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World & Current Events > Consequences of Huawei CFO arrest

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message 1: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9725 comments Meng Wenzhou has been arrested at Vancouver airport in order that she be extradited to the US. That is about all we know for sure, but apparently John Bolton knew this could occur in advance and presumably approved of it. The usual hypothesis about why this happened is that the US argues Huawei is breaking US sanctions by supplying telecommunications equipment to Iran. If this is so, does this not introduce a rather ugly precedent? A number of countries signed a deal with Iran that they would trade with it if it agreed not to proceed with the development of nuclear weapons. The US then pulled out of the deal and imposed sanctions, but a number of other signatories did not, and Iran has seemingly complied with the deal.

Accordingly, we have the situation where if another country continues with a deal that the US joined, but then arbitrarily pulled out of, then the US requires the other countries to follow the US dictates, and if they do not, the US will arrest their citizens. That makes the president of the US almost able to dictate to the rest of the world.

Huawei is having a bad time, thanks to the US. A number of countries have been told by the US they should not implement Huawei 5G technology for undefined security reasons. As it happens Huawei technology appears to be more advanced than any US technology in telecommunications, and US technology is allegedly far from secure, as seen by the continual assertions of election hacking. Why should Huawei be picked on simply because it is better? Is this the misuse of power? Your views?


message 2: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2151 comments Is this the company that was selling their products with US-made components? The general idea I got from the whole Iran sanctions thing was that dealing with Iran only meant those companies couldn't do business in the US, so that those who decided to keep working with Iran have given up on the US market.


message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9725 comments Its main Chinese competitor relied on US made components and was put out of action by the US refusing not supply. According to the NY Times, Huawei used to use US chips, and now does use some US parts but it also makes comparable parts in-house, so it could supply Iran without using US-made parts. Now if the US decided to prevent Huawei, or China itself, from buying US made gizmos, that would be quite reasonable. The US does not have to supply anyone. That, however, is somewhat different from planning to arrest someone in a transit lounge.

Also, on the business of security, again according to the NY Times, apparently several years ago the NSA spent a lot of effort trying to hack into Huawei equipment. It did not say whether the newer Huawei chips are more resistant to NSA hacking.


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13751 comments My impression it's similar to ZTE's scandal from earlier years: https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.r...
and not connected with recently re-imposed sanctions


message 5: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9725 comments I am not so sure. ZTE basically used US parts, and so was in the position that they were out of business unless they paid the penalty, and furthermore, it was a civil case. Huawei has now moved to making its own parts, and you can't arrest someone in a civil case (at least not here). For ZTE, what the US threatened was not to supply, and that, while it would have finished ZTE, was perfectly reasonable because they were using US parts. If the NY Times is correct, Huawei will be exporting equipment made from its own parts, and that is a separate issue. As an aside, arresting someone without charging them with some criminal offence seems to me to be not much different from kidnapping and subsequent extortion.


message 6: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13751 comments I believe in the due process in the US and that she won't be sent to Guantanamo-:)


message 7: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9725 comments Yes, but let's suppose she goes to the US, she is held until there is a court case (how long would that be?) and may well have a huge bail amount. OK, so Huawei can afford that, but most others couldn't. Now suppose they court dismisses the case and she is free to go. All of this will take months, especially if Bolton and co appeal. Why should someone's life be so interrupted because her company is following Chinese law?

The other point, of course, is what is this going to do for the US/China trade war? My guess is that Xi's promise that China will buy more US goods has just gone out the window.


message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13751 comments Let's first see whether Canada extradites her. Extradition is not automatic. If I remember correctly, for example Swiss courts, denied FBI's extradition requests regarding Firtash - a Ukrainian oligarch.
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/05/te...
The reports just intensify my suspicion that smart phones are as much spyware as they are communication devices -:)
As of arresting people, just comes to mind that only recently China were reported to arrest/abduct an Interpol president.
Don't think we are dealing with saints on any side -:)


message 9: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9725 comments Yes, the Interpol President was arrested, but I gather he was a Chinese citizen, so it is not quite the same. (I think he was arrested for corruption in China, but I am not sure.)

One interesting thing to come out of this is that Huawei has been banned from selling 5G equipment to a major NZ telecommunications company by the GSCB (the "security agency") based on "unspecified security risks". The general assumption here is the US ask them to do that, so that the US companies would get the sales. Fair competition? Also, reports are that Huawei 5G is far superior to anything else on the market, so it is unlikely that Huawei is selling US tech to Iran - they don't need to. As an aside, Huawei apparently has by far the biggest R&D department of any Chinese company, and that means it will be very very big.

As for the security risks, I have no idea, but the NY Times reported the NSA has spent years working out how to hack Huawei equipment, so maybe the NSA is the risk, although the article did not say whether it was successful. Finally, as far as security goes, I am confused why the US equipment is more secure when they seem (according to politicians) to be incapable of stopping "Russian meddling in elections". If the NSA is busy hacking Chinese equipment, my guess is the Chinese are doing the same to American equipment. I would expect the equipment is not the issue - it is the signals going between bits of equipment, and the need for it to work on everyone else's equipment, and that would mean security is impossible.

Not only are there no saints in this game, but security, whatever that means, is an illusion. The most secure system seems to be that of ISIS and the Taliban - couriered pieces of paper.


message 10: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13751 comments I'd go further and say that it's not that the hacked equipment is insecure, it's probably the equipment is designed to spy from the very beginning while the difference being between the recipients: American or Chinese


message 11: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9725 comments You may be right, but I still think that since the equipment has to interface with all other sorts, the standard itself opens itself up to hacking. I don't think anything is really secure. Tonight I shall try to find out what the Chinese news thinks about all this.


message 12: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9725 comments According to our radio, Meng faces up to 30 years in prison if found guilty. Will Xi now really buy more goods from the Trump potential swing states?


message 13: by Philip (new)

Philip (phenweb) Consequences for Canadian citizens in China not looking good


message 14: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9725 comments The whole thing is not helped by Trump coming out and saying, more or less, that this is all about the US trade deficit with China. When Trump said he "might do something about it" if . . . it seems to become less a true legal issue.

Apparently China has also banned the iPhone from being sold in China. That is apparently one of the biggest single US sales to China, although of course it is usually not actually made in the US.


message 15: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13751 comments Ian wrote: "The whole thing is not helped by Trump coming out and saying, more or less, that this is all about the US trade deficit with China. When Trump said he "might do something about it" if . . . it seems to become less a true legal issue...."

Such manipulations undermine general trust in legal system. High cost and thus low accessibility for the masses and influence of other governance branches reduce the essence and leaves in place only vague pretense ..


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