back to article Huawei launches UK charm offensive: We've provided 2G, 3G and 4G for 20 years, and you're worried about 5G?

Chinese comms bogeyman Huawei has embarked on a UK-wide ad blitz in the wake of reports its telco kit would be ripped out of the country by 2023 to "commemorate 20 years in the British market". The cornerstone of this campaign is an open letter addressed to the British public. "For nearly 20 years, we've supplied the UK's …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I suppose they stopped short of saying "If we wanted to back-door your phone network we could have done it years ago" because that would be too easy to misquote or take out of context.

    Though of course it's true...if the Chinese Government wanted to monitor our transmissions they could have started doing it 15-20 years ago...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If?

      We know the yanks have backdoored out network equipment. What makes the Chinese any more frightening?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: If?

        Well we do in depth technical assessments and code reviews of all Huawei kit in our telecoms network which we don't for Cisco... I know which of the two I'd trust first! Hint: the one that hasn't had backdoors discovered multiple times

        1. Adair Silver badge

          Re: If?

          Perhaps the UK Govt. would be kind enough to publish the evidence demonstrating persuasively, if not conclusively, that Huawei does indeed present a genuine security danger to our interests, a greater security danger than is presented by anyone else's kit that we are in the habit of using.

          It would, afterall, do wonders for trust and transparency, whilst having no actual impact on the actual processes of implementing national security.

          Please. Or shall we just call: US bullying capitalist bullshit?

    2. mittfh

      An interesting concern with Huawei (which they themselves admit to) is sloppy coding and an abysmal approach to security. I half wonder if at least part of the reason the UK initially liked them was that sloppy coding would make it very easy for GCHQ to snoop on communications passing over Huawei's kit, while the US would be disappointed they didn't have exclusive access to snoop...

      1. toejam

        I always thought the same thing. Huawei's gear has had a reputation for some time as being less than class leading in quality. Which means that the spooks in the West probably have a large cache of exploits that are unknown to the boys back in mother China. Seeing that gear being pulled out must be a mixed bag for them.

        1. Yes Me Silver badge

          Code quality

          They might just be working on fixing their code quality, don't you think? And like all vendors, they have to make sure they meet normal police and GCHQ requirements for wiretapping.

          1. JCitizen Bronze badge
            Coffee/keyboard

            Re: Code quality

            Got to look deeper than code quality here; there is a good chance that dodgy chips make it into much of the equipment they sell. I friend of mine has examined some of that junk under a microscope, and seen some very questionable circuit paths going on in the CPUs and chip sets.

            1. EnviableOne Silver badge

              Re: Code quality

              yeah but the CPUs and chipsets generally come from US or related companies, although the actions of Cheeto in Chief have lead them to accelerate their in house design efforts

              HCSEC have a good handle on their code base and their reports come down to, we cant tell whether the vulnerabilities are there intentionally, or because of shoddy/inconsistant coding, but they are no worse than anyone else.

              1. JCitizen Bronze badge
                Megaphone

                Re: Code quality

                Chips are not built in the US, they may be designed there, but only TI still builds chips in the US. My friend said these chips were in a lab in Malaysia and were not made in accordance to the design matrix - they were obviously piggy backing changes to the lithography mask were made - when my friend pointed out that they had even arrogantly put logos to their creations on the mask, my friend was quickly escorted out of the lab, and never allowed access to the rest of the tour. Now that just stinks, and I don't care who knows it!

    3. J. R. Hartley

      Backdoors are a real problem for Huawei kit.

      They just won't let the NSA implement them.

  2. alain williams Silver badge

    The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

    What with so much money going there the increasing economic clout gives them increasing political influence and confidence.

    A big concern that I have about China is that it will use this power in ways that I do not like, look at the problems of the Uighur Muslims, recent freedom restrictions in Hong Kong, rhetoric about Taiwan, surveillance of their own population, lack of freedom of speech, ... President Xi Jinping cannot be removed at the ballot box which, IMHO, makes him a dictator of what looks like an increasingly totalitarian state. All of that worries me and I think that we should push back before it gets unstoppable.

    I am not saying that Western governments do not have their own problems, our imperial past & some of what the CIA have done is shameful, currently heighligthened black problems but at least I could walk down Whitehall with a placard that said "Bollocks to Boris" without ''disappearing''.

    I will not deny a certain amount of preferring 'my lot/friends' to another grouping.

    One way of slowing them is to not give them so much money: eg by buying European telecomms kit. It would also benefit employment over here and improve supply chain security. I think that this is part of what is behind the Huawei debacle - although our politicians are coy about saying so.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

      >by buying European telecomms kit.

      is that treason now, or do we have to wait for 31 Jan 2021 ?

    2. AMBxx Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

      Please keep shouting this from the rooftops. I'm amazed how little has been mentioned in the press about HSBC supporting China in Hong Kong.

      I started the transfer of my business account away from HSBC today. First Direct account will move once the first transfer has succeeded. Then I'll be selling my investment in a HSBC ETF.

      Forget arguments about power or US vs China. The important one is civil liberties and democracy.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

        Surely Hong Kong is British.

        Aren't we "taking back control" sometime soon ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

          Nah, we cut them lose and removed their full British Subject status and residency rights so there would not be "HORDES OF HONG KONG CHINESE COMING OVER HERE TAKING OUR JOBS" as certain newspapers and campaign groupes would put it.

          Betrayal on a scale that only the British can stomach.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

            On behalf of Vancouver can we say a big thank you!

            A hardworking, entrepreneurial highly skilled workforce and now a 2nd generation of STEM graduates. Plus we get to have great food and recently a prompt response to Covid.

          2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

            Betrayal on a scale that only the British can stomach.

            In 1898 Britain signed a treaty for a 99 year lease from China on Hong Kong, and was legally obliged to return it in 1997. Anything else would have been a violation of international law. Would you have preferred war with China?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

              Did the treaty tell the British to remove UK residency right from ALL British Subjects overseas to stop any Hong Kong Chinese from taking up their previous right to emigrate and live in the UK? Don't worry, it is a rhetorical question. This also enable the Home Office to deport other British Subjects back to the Caribbean as a bonus!

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

                Did the treaty tell the British to remove UK residency right from ALL British Subjects overseas to stop any Hong Kong Chinese from taking up their previous right to emigrate and live in the UK?

                Like most questions of nationality, it's a great deal more complex than that. Rules concerning right of abode in the UK started to change in the 60s, as the Empire completed its transition to a Commonwealth. There was certainly a concern that granting right of abode to Hongkongers would create a problem of mass immigration to the UK in 1997, but suggesting that the changes were made purely to disadvantage Hongkongers is inaccurate. In the current climate there are suggetsions that the rules could be softened again.

                1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                  Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

                  > but suggesting that the changes were made purely to disadvantage Hongkongers is inaccurate.

                  It gave UK residency to people whose grandparents were born in Britain - and that wasn't targeted by race ?

            2. Tom 38 Silver badge

              Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

              In 1898 Britain signed a treaty for a 99 year lease from China on Hong Kong

              We leased New Kowloon and the New Territories, which were bits of the mainland with a good water supply. Hong Kong was never part of the lease, until negotiations in 1984 led to the UK exchanging HK island for the "rights" being "enjoyed" by HK citizens right now. It would have been very difficult to keep HK without the NT...

            3. BebopWeBop Silver badge

              Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

              I think you will find you are incorrect. The 99-year lease was on the 'New Territories'. Hong Kong proper was not included except by choice of the UK government.

              1. Peter2 Silver badge

                Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

                999 year lease on Hong Kong IIRC. However, the "New Territories" had so much critical infrastructure on that keeping one without the other would have been unfeasible.

                1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                  Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

                  But surely the 6 British marines on guard at the governor's mansion could have held back the Chinese army if they had decided on a rematch ?

          3. alain williams Silver badge

            Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

            I always reckoned that we should have helped them move to the Falkland Islands. ½ way between Africa & S America - those enterprising Hong Kong people would have made something big of it.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: halfway

              Do you mean Ascension Island perchance? Or one of the three, St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha? The Falkland Islands are most definitely not half way between any two land masses!

              Although it doesn't help that some Spanish speaking retard has put a pin in Google maps labelled "Malvinas Argentinas" bang in the centre of Ascension Island. Cue war of words from English speaking retards, on the victory over Argentina. The pin is no where near the Falklands!!1!

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

        about HSBC supporting China in Hong Kong.

        Is that really a surprise for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

          I thought it was the HongKong & Shanghai Bent Corporation. The world's crookedest bank.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

            >The world's crookedest bank.

            Typical British anti-German rhetoric.

            Deutsche Bank is the Mercedes of crooked banks. HSBC is the Robin Reliant

        2. crayon

          Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

          "Is that really a surprise for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation?"

          I'm not sure whether or not you are jesting, but for those who don't know HSBC is a UK based entity. It is also one of 3 banks in HK that are allowed to issue paper currency - the others being Bank Of China HK, and Standard & Chartered (another UK entity). China should have revoked the rights of HSBC and Standard to issue HK currency but they haven't. In their long history both banks have had dodgy dealings. Currently HSBC are closing accounts and/or refusing to open accounts for people and entities who are believed to be connected to the HK protestors.

      3. PhilipN

        Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

        Yea, democracy!

        Is that the democracy which the U.K. did NOT introduce in Hong Kong during a century and a half of colonial administration from Whitehall?

        1. Yes Me Silver badge

          Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

          Exactly! If the British had installed a democratic system in HK, say during the 1960s at the height of decolonisation but before the opening of China, the one-country-two-systems deal negotiated in 1997 would have been very different, and mouthpieces like Carrie Lam would never have been installed.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

          >Is that the democracy which the U.K. did NOT introduce in Hong Kong

          To be fair when Britain ran it those chaps were foreigners. China doesn't really have that excuse.

          1. Strahd Ivarius Bronze badge
            Trollface

            Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

            They are using the Cantonese recipe for duck instead of the Pekinese one, they are bloody foreigners!

    3. batfink Silver badge

      Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

      While I agree with most of your post, I don't think it's correct to say that Xi can't be removed at the ballot box. Local party members vote for local reps, then the party reps (at least theoretically) vote for the leader. So far, so similar to the west. The difference is that it's only one party, rather than the multi-party systems that we have. It's the Henry Ford version of choices. There are also factions within the party, preferring more/less modernisation, more/less capitalism etc. However, none of this means that Xi can't be removed.

      Yes he seems to be doing his best to cement himself in power, and the hierarchy around him seems to be doing their best to big up that cult of personality, like lots of other fuckwit strongmen around the globe. But in theory, at least, he can be removed by voting.

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

        >The difference is that it's only one party, rather than the multi-party systems that we have

        There's a school of thought that suggests we also have a one party system in the West, our parties are really different wings of the same ('capitalist') party.

        You can see how this works should one of the parties accidentally elect an executive and leadership that advocates change to the system, most recently with Corbyn and the Labour party. You find he's listed as 'unelectable' and needed to be replaced with someone more reliable. This sort of thing isn't new, although it might be new to people who have no experience of someone like Harold Wilson as Prime Minister. (Suggested reading -- "A Very British Coup", its a work of fiction but rooted in real events.)

        The issue of China is simply one of competing economic systems. If the Chinese outperform us and, in doing so, provide for their population's health and welfare, then we're going to get people asking serious questions about what we're doing right or wrong. At the moment all we have to offer large swathes of our population(s) is the vague notion of "freedom" and "democracy", or what used to be called in the old days "Pie in the Sky".

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

          >we also have a one party system in the West

          Ridiculous there is a huge difference between the Democrats and Republicans.

          With one you get a right wing capitalist administration run by ex Goldman-Sachs partners with Ashkenazi surnames and with the other you get a right wing capitalist administration run by ex Goldman-Sachs partners with hispanic names.

          So in normal (non-Trump) days your choice basically comes down to abortion and gay marriage.

          1. Joe W Silver badge

            Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

            I would not say that there's two Conservative parties in the USA. If go so far as calling one reactionary...

            (and seriously, calling someone a socialist because he wants to introduce stuff that has been standard in Germany since the days of Bismarck [the guy, not the ship] is just silly)

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

          The biggest issue with being outperformed by China is that those notions offered are simultaneously being undermined by ourselves.

          You can't have real democracy and freedom if inequality is too high. It simply leaves too much power in the hands of few and too many worries in the minds of many to deal with anything but their stressed out daily lives.

        3. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

          Corbyn wasn't listed as 'unelectable', and replaced, he really did lose a free and fair election by a massive margin, to the point that constituencies which had been labour since WW2 were lost.

          "Freedom & democracy" are not vague notions of "Pie in the sky", they're the underpinnings of our ability to hold our leaders to account and replace them at our discretion. All our national activities & failings are open to view and criticism.

          Can you find anyone living in China that will openly criticize their government online? especially with the language used in western countries.

          1. John H Woods Silver badge

            Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

            "Corbyn wasn't listed as 'unelectable', and replaced, he really did lose a free and fair election by a massive margin, to the point that constituencies which had been labour since WW2 were lost."

            Not a Corbyn fan but we have to be clear what you mean by "massive margin" -- it was a massive margin in seats and really not nearly so massive in votes. I personally don't think that the fact there can be such a disparity between votes and seats is hardly indicative of "fair" elections. In fact half the seats in the UK are 'safe seats' so I think we bang on about our democracy at our peril. Our democracy is rubbish.

            1. Peter2 Silver badge

              Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

              Corbyn lost seats held not only held since WW2 but since the formation of the Labour party.

              What happened is that Labour has two different support bases. One is the upper middle class city types, and the other is the labour, as in working class types. The metropolitan upper middle class minority pushed a candidate that pushed middle upper class policies which weren't attractive to the working classes and which went against working class cultural values, and the working classes for the first time since the labour party was formed said "these people aren't representing me" and walked. There are no longer any safe Labour working class seats.

              Since the conservatives decided to adopt more working class friendly policies to attract their new voters, how safe their middle class seats are is now in some doubt.

              I don't think there are any safe seats.

          2. batfink Silver badge

            Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

            Unfortunately we can't replace them "at our discretion". We can only replace them when the current ruling party deigns to hold an election, and that is generally only at a time when they think will be most advantageous to them. Fix-term parliaments were supposed to fix that, but it's been a farce. Likewise, we face the problem of gerrymandering (at least not as badly as some). The idea of equality of votes in the UK seems to be a difficult one.

            There's also nothing we can do if we see manifesto promises being dropped as soon as some lot get into power. Chlorinated chicken anyone?

            BTW above I was in no way defending China's activities above. It just needed correction on the "voting" part.

            To your point on the Chinese criticising their government online, there was, and undoubtedly still is plenty of that. They even manage to get around bans by using memes such as the "Winnie the Pooh" one recently, resulting in more bans of course, and so we'll go round the circle again.

    4. jgarbo
      Boffin

      Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

      1. Uighurs not tortured. Those who fought for ISIS (CIA) in Syria are detained. The rest are given instruction in Mandarin language and taught trades.

      2. Riots in HK provoked by US via NED, over lack of implementation of UK promised reforms. Remember Hong Kong was "occupied Chinese territory" for a century. They're taking it back.

      3 Taiwan was occupied by CIA backed Fascists under Chiang Kai-shek in 1949, local Formosans massacred. China wants it back.

      2. Surveillance is about the same as UK (you have more CCTV/capita) and the US (has NSA).

      4. Freedom of Speech? Watch CNN in the US today. Enjoy...

      5. Xi is still elected every 5 years, if the party agrees (and he has many rivals). No president for life!

      6. US is increasingly totalitarian, while UK is trying but can't work it out yet.

      El Regers might know some code, but very little about the world. Do more research, children.

      1. Fr. Ted Crilly

        Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

        Wumau?

      2. Harry Kiri

        Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

        "El Regers might know some code, but very little about the world. Do more research, children."

        Get you - read one little red book and that's your entire education.

      3. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

        El Regers might know some code, but very little about the world. Do more research, children.

        Did you know that the communist party led an insurrection against the existing government of China that was exhausted during WW2 fighting the Japanese and militarily occupied all of China but Taiwan, which was held by the previous government?

  3. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    Enough of these rational arguments!

    They won't work you know. This is a purely emotional response from a bunch of ra-ra-brexit backbenchers who will do whatever it takes to try and find a trade deal that's not with Europe. And "whatever it takes" currently involves dancing to the strings of the lunatics running the US (into the toilet).

    Technical, financial or any other sort of rational arguments are irrelevant. The only way you'll get Huawei kit into the UK is by offering us very, very cheap chicken to go with it.

    1. steelpillow Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Enough of these rational arguments!

      Sorry, could you explain how Huawei's smooch campaign is "a purely emotional response from a bunch of ra-ra-brexit backbenchers"? Would you seriously regard a Trump/Cisco/NSA deal as ra-ra-British?

      Being a pro-EFTA European I regard Brexit as the first step in a far healthier European integration - "Reculer pour mieux sauter" as the French say (oh, look it up you ignorant c***). But hey, since when did reason influence Brexit-bashers...

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Enough of these rational arguments!

        >Trump/Cisco/NSA deal as ra-ra-British

        For certain Brexiters the only true Brexit is to become America

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Enough of these rational arguments!

          > For certain Brexiters the only true Brexit is to become America

          Some remainers really do have a bizarre world view.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Enough of these rational arguments!

          America - the country that Remainers hate with a passion and intensity that is exceeded only by their hatred of Britain.

      2. mittfh

        Re: Enough of these rational arguments!

        "Pro EFTA" - except we ruled out returning to the EFTA (which we were members of from 1960 to 1972) last year, so only have the options of a FTA (probably minimal, chances are decreasing) or WTO (chances are increasing).

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

          Re: Enough of these rational arguments!

          A WTO that is increasingly undermined by the US.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Enough of these rational arguments!

        >>(oh, look it up you ignorant c***)

        "Fils De Pute" surely?

  4. Pete 2

    Swings and roundabouts

    > perceived ties to the Chinese government

    No worse than more than half of the UK's approved suppliers (approved by the USA, that is) having more than perceived ties to the american 3-letter agencies. Being US-based, they are about as resistant to "pressure" as a blancmange. Further, with Musk's Starlink making a bid to own the whole world's internet, I find it difficult to get upset about Chinese spying. At worst it just levels things out a bit.

    1. Blazde

      Re: Swings and roundabouts

      Can you name an American 3 letter agency which routinely performs forced organ harvesting?

      'So what the US does bad stuff just like China' is about as clear-cut false equivalence as it's possible to make.

      1. Pete 2

        Re: Swings and roundabouts

        > forced organ harvesting

        Not my biggest concern regarding 5G. Should we expect a hand with a scalpel to morph, terminator-style, out of a Huawei 5G phone?

      2. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: Swings and roundabouts

        Funnily enough, of all the things the Chinese government do wrong I think I have the least problem with that. Once you're dead you're just meat, you may as well be useful meat.

        But it's also a distraction. No one in government at any point has said this was to do with human rights or anything other than concerns over the state security apparatus. And on that argument, I find China to be considerably less of a threat than the US.

        1. Blazde

          Re: Swings and roundabouts

          They only turn the donors into useful meat when they need the meat, until then they're alive. You really don't have a problem with it?

          Their abuses are relevant to security because a state that has such complete disregard for human rights is not one you want your own state subverted by, particularly when there's a choice between greater and lesser evils. The US at least has live political debate on subjects like assassination, rendition, regime change, torture, police brutality, privacy, etc etc, as well as frequent changes in leadership between two polarised camps each seeking to hold the other to account, and power diffused between many levels of governance often pushing back on each other. If you can't see the difference between an imperfect largely anti-colonial liberal democracy and a brutal totalitarian state not hobbling it's economy with communist ideals then you need to read some books about the Roman Empire or Nazi Germany or something.

          "I find China to be considerably less of a threat than the US"

          I'd really love to know how you feel about this in 20 or 30 years time. Either you're naive to the risks or you're already self censoring.. The biggest danger is that the gap between the two is too small for too many of us.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Swings and roundabouts

            On a personal level would you rather the local police / council /neighbourhood watch having a copy of all your emails/website visits/phone calls or China's military intelligence having them ?

            1. Blazde

              Re: Swings and roundabouts

              I'm not sure why you're asking. Do you think this is an either/or choice where Huawei and Chinese military intelligence are going to protect us from our local constabulary?

              In any case: No, I'm not worried about the CCP having my emails/website visits/phone calls, but I *am* worried on a personal level about them having the emails/website visits/phone calls for all my locally and nationally elected representatives, miscellaneous civil servants, chief constables, magistrates, prison wardens, media owners, regulatory chief executives, and everyone else who has power over my life.

          2. Joe W Silver badge

            Re: Swings and roundabouts

            I don't really think it's two camps in the US.. Ok, maybe one is even more crazy than the other, and more right wing...

          3. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

            Re: Swings and roundabouts

            > They only turn the donors into useful meat when they need the meat, until then they're alive. You really don't have a problem with it?

            I most certainly do have a problem with capital punishment / state-sanctioned murder, but that applies to many countries - China, the US, Saudi Arabia. What they do with the corpse afterwards doesn't seem to be the important part.

            > I'd really love to know how you feel about this in 20 or 30 years time. Either you're naive to the risks or you're already self censoring

            America is evidentially an imperialist power; China, less so. Don't get me wrong, it's a poor choice either way, but China are already at arms length - it's easier to keep them out. America has wormed it's way into our culture, or legal system and more. The closer the ties, the more they have to gain by exploiting them.

            Finally, you've again tried to bring up a moral argument. You can if you like, it's a reasonable one, but to repeat - it's not the one influencing this decision. I can promise you that Iain Duncan-Smith doesn't give a flying fuck about the Uighurs.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Swings and roundabouts

        "Can you name an American 3 letter agency which routinely performs forced organ harvesting?"

        Ooh, ooh! Is it KFC ?

  5. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Fun fact

    China is the word's oldest surviving civilization, and in spite of the so-called Cultural Revolution, is in fact little changed. America has the youngest, and it's already falling apart.

    1. Evil Harry

      Re: Fun fact

      The Americans certainly seem to be having their problems at the moment but I think there are a few fine folks over there that retain some vestige of sanity away from the Trump regime.

      The fact Trump is regularly contradicted by civil servants (albeit quietly) and his own intelligence services gives me hope that once he's out of office, things will improve.

      1. Julz Silver badge

        Re: Fun fact

        And that in itself is a problem. Once a government looses it's credibility with the institutions of governance then a coup of some sort becomes more likely.

      2. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Fun fact

        The fact Trump is regularly contradicted by civil servants (albeit quietly) and his own intelligence services gives me hope that once he's out of office, things will improve.

        My personal concern is that it's fashionable to hold a view that once Trump is gone all of the problems that caused him to be elected are going to magically vanish.

        There is no reason to assume that this is the case, and I would suggest that if the causes of Trump being elected aren't dealt with then it will lead to somebody being elected who makes him look like an idealistic boy scout.

      3. DrBed
        Trollface

        Re: Fun fact

        FTFY: The fact George W. Bush was regularly contradicted by civil servants (albeit quietly) and his own intelligence services gave me hope that once he's out of office, things will improve.

        Bush&Blair, Trump&BoJo, what's the difference?

        on-topic: Trump just made wrong order of steps. It should start with forcing British to drink bleach first; banning Huawei & forcing chlorinated chickens later would be much easier.

  6. mark l 2 Silver badge

    While China has a poor record on human rights I fail to see why that should suddenly stop the UK using Huawei on the 5G network. We already spending billions a year on importing Chinese made goods and in doing so are propping up their regime. And I don't see much call to tell us to stop buying Chinese manufactured products.

    Huawei have already been barred from having their kit in the core network, so that just leave us plebs internet activity to spy on. I doubt China is interested in my online food shopping basket and Skype calls to my parents. And even if they were 99% of apps use encryption and most websites I and most other people visit are now using HTTPS which makes spying much more difficult

  7. HildyJ Silver badge
    Stop

    It should be mentioned

    While the protests for racial justice in America focus on blacks there is a definite anti Chinese prejudice throughout the country such that Trump's attacks on China enjoy a much broader range of support than his attacks on blacks (and I speak at a privileged white). I can't say how much this factors into Britain's response but I suspect that it at least makes it more palatable to the general public.

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: It should be mentioned

      The Chinese have endured over a century of overt discrimination in the US.

      Drug laws? Directly introduced to combat the Chinese problem

      Then look at the history of "Chinatown". Initially, a ghetto the Chinese were required to live in by law, Chinatown was created to make the Chinese appear more loveable. It was a sort of Disneyland where tourists could come and mingle with them.....to try and remove some of the fears

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: It should be mentioned

        We had the Chinese Exclusion Acts from about 1880 to the 1940s -- no immigration from China, no Chinese resident in the US were allowed to be citizens.

        When we first allowed the Chinese to come to the US to provide labor we also prohibitied the entry of women. Some must have slipped through but the idea was to keep the population neuterd. The Chinese used to manage to survive and thrive so we'd just make laws to take that away from them. Its a pretty sorry history but fortunately it is history. Mostly.

  8. Joe Gurman

    Golly gee

    "[5G and fibre broadband] is critical for the UK, especially to recover the economy post-Brexit and post-COVID-19."

    Forgive me if I find this to be just a bit of over-the-top marketing hype. Fibre broadband would help a lot of places with miserable bandwidth now, but 5G is probably only ever going to be of use in urban areas with dense concentration of 5G devices owned by users with applications for the supposedly better bandwidth. In other words, no place on the planet just yet.

    Still, it's a nice count to "What's good for general Bullmoose is good for the USA" to hear "What's good for China's biggest IT brand is good for the UK, if you fish-belly white-skinned occidentals know what's good for you," only 180 years after the Second Opium War.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "We believe that the UK will continue to take an evidence-based approach"

    Evidence is only accepted when it supports what the govt. wants to do.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Yep - policy-based evidence-making.

  10. logicalextreme Bronze badge

    Curious

    Based on recent news stories, they must really be into their kit getting set on fire.

  11. Flywheel Silver badge

    China needs to stop threatening countries

    Came here to say this

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: China needs to stop threatening countries

      The USA needs to stop threatening countries. To be honest, I don't see China threatening countries on a global scale.

  12. Turgut Kalfaoglu

    It's stil laughable to ban a company just because "they might be able to" to something..

    It's ridiculous that a country that has organizations like the NSA can fail to find a backdoor if it existed.

    Sad to see a company getting dirt thrown against it just to save Apple.

  13. AdrianMontagu

    Insidious attack on the west.

    China will bully the rest of the world because they can. Once they have got their trojan horse (Huawei) into other coutries, the insidious attacks will begin. BEWARE!

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Insidious attack on the west.

      I suggest you do some reading of history, before you accuse China of being the bully. They have survived millennia of being the victim rather than the bully. So maybe a bit of payback is overdue - not that I'd want to see it.

  14. Xalran

    5G Arms Race

    "Trump administration's concerns have more to do with losing the 5G arms race than anything else"

    He should be concerned... USA is not even in the race as they do not have any local telco kit vendor... the last one merged with Alcatel before being gobbled by Nokia.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The ones who control the infrastructure control the information, even more so with smartphone addicted soldiers.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      And the US government has form in passing the information it gets from intercepts to US businesses and

      to stitch up its allies - remember Systime Computers Ltd, lessons are still relevant today...

  16. John H Woods Silver badge

    Surely ...

    ... sensitive data is encrypted? Are we just worried about the metadata?

  17. IGotOut Silver badge

    Interesting...

    We in the west criticise China for its human rights abuses (and so we should), yet we'll sell arms and gleefully sell everything else we have to a far more oppressive and brutal regime.....Saudi Arabia.

    China needs to start flogging us some more oil.

  18. mhenriday
    Boffin

    Surely you don't mean to say that

    the proud descendents of the heroes of Bletchley Parke, who with (more than) a little help from the Poles , managed to crack Enigma and thus, according to that impeccable and impartial authority, one Winston Spencer Churchill, managed to defeat the Germans (perhaps with some aid from their cousins the Yanks, while the Red Army was otherwise occupied), wouldn't manage to immediately find any backdoors that racially inferior people like the Chinese might have concealed in the kit they sold ?!!... Hardly credible....

    Henri

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