a company HQ in Finland (but with chips made all over the world) and don't bother checking for any flaws, vulnerabilities etc but trust it implicitly cos Finns are really nice people."

          And 'B' is security by obscurity?

          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Right ... but perhaps for the wrong reasons

            And 'B' is security by obscurity?

            No, 'B' is "buy from Cisco", backdoor guaranteed.

    2. Bonzo_red

      Re: Right ... but perhaps for the wrong reasons

      Here's a clue:

      https://www.scmp.com/business/companies/article/3011108/explainer-used-iphones-guided-missiles-does-chinas-dominance

    3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Right ... but perhaps for the wrong reasons

      Umm, you could replace 'China' with 'USA' for most of your comment and it would still read true.

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Right ... but perhaps for the wrong reasons

      But the fact that the attack on Huawei is being mounted by people who are stupid, ignorant and explicitly odious doesn't mean it is the wrong thing to do.

      Possibly, but the real problem is how the attack is being done.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Without saying so publicly, they're glad

    somebody kicked the giant in the balls. Now, the giant is scratching its head (or ass). Once the thought reaches its brain, it gets through the cause and effect and makes a conclusion and decision... Trump will probably be gone. And those US technological companies, so glad, will be there, in the open, with a silly smile on their face. So, at best, it's a short-term gain. But hey, when did Homo Sapiens thought long-term about anything?

  17. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Huawei equipment can't be trusted?

    The Trump administration, backed by US cyber defense experts, believes that Huawei equipment can't be trusted” .. as distinct from Cisco which we already have backdoored :]

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Huawei equipment can't be trusted?

      Didn't someone once say "I don't trust anyone who can't be bribed"?

      Not sure why that popped into my head.

    2. ivan5

      Re: Huawei equipment can't be trusted?

      And therein is the problem. It is not pres Trump, he is only supporting the US 3 letter agencies and they are the ones with the big problem. Their problem is that they want to put backdoors in Huawei networking equipment but if they do that it means that the Chinese government will have samples of the US spying software and there is the big problem. The 3 letter agencies can only see one way out of that and it is banning Huawei equipment, in their eyes that makes the problem go away and leaves their spying on the population as normal using the so called American equipment.;

      1. Captain Obvious

        Re: Huawei equipment can't be trusted?

        What is to prevent China from finding the spy code in Cisco routers? Should be fairly EASY to do for anyone with electronics and programming knowledge.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Huawei equipment can't be trusted?

        Shh, facts that don't involve blaming everything on the current US Orange man bad aren't popular around here. Or Brexit for an alternative blame target. No one wants actual truth or introspection. Thinking is HARD - and we've always been at war with EastAsia or something.

  18. naive

    Are you US bashing guys all mad ?.

    Unless people like a dictatorship that: Puts people in jail based on religion, still carries out the death penalty, implements a tracking system with 400,000,000 camera's, forbids people to appear on TV because of tattoos, shields the country off from the internet, is bullying neighboring countries with aggressive territorial claims and is pirating on issues like intellectual property and acceptable trade policies.

    Unless they are trolls paid by Bejing to create anti-US sentiments in the West, it is doubtful if anyone airing criticism toward the trade policies of the US in regard to Huawei, would like to live in such a toxic place.

    There is no difference between supporting China now, and supporting German politics in 1939. Both are countries whose political systems are far from what anybody sane would consider as being civilized.

    This Huawei row not about a thousand dollar more for a switch or router, is about the freedom of you and your children.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Are you US bashing guys all mad ?.

      "Unless people like a dictatorship that: Puts people in jail based on religion, still carries out the death penalty, implements a tracking system with 400,000,000 camera's, forbids people to appear on TV because of tattoos, shields the country off from the internet, is bullying neighboring countries with aggressive territorial claims and is pirating on issues like intellectual property and acceptable trade policies."

      I'm confused, are you sure you're referring to China and not the USA? Because I really can't tell the difference based on what you wrote.

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Are you US bashing guys all mad ?.

        "Unless people like a dictatorship that: Puts people in jail based on religion, still carries out the death penalty, implements a tracking system with 400,000,000 camera's, forbids people to appear on TV because of tattoos, shields the country off from the internet, is bullying neighboring countries with aggressive territorial claims and is pirating on issues like intellectual property and acceptable trade policies."

        "I'm confused, are you sure you're referring to China and not the USA? Because I really can't tell the difference based on what you wrote."

        China of course - the US has shows like The Jerry Springer Show which positively encourage people with tattoos to appear on telly.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Are you US bashing guys all mad ?.

          Yes, as long as they have a Tattoo:Tooth ratio greater than 1, they're allowed to appear as the guest clown on that type of show.

          However, if you ignore the rather unimportant tattoo assertion, and possibly the specific number of surveillance cameras, the US is pretty much bang to rights on the other serious stuff that's being alleged in that block of text. From where I sit the USA's trade war is damaging my perception of the USA as a reliable trade partner far more than it's affecting my perception of the Chinese.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Are you US bashing guys all mad ?.

      Naïve, with the exception of the territorial claims part you could easily be describing the UK Government and the EU.

      Although if you count Treason May's plan to keep us in the Glorious Socialist State of Allegedly Democratic Europe when the majority voted to leave, they are guilty of that too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are you US bashing guys all mad ?.

        Death penalty? Citation needed.

        1. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: Are you US bashing guys all mad ?.

          I resent that. I am not a US bashing guy.

          I'm a US bashing bloke !

    3. hammarbtyp Silver badge

      Re: Are you US bashing guys all mad ?.

      Unless people like a dictatorship that: Puts people in jail based on religion, still carries out the death penalty, implements a tracking system with 400,000,000 camera's, forbids people to appear on TV because of tattoos, shields the country off from the internet, is bullying neighboring countries with aggressive territorial claims and is pirating on issues like intellectual property and acceptable trade policies.

      You mean like Saudi Arabia?

      This has nothing to do with human rights, etc. If the US only traded with countries where there internal policy aligned with theirs, basically they would only sell to themselves (and i'm not even sure California wouldn't be on the blacklist).

      This is a petty trade dispute, dressed up as a national security issue, because the orange one has as much understanding of global trade as a slug has of the milky way.

      In the short term I expect US to get some win, but one thing that China has shown itself is that its a fast learner and a long memory, and in the longer term the US will suffer as it flexes its increasing economic muscles.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Are you US bashing guys all mad ?.

        This is a petty trade dispute, dressed up as a national security issue, because the orange one has as much understanding of global trade as a slug has of the milky way.

        I am afraid you might be insulting to that slug.

    4. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Are you US bashing guys all mad ?.

      If that were the case that the US was making to justify banning Huawei, I think the tone of this debate would be very different. But that's not the case they're making. What they're actually doing is making vague, unsubstantiated accusations in order to allow the president to bypass Constitutional checks and balances to step up a trade war.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are you US bashing guys all mad ?.

        >If that were the case that the US was making to justify banning Huawei, I think the tone of this debate would be very different

        Remember we started this trade war by putting 45% tarrifs on evil Canadian steel and aluminium for reasons of national security.

    5. DiViDeD Silver badge

      Re: Are you US bashing guys all mad ?.

      "There is no difference between supporting China now, and supporting German politics in 1939."

      You mean like selling weapons to them, openly inviting senior Nazis to Washington, servicing their U boats at US marine facilities, that sort of thing?

  19. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    WTF?

    "deal with longstanding issues like government favoritism toward local companies"

    How is it that that can be a point of contention ? Name me one country in this world that doesn't favor local companies.

    These people company representatives who are complaining about local favoritism would be howling like wolves if Huawei was given favor in the US over any one of them.

    I'm not saying that there are no reasons to be unhappy about business with China, but that is not one of them.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: "deal with longstanding issues like government favoritism toward local companies"

      Name me one country in this world that doesn't favor local companies.

      I'll give you two: Liechtenstein and Vatican City, though admittedly neither has a lot of local companies.

      1. STOP_FORTH
        Joke

        Re: "deal with longstanding issues like government favoritism toward local companies"

        Doesn't Liechtenstein make most of the dentures in the EU. Try taking a bite out of that market.

      2. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        Re: "deal with longstanding issues like government favoritism toward local companies"

        How can you leave Andorra out of that list?

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: "deal with longstanding issues like government favoritism toward local companies"

          While you are at it, how can you leave Monaco and San Marino out of that list?

    2. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: "deal with longstanding issues like government favoritism toward local companies"

      For as long as I can remember the UK government has never shown any partiality to British goods or services. There's all sorts of under the counter ways you can favor local businesses but they're just not used, nobody cares. So you get this situation where EU law is applied to the detriment of British business but somehow isn't important in Germany (someone was grumbling to me recently about how British Steel goes dowm the pan due to carbon taxes (and excessive leverage, of course) while Wolfsburg -- VW city -- manages to run on coal, brown coal at that.)(....and we wonder why anti-EU sentiment is so strong).

      Anyway, the situation US/China isn't that much different to Germany/Britain before WW1, Britain's hegemony and industrial supremacy is being challenged by a continental upstart. The trouble is, we can't do World Wars any more.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "deal with longstanding issues like government favoritism toward local companies"

        "The trouble is, we can't do World Wars any more."

        Nope. The trouble is that we have people in positions of power *who want to find out if we can*.

  20. Milton Silver badge

    Technological silos

    I didn't want to make one huge post so I thought I'd make my second point separately. The article isn't the first to wonder if the inevitable result of the Huawei affair, and various other policies (for one example, Russia's moves to make its own internet separable and distinct from the wider world's) will result in the creation of increasingly separate technological silos based on national politics.

    It seems inevitable, to be honest. If nanoscale spies and saboteurs, controlled by your enemies, fiendishly difficult to find, concealed within complex electronics, can lie dormant for years before waking up to cause mayhem—in a highly connected world which gives even malware in a webcam massive reach and potential—how can you ensure that you are not infected and at risk? The ease with which nanospies could be concealed—something smaller than a pin's pointy end, no more than a wide spot on a capacitor's lead; or sandwiched as a speck in the layers of a motherboard; to lie asleep and unnoticed until it awakens to mischief—combined with their potential power is surely an intolerable national security risk. Vast cunning can be deployed in building and hiding such devices, even unto deniability ("It's a sophisticated little circuit protection monitor that only kicks in if it sees signs that an electrolytic is drying out; proprietary machine code, clever, which is why it's 75kB; your suggestion that it's mischievous is just a paranoid perspective") ... I submit that in the arms race between spies and counter-intel, the advantage and initiative will remain, as ever, with the former, and the latter will always be playing catch-up. In truth, it's the position that the world's 'green slime', military and otherwise, have been familiar with for 100 years.

    If you were in war with a sophisticated adversary, you wouldn't be buying their fertiliser for your crops, lest they included some blight spores or a crop pest. You'd be concerned they'd take advantage to cripple your agriculture. (Didn't the Japanese try floating sabotage balloons over the US during WWII? They were intended to start fires, I think, but why wouldn't they have taken the oportunity to send anthrax, if they could?)

    I don't see any difference in principle between the biological virus and the technological one. So it seems to me that every nation that can do so will increasingly turn to home-designed and home-built technology. It'll start in major strategic and defence applications—it already has, notwthstanding Gidiot Osborne inviting the Chinese into the British nuclear power programme—but, given the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, will spread wider, and ever wider.

    Future alliances won't just focus on the importance of interoperable military kit— like Nato STANAGs making sure ammunition and magazines are interchangeable between small arms, or aircraft can carry standardised missiles, etc—they will include rules, standards, certifications and audits as to the origin of all sorts of equipment way out into the civilian sphere. The day isn't far away when, depending on your reasons for travelling, US immigration will check your computer equipment against a list of Allowed vs Prohibited. Just as every nation will want to be sure you're not bringing vials of Ebola into the country, or are yourself infected by it, so they will be ever more vigilant about other nanoscale menaces. (People in certain jobs already know not to take non-disposable computing devices into any place controlled by China, because policy is that its battery comes out before you leave that country and it'll be melted to slag when you get back to base, never having been switched on again.)

    Basically, if you wouldn't give an enemy the chance to contaminate the public blood supply, you should do no less to protect your nation's technological infrastructure.

    So yeah, we're gonna build silos ... because it's becoming obvious, even to imbecile politicians, that you can't afford not to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Writing sci-fi

      I really need to get on with writing my short story on the runaway effect of self replicating nanomachines. Basically put, it's game over if you make them.

      Not because they are dangerous. But because of over confidence. An atomic bomb cannot "run away". But a nanomachine (possibly) could. So I hope we never come up with a working design.

      In my fiction, it just takes over, slowly but surely. It's the pig headedness that gets you in the end.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Writing sci-fi

        "I really need to get on with writing my short story on the runaway effect of self replicating nanomachines. Basically put, it's game over if you make them."

        So what if someone's cornered and has nothing left to lose? How do you deal with someone willing to go M.A.D.?

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Writing sci-fi

          So what if someone's cornered and has nothing left to lose? How do you deal with someone willing to go M.A.D.?

          It looks more and more like Trump is trying to do that to the PRC. The world is just damned lucky the Chinese usually take the long view as long as it isn't an immediate crisis (it often helps if you have a history going back over 4,000 years instead of less than 250).

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Writing sci-fi

          No idea. But IMO the level of control would be like mobile phones and other tech today. It would all be hunky dory, with control methods in place to prevent "weapons" being used or developed. Then one day the normal everyday stuff, that's what becomes a risk. One small problem can quickly turn into global disaster (think leaking and breaking dam type error but no longer on a local scale).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Writing sci-fi

        > I really need to get on with writing my short story on the runaway effect of self replicating nanomachines. Basically put, it's game over if you make them.

        I think you'll find that Stargate* has already done it.

        * Except that Stargate's 'replicators' weren't nanomachines but ones big enough to shoot using a machine gun. (Thereby appeasing a certain audience demographic and filling screen time cheaply.) If you can find a way of making the destruction of invisible nano-bots exciting on telly then you're onto a winner!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Writing sci-fi

          Yep. Partial inspiration. They'd probably be macro scale (as the Stargate ones) to some extent. As it's not the size, or the replication, that gets you, it's the sea of force from the "it's got bigger than you" slow progress.

    2. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Technological silos

      They're not necessarily silos. If you design a network as a flat space with all interactions peer to peer then you have set yourself the problem of ensuring all nodes on that network are secure and enforcing traffic rules equally on each node. This is impractical -- its not that if couldn't be done but its a huge waste of resources. A more practical strategy is to layer the network, providing choke points where traffic can be monitored and managed. We currently do this with firewalls and demilitarized zones, the goal being normally to prevent unwanted traffic coming in (although it can be used to monitor and control traffic going out). This has nothing to do with incompatible standards.

      I'm not sure about the rest of the FUD in this article. Yes, its all very complicated. But just as we have to know how to layer our networks we also know how to manage our information. For example, anyone who as a smartphone that they co-mingle sensitive data and public access on, relying on the integrity of its software to keep everything separate, is just plain asking for trouble. Quite apart from the risk of data leakage between applications its a portable device that can get lost, stolen or confiscated (and duplicated.....). Use common sense. Manage your data.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Technological silos

        I think they're hinting about other countries splitting off from the global DNS root, creating their own parallel internet. Possibly going their own way for IP address range assignment too, which would bork the global internet routing table. The USA government is historically had way too much power in this area, though a lot of that has been ceded to international agencies now. Despite that, the USA is still often suspected of still having too much sway over these agencies; which has not been helped by previous attempts at meddling by Trump https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/09/21/trump_wading_into_iana_transition/. As a result it's a plausible outcome that countries which have a broadly anti-US public sentiment could decide to split off and make their own internet governing bodies, with no US influence at all.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pick your poison

    The USA isn't annoyed at Huawei spying, they are annoyed that Huawei isn't spying for them. If you don't use Huawei who would you use instead? Cisco? Yes, just open up and let the NSA ream your ports. Oooo, filthy.

    If you don't know the chip design, can't verify the construction, don't know the code and can't verify the deployment to the hardware; you are already owned.

    The only question is, but which state actor; China, USA, Israel, UK.....?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pick your poison

      China - Huawei

      USA - Cisco

      Israel - Checkpoint

      UK - Errr... can someone help me out here?

      But yes, otherwise you've hit the nail on the head.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sic semper tyrannis

    "Without saying so publicly, they're glad there's finally some effort to deal with longstanding issues like government favoritism toward local companies, intellectual property theft, and forced technology transfers."

    The British aerospace sector (not to be confused with the company of a similar name but more Capital Letters) developed, amongst other things, the all-flying tailplane, successful jet-powered VTOL flight, noise-and drag-reducing rotor blades and the no-tailrotor systems and were promised all sorts of crunchy goodness if we shared it with our wonderful friends across the Atlantic.

    We shared and the Americans shafted us. Again. And again. And now *they* are bleating about people not respecting Intellectual Property Rights?

    And as for moaning about backdoors in Chinese kit, who do Cisco et al report to again? Oh yeah, those nice Three Letter Acronym people loitering in Washington and Langley...

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Sic semper tyrannis

      The British aerospace sector (not to be confused with the company of a similar name but more Capital Letters) developed, amongst other things, the all-flying tailplane, successful jet-powered VTOL flight, noise-and drag-reducing rotor blades and the no-tailrotor systems and were promised all sorts of crunchy goodness if we shared it with our wonderful friends across the Atlantic.

      We shared and the Americans shafted us. Again. And again. And now *they* are bleating about people not respecting Intellectual Property Rights?

      See also this post by Charlie Clark and my reply to it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Absolutely

        Yes, absolutely.

        You could also add nuclear technology, as British scientists made a substantial contribution to the Manhattan project, but shortly after WWII the US passed legislation forbidding sharing information on that even with the UK.

        Furthermore, the succesful British electronics company Ferranti was deliberately destroyed by the US when the CIA sold it an apparently profitable though actually useless front company.

        Special Relationship? Yes, sure.

        1. Robert 22

          Re: Absolutely

          Ferranti's acquisition of ISC does seem to be a good example of the all too common situation where non-US businesses ended up with the short end of the stick when dealing with their US counterparts.

          Now it looks like you have to watch out for the machinations of the US government in addition to those of the US private sector.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Absolutely

            The US only thinks in terms of win-lose.

            Win-win is an alien concept to them.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Absolutely

              Because you can't win-win a zero-sum game, and matter is finite.

  23. jason 7 Silver badge

    You'd think that governments want to take the Internet...

    ...away from us. hahahaa...ha...h...

    Oh hang on...

  24. Steve Cooper

    "Japanese CPU designer Arm" This sentence makes me sad :(

    1. jason 7 Silver badge

      Yes, even though my £1 Arm shares sold for £17 I would rather we kept that little bit of family silver.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        You paid £1 (fx: shakes head). Better value at 80p, as recently as 2009.

        The last few days' news has, for the first time, made me glad that I no longer hold them. Yes, selling for £17 did great things for the balance in my SIPP, but it was nevertheless with some reluctance at the time.

        1. jason 7 Silver badge

          Yeah bought mine early/spring 2008. Didn't think much more about them till they started creeping past the £3 mark.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Jason 7

        You've got to thank British politicians for allowing the farm / family silver to be sold overseas.

        They are the real traitors to this country and the enemies of future generations.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If it were assumed that the present US president was the ultimate evil inside trader, nothing he has done would seem bizarre.

  26. Tikiman

    Awesome

    Awesome but unfortunately about 20 years too late. Forced technology handovers to do business with China and outright state sponsored theft has taken its toll. And yes there is proof of backdoors in China produced products and hacked versions of IOS on Cisco routers.

    For the fearful lets not do this group; lookup "Appeasement" WW2. If you let someone get away with assaulting you it will not stop. Unfortunately looking the other way cost US technology companies mega profits and more important thousands of living wage US jobs that are never coming back. What did you think was going to happen when a new competitor could sell your product cheaper because they stoled your technology?

    Bring it on!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Pointing to the US agreements with the Soviet Union about nuclear weapons, Kennedy said, "We need the same type of rules of the road for cybersecurity and we don't have that right now"

    I thought Trump was starting to tear up the nuclear arms treaties too - in what looks like willy waving?

  28. c1ue

    Internet and phones aren't the issue. Its the chips

    Internet, phones, Android aren't the issue - except if the US is able to push China out of GSM/ITU.

    The real issue is the semiconductors - the actual silicon.

    The majority of raw silicon wafers as well as the finished chips are created in the US or its most aligned allies: Japan, Taiwan. The dominant manufacturers of semiconductor equipment are also largely US with some Japanese and EU suppliers.

    If Fabs can't sell to China, regardless of who actually paid to manufacture the chips, because Applied Materials has been banned from any business related to China, this is pretty severe for 5-10 years until the Chinese can ramp up their capacity.

    China has some fabs now, but far too few to handle even just their internal demand - and tech export restrictions have long kept their leading edge capabilities significantly behind the cutting edge.

    On the flip side: Foxconn, Huawei et al are so ubiquitous in the electronics global supply chain that US retail tech companies - specifically Apple - are going to be severely affected, or at least extremely vulnerable to being pushed forward as a hostage.

    Interesting times...

    1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge

      Re: Internet and phones aren't the issue. Its the chips

      I do not think that either Japan or Taiwan are sufficiently stupid to block semiconductor trade with China at the behest of the orange buffoon. Both are physically close to China and have a lot of trade with it.

      The reasons for this attack on Huawei

      1) They produce better products cheaper than american companies

      2) They will not preinstall NSA backdoors in their product

      3) These attacks on China are designed to produce patriotic fever in the pea-brained US electorate to improve the chances of the Republican party

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Internet and phones aren't the issue. Its the chips

        >>2) They will not preinstall NSA backdoors in their product

        That is because there is only room for one backdoor and that is already installed...

        1. STOP_FORTH
          Joke

          Recursive doors

          Put a catflap in it.

    2. STOP_FORTH
      Facepalm

      4 earthquakes away from tech meltdown

      I have always wondered about the siting of semiconductor fabs. Given that there are so few of them, why on earth would you stick 'em all close to major fault lines? Taiwan, Japan and Southern California are all active parts of the Ring of Fire.

      Luckily TI have built one at Avezzano in Italy. (Checks map - oh dear.)

      Remember when all the hard drive factories moved to Thailand and suffered from the same flooding episode?

      Fabs in the middle of cratons, people. Preferably widely separated cratons to ameliorate impact of meteor strikes. (See what I did there?)

      Act global, think global!

    3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Internet and phones aren't the issue. Its the chips

      The dominant manufacturers of semiconductor equipment are also largely US with some Japanese and EU suppliers.

      I suggest you check out the major producer of chip-fabricating machines (ASML). That is a really dominant manufacturer of semiconductor equipment and the only real competitor (based in the USA) recently got taken out of the game (by American judges) for industrial espionage.

  29. jmecher

    this is going to get ugly

    ..and we're all going to be poorer for it. Americans, Chinese and bystanders.

    I was recently watching the WW1 channel on youtube (awesome thing, go Indy and team!) - the delusion, lack of situational understanding and short sightedness underscoring the actions of the main actors that started the Great War can certainly be paralleled to the situation here.

    The very idea that you can manage to send China 40 years back in time with no harm on your side is bonkers.

  30. Merrill

    Different CRC-32 Polynomials

    It has never been clear to me why different countries don't require the use of different CRC-32 polynomials on the IP packets?

    International gateways would then recalculate the CRCs only for permitted traffic.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Different CRC-32 Polynomials

      I once implemented the CRC-32 checksum in some logic. Our company Patents Officer then pointed out that it was an IBM patent. Fortunately we had a patent cross-licensing agreement with them. Presumably their patent has now expired?

  31. Anomalous Cowshed

    ARM, the Japanese chip maker

    Insidious and funny but inevitably true...

    Other examples:

    Lotus, the legendary Malaysian car marque

    Jaguar, the Indian luxury car maker...

    Cadburys, the famous Swiss maker of chocolate cream eggs...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: ARM, the Japanese chip maker

      "the famous Swiss maker of chocolate cream eggs"

      Swiss? I thought it was the Yanks. Did I miss something?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ARM, the Japanese chip maker

        "Did I miss something?"

        Not according to their official fact sheet about the company that owns the Cadbury brand - although possibly manufacturing is in Europe.

        Mondelēz International, Inc.

        Three Parkway North, Suite 300

        Deerfield, IL 60015

        1. Nick Kew Silver badge

          Re: ARM, the Japanese chip maker

          Brands are funny things.

          Often a brand can be owned by more than one company, by contract with their original owners or successors. For example, last time I looked, Cadburys drinking chocolate was made and marketed by an entirely different company to any of the solid products.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: ARM, the Japanese chip maker

          As I understand it, only two products are routinely made in America under the Cadbury label: Caramello bars and their Creme Egg and related lines, which they only crank out during Lent. And these are by contract; the rest are still made in Europe.

      2. Ivan Headache

        Re: ARM, the Japanese chip maker

        Wasn't it Kraft, who renamed itself with a Swiss sounding name and then made the chocolate in Poland?

  32. herman Silver badge

    The US trade imbalance with China is more than a Billion Dollars per day. It is obviously unsustainable.

    It is really unconscionable that the previous administrations let it grow to this level.

  33. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    Here's the problem. Lets say the sake of argument Huawei is not guilty of putting spyware in their 5G stuff. How would they prove it? They basically given out there source code, and apart from such slack security features nothing was found, but that was apparently no enough.

    Apart from proving a negative there is nothing they can do. I'm not saying that China is not a repressive regime, but to be honest I don't think they have the resources to filter out the juicy bits of the 5G traffic, and have enough on their hands just monitoring their internal massive population without having to take on the US as well. And why should they, since the NSA is already doing such a great job of it already.

    The problem is that the great Orange one and is motley collection of right wing hawks are thinking that is what i would do in China's place and getting themselves lathered up in a right wing frenzy where they see reds under every bed.

    If China was smart (and they are), what they should do is announce that all Apple phones are banned in China and all Chinese companies are not allowed to do business with Apple, until Apple can prove they do not provide back doors for the US government in their equipment. I wonder what effect a 10% drop in apple share price and all those pension funds that depend on them will have

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "If China was smart (and they are), what they should do is announce that all Apple phones are banned in China and all Chinese companies are not allowed to do business with Apple, until Apple can prove they do not provide back doors for the US government in their equipment. I wonder what effect a 10% drop in apple share price and all those pension funds that depend on them will have"

      Would that really have all that much impact with the likes of Apple? How many iPhones are really in China anyway. Plus it's not like Apple can't move their manufacturing to, say, India.

      1. hammarbtyp Silver badge

        China iPhones unit sales are $50 billion China revenue, which is about 19% of Apple’s total revenue.

        Plus losing access to the worlds most populous country and a growing market, where the other markets are saturated.

        Yep, not much impact at all

  34. bin

    It is interesting to note that, whilst much of the discussion relates to hardware, it is Google that has shown it's power as the destroyer of worlds.

    Blocking access to it's services is an instant Kiss of Death to the millions of moby sheeples who cannot exist without it's blessing.

    Of course their action was based on a deep and abiding need to protect the world from the evils of <insert_enemy_name> rather than any commercial leverage....

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Obvious IP theft, right.

    " ... longstanding issues like government favoritism toward local companies, intellectual property theft, and forced technology transfers."

    Yeah, obvious IP theft as all of those are patented trademarks by good old USA.

    NSA is globally the largest IP thief, by far. But who cares as it's *our* IP thief, right?

  36. stuartnz

    Serious question: I've long known that rare earths aren't that rare, but if China produces an overwhelming majority of the current supply, what sort of timeframe would be likely for the disruption caused by a ban on sales? Or, as I think more likely, by a retaliatory hiking of the price(s)?

    1. STOP_FORTH

      Wasn't that the subject of Tim Worstall's first piece on the Reg? You could try searching for it, I doubt if there is anything better online.

      1. stuartnz

        Thanks for the pointer/reminder. It's a great piece on the economics of not-so-rare-earth mining, in fact I'm pretty sure it's where I first learned that rare earths aren't.

        But it doesn't touch on the question that I asked. That might be because I phrase it obtusely.

        If China either turned off the tap, or hiked the prices (by politically punitive amounts, not economically rational ones) I'm wondering how long the disruption that caused would last? Long enough to be noticed, or not? I'm sure major users of the end products have stock on hand, but would their reserves last until alternative supply chains are fully operational?

        1. STOP_FORTH

          Sorry stuartnz, it's a long time since I read it. I know he wrote a couple of follow ups, I thought he covered alternative suppliers in one of them. Maybe he didn't mention timescales?

        2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Rare earths

          If China either turned off the tap, or hiked the prices (by politically punitive amounts, not economically rational ones) I'm wondering how long the disruption that caused would last? Long enough to be noticed, or not? I'm sure major users of the end products have stock on hand, but would their reserves last until alternative supply chains are fully operational?

          The reserves would run out in two or three months max, likely much sooner. To bring alternative supply chains on line will take at least a year, more likely two or three and that is without all the protests and delays (rightfully) brought by environmental protection groups. The real problem with rare earths is that they occur in low grades in other ores and require some pretty intensive processing, which isn't exactly environmental friendly, which was one of the main reasons the supply of them was out sourced to (amongst others) PRC.

          1. stuartnz

            Re: Rare earths

            Thank you! Your reply confirmed my own impressions of likely scenarios, making it seem like tit-for-tat IS an option for the PRC. Even if, "the only winning move is not to play"

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I bet the Yanks

    Are feeling safer by the day.

    /S.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Today Huawei.

    Tomorrow, every other Chinese telecoms provider.

  39. Yes Me Silver badge
    FAIL

    The entire purpose of an open Internet

    That is to say, we may be headed toward nationalized technology stacks that don't interoperate and nationalized supply chains. This defeats the entire purpose of an open internet.

    Huh? The open Internet (upper case please) is a result of open standards. Nationalised technology stacks can use open standards.

    The threats to the open Internet are entirely political (cf. the Great Firewall of China, the UK pornography thing, etc.).

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The US...

    Winners of battles, losers of wars.

    And the way the moron-in-chief is going, losers of empire.

  41. DerekCurrie Bronze badge
    Big Brother

    Yes, there are consequences when capitulating to criminals, such as China: Criminal Nation

    "Kennedy said... We would see the world split into Chinese and non-Chinese tech hemispheres."

    More precisely, we would demonstrably see the world split into a stagnant Chinese tech hemisphere (for the most part) and an innovative non-Chinese tech hemisphere.

    Why? Because the nature of China's current totalitarian, 'communist' government destroys incentive to create. Historically, this is the consistent and immediate result of all 'communist' governments. I know of no exceptions. If everything belongs to everyone, and the government is constantly spying on its citizens as a method control, what's the point in creating anything new? Instead, the incentive is to steal from everyone else. If that is allowed to happen, the rest of the world also adopts the attitude of what's the point in creating anything new if its only going to be stolen, resulting in minimal reward?

    Of course halting the robbery of the world's creative IP is imperative in order for creativity in technology to progress. And of course the Chinese government always has a stranglehold on all of its citizens, especially technology corporations, in order for the country to catch up with the creative countries. It is absurd to assume Huawei would be any exception.

    I've been following China's hacking and surveilling of the world for over a dozen years. It has been documented that China has directed hacking and surveilling the world since 1998, the year the USA provided China with 'Most Favored Nation' status. All of this documentation is available on the Internet for anyone to research, read and understand. I therefore see no point in arguing the issue. Instead, I can only suggest those who don't understand the relationship between China, its citizens, its corporations and the rest of the world please do their homework, relieving their naiveté.

    And still, no doubt, there will be short-term thinkers who want short-term profit from selling to China, obvious to or uncaring of the consequences. They burn the future.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes, there are consequences when capitulating to criminals, such as China: Criminal Nation

      "More precisely, we would demonstrably see the world split into a stagnant Chinese tech hemisphere (for the most part) and an innovative non-Chinese tech hemisphere."

      LOL

      I realise you're writing as a (heavily biased) American, hence your reluctance to debate the issue, but the Chinese are only following the role model provided by the US.

      China certainly is totalitarian, but is communist in name only.

      According to fotune.com:

      "...global wealth research firm Wealth-X found that of the world’s 2,754 billionaires, 680 (25 percent) were in the U.S. and 338 (12 percent) were in China. UBS Group AG estimates a new billionaire is minted in China every two days."

      Doesn't sound like communism to me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yes, there are consequences when capitulating to criminals, such as China: Criminal Nation

        "Doesn't sound like communism to me."

        As Orwell said - "some are more equal than others".

  42. CIA

    Too late, China is already here. Google FutureWEI. https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapid=6941005

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      I don't consider Bloomberg a reliable source any more.

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