back to article Sprint, Softbank to swear off Huawei kit as condition of merger

A US Congressman has said that Sprint and its Japanese suitor Softbank have both pledged not to use equipment manufactured by China's Huawei in Sprint's wireless network, a move that could help the companies clear a hurdle in their planned merger. Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Huawei & co are probably going to have a field day when they finally take this to international bodies.

    The sheer levels of protectionism and likely xenophobia are quite staggering. It all seems to boil down to the old "3rd world slave labor is just fine for building western branded things, but the second they get ideas above their station and start trying to net some of the real money, well then we'll fuck them."

    And we do it in almost every field from refined materials (we'll buy your ore but you best not send it to us in a machined for as we've got tarrifs on those) same with coffee (send us your beans, but make your own coffee and we've got tarrifs on those.) The difference here is that China has money to take the US to court (a lot like the Japanese and South Koreans did during the previous bout of "dirty yellow basterds stealing our technology markets", however fortunately for those two they were more or less American vassal states, so as much as being dirty yellow upstarts it was hard to tar them with the old security risk brush.

    1. Rukario

      American vassal states?

      The difference is the empire-vassal role here is reversed at least in the money flow, and it's the US that pays tribute (read: interest on treasury paper) to the Middle Kingdom.

      Anyway I just ordered one of those generic Chinese android phones off fleabay...Interested to see the outcome.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        I warned you about that greenback, dawg. I told you!

        > interest on treasury paper

        Like that's not simply coming off the printing press of the Federal Reserve.

        Interest has never been that cheap.

        Debtors should be hopping mad at this as it actually means the US is defaulting on the debt while nuking the value of the principal. And trying to fend off anyone buying something actually worthwhile with those dollars. On the other hand, China is keeping its currency artificially low, so a pox on all their houses.

    2. Arctic fox

      @AC 29th March 01.17 Re:"The sheer levels of protectionism....." Indeed. Several members..

      ...........started to point out this phenomenon about a year or so ago (no dig at you implied in that remark) and it was clear from some of the responses from our compadres here at El Reg from the other side of the pond that they felt we were just indulging in "anti-Americanism". Events since have in fact proven the point. It is now clear that certain industrial and political "forces" in the US are using both security and, perhaps, patent law to bring in protectionism by the back door. It is fairly shameless. "I will agree/insist upon free and open competition as long as I win" - that is now their policy.

      1. asdf

        Re: @AC 29th March 01.17 The sheer levels of protectionism....." Indeed. Several members..

        There is probably no country on earth who perfected screwing over foreign countries to the benefit of the homeland more than the UK (see Mercantilism system). It seems to be more than a coincidence also that the majority of the countries in the world hostile to the West today also happened to be former colonies of Western Europe in the past.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      China would never prevail. You do not think that China would rather put Chinese gear in their networks compared to say that from an American company? Also, the US is a user of the various networks; AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc. so if they want to continue to get those government contracts, then they must meet the conditions of those government contracts. If Sprint said no, we are going to use Chinese kit, then the governemnt would ultimately just break the contract as that would be one of the provisions it could do so. Where does that leave Sprint? Sure they go their Chinese kit, but they also lost a big customer and one that would not return nor one that would be willing to bail them out if it got that far as well. All of the other companies in the same sector would also not look at them as an acquisition target.

      If China wants to play hardball and take anyone to court, then unclean hands come into play. China cannot go into court on this matter when they do the same as well as others; like currency manipulation. They also drove the majority of the rare earth companies out of business and now they are jacking the prices up and not wanting to export. How many international bodies let alone courts look favorable on those activities. China could be the real loser in that case; sure they might get to sell their kit but they also can't manipulate their currency which makes the gear cheaper; now it would be the real price which would be on par with that of everyone else. China might also see that they need to import more and export without conditions. The currency manipulation alone could cost them a lot of business because as soon as prices go up, they look a lot less attractive.

  2. MrMur

    And this non-Chinese equipment will be coming from where, exactly?

    1. Andus McCoatover

      Finland, natch. NSN manufactures in..oh, wait...

    2. Frankee Llonnygog

      And this non-Chinese equipment will be coming from where, exactly?

      Landfill. Anyone for Token Ring?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mexico for one. Alcatel is a supplier and their gear comes from Mexico. This gets rid of the security concerns about Chinese gear. While Cisco does make products in China, their security products are made in Mexico.

      So now you know where the gear comes from; it isn't China.

  3. Rampant Spaniel

    I'm sorry, did I misread it because it sounded rather like a Chinese company was accusing America of manipulating trade. They're both as bad as each other. People living in green houses shouldn't watch porn etc.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, maybe the rest of the world should stop using Microsoft Windows since it could obviously have concealed spying methods inside it !

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Slartybardfast

      Oh Please

      Yep, don't use Windows good idea.

      Whilst were at it best not use Google or Apple products as they may have back doors in them.

      And not to forget any closed *Nix distros.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Oh Please

        Or cisco.

    3. Bugs R Us

      China is likely to ban Windows

      It would be quite easy for China to ban Windows in favor of a homegrown OS, oh wait that's exactly the (long term) path they've started on already... Two can play at this game, USA.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: China is likely to ban Windows

        But most copies of Windows was pirated anyway. So MS will lose what; selling one copy a year?

    4. ManxPower

      I've been telling people that since the 1990's, but nobody listened.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I am happy to bash US but wait a second...

    despite both nations being easy to accuse of protectionism, its not like the Chinese government haven't made every non-chinese firm bend over backwards to work there and shown very little regard for protecting the trade of those firms over local companies that 'acquire' foreign technology.

    USA is totally being protectionist in this matter, but China do need to at least start to pretend that they play nice with non-chinese business. Sometimes a little protectionism is better than a totally free market that will put many US readers into jobless poverty as everything is made in China.

  6. dssf

    Playing Political Games?

    Playing Political Games?

    Not all that different from Honda, Toyota, and various European companies opening plants in the USA...

    It would be interesting to see what kind of games China could play.

    -- Open a Jobs Development center in SF, DC, SeaTac, Portland, etc and collect resumes info

    -- Open an Unemployment Compensation program for laid-off people, and then build shelters for them, even help them set up their tax returns and clean off their debts

    -- Hire them as employees of a locally-started, Chinese-run entity

    -- Create an incubator for entrepreneurs, but actually FUND them, instead of the entrepreneur (especially those with bad credit) having to grovel to the SBA, which then says "we don't (or rarely EVER do we) directly fund start-ups; you must contact a bank that works with the SBA...."

    -- Now, the Chinese Jobs Assistance/Entrepreneur Incubator OWNS any IP, or has a great level of ownership in it. They can export it, reimport it, re-export it, or even create a factory here, in a low-cost state, and finger their noses at protectionism by must making sure that the domestic plants are open to "backdoor existence" inspection. Then, they can even brand it "Made In the USA", and export it.

    Not sure of the economic costs. But, the political costs could be staggering.

    Protectionism IS costly. It should be painful to be excessively protectionist. If Europe and other countries are not going to purge their PRC-based electronics, how well can the US isolate itself against infrastructure attack?

  7. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Instead, use buggy routers not yet known to be buggy

    This is another case of the government outlawing a symptom rather than a cause. Rather than mandate quality and security reviews, one they have outlawed one company known to make easily exploitable hardware. With this stupid mentality, the winner will be the least tested manufacturer.

  8. Ramazan

    Chinese equipment

    In Russia they have a plant manufacturing SPARC-like CPUs for use in military and space equipment, so everything is possible for The Mightiest State Of All -- The Holiest US of fscking A.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Chinese equipment

      SPARC is open, so anyone can actually produce a SPARC processor.

      So it is not like Russia had to go and steal the IP.

      1. asdf

        Re: Chinese equipment

        >SPARC is open, so anyone can actually produce a SPARC processor.

        But why would they? Ask Larry how lucrative it is producing SPARC gear these days. Good riddance too. SPARC was ok a decade ago but today SPARC gear is best used as boat anchors.

  9. Gil Grissum
    Thumb Down


    So that means that Apple and everyone else having their computers and computing devices assembled in China with Chinese parts has to to stop doing business with the people's republic because the people's republic is affiliated with the businesses in their country? Or does Apple get a pass on that for some unknown reason?

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