Huawei has gone on the offensive this week against what it says is politically-motivated fear-mongering by the U.S. government. More substantially, the firm says that it will never collaborate with the Chinese government.
“I object to what the U.S. has done,” Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said in a recent interview with the UK-based BBC. “This kind of politically-motivated act is not acceptable.”
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Mr. Ren’s comments regard recent U.S. governmental actions against Huawei, which include criminal charges both corporate and personal: Ren’s daughter, Meng Wanzhou, is Huawei’s CFO, and she was arrested in December in Canada at the request of the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice charged that Ms. Meng worked on behalf of Huawei for over a decade to steal trade secrets from competitors, obstruct a criminal investigation, and evade economic sanctions on Iran.
More generally, the U.S.-led Huawei smear campaign is really about China, a rising economic, political, and military power that is expected to surpass the United States in the coming years. Fear of this future, and of Chinese companies’ close ties to the China government, has led to what many feel are evidence-free and xenophobic fears of Huawei and other Chinese tech firms. And to a trade war between the U.S. and China.
The U.S. campaign has had an impact, too: Australia and New Zealand have joined the U.S. in banning the use of Huawei 5G networking infrastructure for the coming wave, and Canada is now evaluating the supposed threat. European countries are likewise picking sides, though everything moves slowly in Europe. Regardless, Ren says that the U.S.-led efforts are doomed to fail.
“The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced,” Ren said during the interview. “If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine. And if the North goes dark, there is still the South. America doesn’t represent the world. America only represents a portion of the world … If the US doesn’t trust us, then we will shift our investment from the US to the UK on an even bigger scale.”
As for the spying claims, Ren says that Huawei has never acted on behalf of the Chinese government and never will.
“The Chinese government has already clearly said that it won’t install any backdoors,” he explained. “And we won’t install backdoors either. We’re not going to risk the disgust of our country and of our customers all over the world, because of something like this. Our company will never undertake any spying activities. If we have any such actions, then I’ll shut the company down.”
The problem for the United States, of course, is that Huawei doesn’t need it to be successful. As is the case in the smartphone market, where Huawei is now the world’s second-largest maker of handsets despite having no presence at all in the U.S., Huawei’s networking infrastructure business can still succeed, if not dominate, worldwide.
<blockquote><em><a href="#405915">In reply to conan007:</a></em></blockquote><p>Nice turn of phrase but not really an argument. </p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#405925">In reply to conan007:</a></em></blockquote><p>Thanks for the condescension, but it doesn't make your original statement any more of a real argument. Slogans rarely are. It's not enough to merely invoke a principle, you have to explain how it applies in the particular case if you want to make a convincing argument. </p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#405981">In reply to conan007:</a></em></blockquote><p>But you're still talking about the general case (i.e. "the role of laws are different").</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#405976">In reply to ecumenical:</a></em></blockquote><p>But in this particular case, if the outcome is the same, the difference is irrelevant. </p><p><br></p><p>And of course, there have been cases in the US when Congress, the Courts, and the President have all been aligned in denying citizens' rights making a kind of virtual "single party rule". The most blatant example is probably the military draft that violated the 13th Amendment. </p><p><br></p><p>Update: My example is obviously not the most blatant example. Obviously slavery of Blacks was the most blatant example. Or perhaps if it was perfectly legal at the time the slaves could have rejoiced knowing that their suffering was OK because the US was a country of the "Rule of Law" rather than the "Rule by Law".</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#405987">In reply to conan007:</a></em></blockquote><p>The topic isn't whether China or the US has a better system of government. Slavery ended and women got the vote in the US because the elites decided it. The general public didn't play any direct role in those decisions. </p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#405999">In reply to conan007:</a></em></blockquote><p>If you go back to the start of this subthread I was responding to the claim that there was a difference between backdoors installed by order of the China government and those installed by order of the US government on the basis of "rule by law" and "rule of law". My mention of slavery was intended to illustrated the simplistic nature of this comparison. </p><p><br></p><p>What countries do in theory is less important than what they do in practice. </p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#406015">In reply to conan007:</a></em></blockquote><p>In your scenario, rape is the outcome and the marriage is just an attempt to avoid responsibility for the crime. At this point the discussion has "jumped the shark" and I'm done with it.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#405888">In reply to Rob_Wade:</a></em></blockquote><p>Yes, the determination can be made entirely on a technical basis without regard to what "assets" claim. We've had the capability to reverse-engineer devices for decades.</p>