back to article Huawei pleads with FTC to overturn US ban, says it's 'anticompetitive'

Huawei has pleaded with America's trade watchdog, the FTC, to come to its rescue in the ongoing debate over whether its kit can compromise national security. The Chinese networking giant is hoping to leverage an FTC consultation on communication, media and IT competition to seek relief against US government hostility to its …

  1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Sounds like they took the language from Steve Bannon, "continual agitation and interference by US government agencies and officials... have stymied, and continue to stymie, Huawei's US businesses and operations"

    I would expect that the ban will be quietly dropped during the next big news event.

  2. Patched Out

    When it comes to national security...

    ... Governments must always err on the side of safety. If there is the smallest suspicion that their kit is compromised or the company operates as an agent of a foreign (hostile) government, then they should be banned from government use. If they can somehow prove beyond a doubt that their kit is not compromised and can never be co-opted by their government in the future, only then can their products/services be considered for government/military use.

    The same argument goes for the use of Kaspersky AV. Just the fact that the Russian government has laws in place that could force Kaspersky to cooperate with their government to provide access to customer data means they are effectively compromised, whether their software actually is or not.

    Once the horse is out of the barn and all that ...

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: When it comes to national security...

      Australia's government told telcos not to roll out 5G networks using network equipment from "vendors who are likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government"

      Seems to me, that given the "shooting from the hip" directives coming out of the Whitehouse, that also precludes the use of equipment from US vendors...

      1. Patched Out

        Re: When it comes to national security...

        If the foo shits ...

    2. james 68

      Re: When it comes to national security...

      All well and good, but shouldn't they then ban apple products? (Since they're made by a partially government owned company in China) amonst many others who also have their kit made in China and just slap an American brand name on it?

      1. Patched Out

        Re: When it comes to national security...

        Apple and other manufactures can protect against this in their careful use of encryption keys and cryptographically signed firmware/software.

        1. james 68

          Re: When it comes to national security...

          Which won't keep anything safe against a compromised cpu. Who's going to notice that there's an extra core in there hard coded to transmit data taken directly during the encryption/decrypt process?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: When it comes to national security...

      And does anyone honestly think it is only Chinese companies that are susceptible to this? The hypocrisy of singling out Chinese companies is appalling.

    4. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: When it comes to national security...

      "If there is the smallest suspicion that their kit is compromised or the company operates as an agent of a foreign (hostile) government, then they should be banned from government use".

      And yet the UK is buying it's fighter jets and nukes from America.

      Of course our lingering and stubborn belief in the so-called Special Relationship means we're always happy to pretend America isn't a hostile country which makes it easy to imagine they won't have fitted kill-switches should we decide their bestest friends are very much not ours.

      Every foreign government is a potentially hostile government. As many countries have found to their cost.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pot meet Kettle

    Huawei wrote that these national security fears are unfounded, and claimed they have been acted upon "with little regard for the anticompetitive effects that such measures are likely to have on consumers".

    Huawei faces an increasingly hostile international environment.


    Huawei's response to the Australian ban echoed its complaint to the FTC: it said the ban hurt fair trade, competition, and consumers' interests.

    Made in China 2025? Swap Huawei for any non-PRC firm in tech, other countries for China, ... you get the idea. It's not pretty pretty much all around. Seems Samuelson gets it right re: Globalism (c.f. Globalism and It's Discontents, among other works).

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm surprised how many orgs still purchase Supermicro.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    China complaining about anticompetitive behavior... that's rich.

    1. Jeffrey Nonken

      Huawei isn't China, it's a Chinese cellphone manufacturer.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Do some reading on who owns and who controls things in China. Especially in the tech area.

      2. Yes Me Silver badge

        Huawei isn't China...

        Huawei isn't China, it's a Chinese cellphone manufacturer.

        It's a major rival to Cisco, and cheaper. I think you'll find that Cisco's lobbyists have been active. Competition is great, unless you're the one who loses.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Huawei isn't China, it's a Chinese cellphone manufacturer."

        Under China communist rule, everything in China is China (government's). Huawei may be a chinese cellphone manufacturer. But if the China government decided that all devices now has to have a tracking app that auto bans Winne the Pooh, Huawei will comply without resistance.

        An example would be WeChat vs other encrypted messaging apps. WeChat is under China control. Censorship is applied and specific messages get block every other day. Encrypted messaging app like Whatsapp is straight out blocked in China.

        Disclaimer: This is not saying Hauwei would do that on the global version device, but it is saying that China has a lot of control over Hauwei. Like it or not.

        Although this whole against Huawei politic isn't really justifiable (as in banned because of source creation), since China always restrict western companies from operating inside China without a China company skin, this might as well be karma toward China.

  6. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    The subtlties of diplomacy

    China has been getting more & more aggressive towards the US over the last couple of decades. Per a recent article from a different source, the view at the Pentagon is that the entirety of Chinese society should be viewed as hostile. If that seems overblown, consider that they have implemented their "social credit" system. So it should be no surprise that the Five Eyes are going to start looking long and hard at their supply chains for vulnerabilities.

    What is surprising to me is that 1) it has taken this long and 2) not everyone is doing it. Like I keep saying wrt data in datacenters, DNS resolution, & etc & etc & etc, there is a LOT of national critical infrastructure that people are being way, WAY too trusting about. Personally, I would not only distrust large actors with an aggressive posture, I would not trust smaller ones that could easily be pressured. Why on earth should the US trust Viet Nam for hard drive manufacturing?

    As a USian, I'm viewing threats from my center of the world. I expect others to view from their own.

  7. Yes Me Silver badge

    This paranoia has a purpose

    China has been getting more & more aggressive towards the US...

    If you mean that Chinese companies have been getting better at competing in capitalist economies, yes. But there's no reason to fear backdoors in their kit compared to anyone else's. Why do you think Cisco put backdoors in? Because governments (plural) required them.

    The kind of paranoia fostered by the Pentagon does indeed work strongly in favour of the American military-industrial complex. But the motivation is profits for US industry.

    (It isn't impossible to observe whether a box is generating and sending traffic back to base, whether the base is in the US, China, or somewhere else. You'd need a fibre tap and some expensive DAG cards...)

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