2019年2月13日 星期三

What is the real reason for America's 'political campaign' against Huawei?

Apple insider trading, Instagram bug, Duty of Care backing

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Technology Intelligence 

Your daily dose of the best technology news and analysis straight from Silicon Valley

Accusations fly in China tech hub

By Margi Murphy in San Francisco

The boss of a Chinese telecommunications company accused of espionage says the company is nothing more than a victim of American protectionism.

Speaking with journalists at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen, Eric Xu, one of Huawei’s three rotating chairmen said Washington DC had launched a “coordinated geopolitical campaign” against the company to one-up them in a trade war. Robin Pagnamenta reports from Shenzhen.

American prosecutors have charged Huawei with violating sanctions against Iran and stealing trade secrets. Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer and daughter of the company's founder, was arrested in Canada in December and faces US extradition, a move that sent ripples around the world, forcing many to wonder how much clout there was to the rumours.



America means business. Donald Trump is reportedly preparing an executive order to ban all Huawei devices or equipment over “national security concerns”. The US communications watchdog last year recommended that US government agencies should no longer use Huawei or ZTE and “strongly encouraged” private companies to find other suppliers.

Mr Xu strongly denied that it has links to the state - or that these links are any more enmeshed than those American companies have with their own government. He also hinted at other US motives for distaining Huawei kit.

“Some people argue that because if Huawei equipment is used in those countries, US agencies would find it... harder to intercept their mobile communications,” Mr Xu said.


The UK, meanwhile, is heavily tied up in investment from Huawei. Last year it pledged £3bn in the UK over the next five years

Huawei phones can now be found in most high street shops around Britain as its influence continues to grow to rival that of Apple or Samsing. It continues to provide equipment found in the UK’s telecommunication networks, was responsible for much of the roll out of 4G and has invested heavily in bringing 5G to the country.

But the UK’s cyber security agency, the NCSC, has toed an increasingly firm line with the Chinese firm. Xu admitted that in order to meet the Centre’s security demands required a complete overhaul of its code. “All of the legacy code has to be rewritten,” he said.

For Huawei, bowing to such demands is increasingly just the cost of doing business.


Pick of the Day

The showdown between private tech and public authority is only just beginning. Harry de Quetteville writes today.


This just in...


The Story
A former Apple executive has been charged with insider trading after being accused of selling millions of dollars in shares using private financial information, James Titcomb reports.

Telegraph take
Gene Levoff, who was one of the company’s top lawyers until he was fired by Apple in September, allegedly made more than $600,000 (£467,000) in profits or avoided losses between 2011 and 2016. He had access to financial results days before investors, giving him the chance to trade to his advantage.

Further reading
Apple famously fired another employee last year after his daughter posted a hands-on YouTube video of the iPhone X days ahead of its official release. Matthew Field explains why.


The story
Instagram has promised to look into a glitch which caused users to lose thousands (or millions) of followers. Here’s the full story

Telegraph take
Our hearts go out to Ariana Grande and Kylie Jenner, celebs who thrive off their multi-million followers across social media. Both are said to have lost millions in the glitch.

It is not the first social purge of its kind. Donald Trump recently accused Twitter of removing his fans when the social media site did a spam clear out, removing fake accounts.

Instagram’s response, however, suggests this is a technical bug rather than an early Spring clean.

Further reading
Instagram has pledged to work harder at removing potentially harmful content on its platform after it was caught promoting self harm images. It said that artificial intelligence would help detect and remove dangerous images. But can we trust such an important job to a computer? Check out Laurence Dodd’s analysis here.


The story
Three leading royal colleges have backed The Daily Telegraph’s campaign for a legal duty of care on social media firms - and called for a slice of their profits to be invested in protecting children and researching mental health. Read the details here.

Telegraph take
One organisation, The Royal College of Psychiatrists, said the death of Molly Russell, 14, who took her life after viewing self-harm images online, was the latest example of how self-regulation by the social media giants had failed. Her father, Ian, blamed Instagram for contributing to her death.

Further reading
Nine out of ten parents want social media companies to be subject to a legal duty of care to keep children safe on their platforms, according to a recent NSPCC poll.


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