back to article UK, Canada could rethink the whole 'ban Huawei' thing post-Trump, whispers Huawei

Huawei isn’t waiting for Donald Trump to concede, or, in fact, even leave the White House, before flexing its muscles again. The Chinese mega-corp has been a frequent target of the US President, blocked and banned, bad-mouthed and beaten. Its CFO was even arrested in Canada, and is fighting extradition to America. But with …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    Only time will tell what Trump tactics will be undone by Biden's administration. For all we know, lobbyists and others may pressure him into maintaining the toxic trade tactics of Trump.

    If the next administration does badly, don't forget that Orange Boy is threatening to run again in '24.

    Biden was VP when the sanctions against Russia started, among others so in some respects Donny was picking up where they left off.

    1. msknight

      Biden is no fan of China, or more precisely Xi. I wouldn't bet on Trump's anti-China momentum being slowed, let alone reversed. https://thehill.com/opinion/international/518115-whats-bidens-real-policy-on-china-unlike-trumps-its-hard-to-know

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Biden is no fan of China, or more precisely Xi

        But I'm sure Commie-la Harris will tell him to remove restrictions anyway.

    2. J27

      As much as I dislike Trump, moving away from trade with the totalitarian regime in China is a good play. China is moving to press their agenda on the world stage and if you believe in freedom and democracy, that should be a problem for you. Additionally, more local manufacturing is better for the US economy and the environment (less fuel used for shipping).

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      The Huawei finding was from US intelligence agencies

      It wasn't a creation of Trump's political appointees like some of his other stuff. What Trump did was take that finding and use it as a hammer to block their access to US technology even when used indirectly (like US equipment used in TSMC's Taiwan fabs)

      So Biden may or may not decide to back off on some of those 'hammers' but Huawei is still going to be on the US blacklist for being part of the US cellular network. And thus, if the UK believes the US intelligence assessment, that will also remain true in the UK.

  2. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    Will it really change things?

    Whilst the level of rhetoric will most certainly drop once Trump is out the door (it could hardly get higher!), I haven't actually seen anything to suggest Biden will "Go Easy" on the Chinese. He's been a vocal critic of them for years. I would expect things to be done more behind closed doors through regular diplomatic channels rather than through sensationalism in the media (as has been the focus for the last 4 years). But I dont particularly see why this changing of the guard would really change the US's stance on Hauwei and China.

    Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd be surprised if the US suddenly dropped its desire to stop Huawei, or drop its requirement for the British to also drop their Huawei gear...

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Will it really change things?

      @lglethal

      "I would expect things to be done more behind closed doors through regular diplomatic channels rather than through sensationalism in the media"

      I have to say I will miss that. That was one of the things I preferred by Trump, that government wasnt something done to the people once decisions were made, but the opinion was in the open.

    2. Bitsminer Bronze badge

      Re: Will it really change things?

      The US intelligence people were opposed to much of the Chinese technical product imports before Trump. I think Trump seized this as a useful tool to bash Xi with in demanding a "better" trade deal.

      There has been continuous pressure on multiple countries at many levels (PMs, ministers, bureaucrats, intelligence people, military people, the phone companies) by the US and related parties to push the Huawei-is-dangerous line. Because backdoors, seen and unseen, etc etc.

      I don't think Biden will change this. 5G and related are (perceived as) a key economic driver for the West.

  3. naive

    Nice try to spin

    Mentioning the devil "Trump" doesn't undo the fact Huawei is the private enterprise of the PLA, even more willing to follow Chinese laws forcing every private company to share everything with the tyrannical CCP regime.

    It can be true 5G alternatives cost more money and may introduce delays in the rollout.

    Espionage, IP theft, loss of competitive power and knowledge will cost us much more on the long term.

    Lets pray our politicians are able to avoid the fangs of the CCP, regardless of Trump, and do the right thing to keep the CCP out of our networks.

    1. Santa from Exeter

      Re: Nice try to spin

      Can we stoip touting the 'All Chinese companies are just a front for the PLA' crap now Donnie is on his way out?

      1. naive

        Re: Nice try to spin

        Ignorance is bliss :).

        1. james 68

          Re: Nice try to spin

          If ignorance is bliss then you must be one very happy camper.

          Lets go through your list of perceived grips one by one.

          "Huawei is the private enterprise of the PLA, even more willing to follow Chinese laws forcing every private company to share everything with the tyrannical CCP regime" - You see that part where you wrote Chinese laws? You get what a law is right? It's non-negotiable, You don't want to go to jail, you follow the law of the land. There is no choice. Also pretty much every major company that wants to operate or trade in China must accept some percentage of government ownership. This does not make them a "private enterprise of the PLA, Foxconn ring any bells? how come you aren't griping about Apple?

          Espionage - Huawei opened their source code to the British government for inspection, sure their source was shitty, but can you guess what wasn't found? I'll give you a hint.... nefarious espionage code. Call me back when Cisco is willing to do the same.

          IP theft - Hmm you haven't actually checked on this have you? Guess who owns a metric shit-ton of 5G patents, if you guessed Huawei then have a cookie they're so far advanced in 5G they can make better chips cheaper than their competition, hell they helped write the 5G standard. Now guess who stands to benefit if Western countries can use those patents without the need to pay royalties to Huawei.

          loss of competitive power and knowledge - Ahh, now we see the crux of the matter "They're making more money than us and they're smarter than us!!" Jealousy and a feeling of inferiority, those great drivers of global politics and many other bad decisions.

          1. DoctorNine

            Re: Nice try to spin

            You can't seriously be arguing that the CCP isn't sponsoring industrial espionage on a global scale.

            SIGH...

            Do you happen to work for the Mayor of Hong Kong, by any chance?

            1. james 68

              Re: Nice try to spin

              That's rather disingenuous, I never said that the Chinese government is not sponsoring industrial espionage, they quite blatantly are. Just like every other country to varying degrees of hypocrisy.

              I am pointing out how the previous commenters arguments against Huawei fall flat on their face when not seen through a haze of partizan and I dare to say it, racist anti-chinese sentiment.

              The Chinese government does not equate to the Chinese people, nor Chinese companies.

              1. DoctorNine

                Re: Nice try to spin

                If you think that the Chinese government is in any way 'just like every other country', then we clearly are done here. Have a great day.

                1. james 68

                  Re: Nice try to spin

                  Yes, we are done. You have proven that you cannot argue based upon facts and instead must use fabrication and deliberately misconstrued quotes taken out of context.

                  You're simply not worth it.

                  1. DoctorNine

                    Re: Nice try to spin

                    James. I'm hurt. Truly. Ha!

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. alain williams Silver badge

    The reasons have changed from 2 years ago

    Back then it was fears that Huawei would spy on us on behalf of the Chinese government. These allegations where probably hyped and are about the same as Cisco does for the USA government.

    Today I feel that the argument is changing. China is increasingly being seen to be the bad actor/bully boy [think: Hong Kong, Uighurs muslims, ...] its increasing economic might boosts its confidence that it can get away with bad behaviour. So there is an argument that its economic wings should be clipped before it gets worse. Excluding Huawei is part of that. I am not saying that the West does not behave badly, but I could carry a placard down Whitehall (in London) saying "Bollocks to Boris" and safely go home; I would have a different fate if I carried a picture of Winnie the Pooh in Tiananmen Square -- that difference is important to me.

    Two years ago I was saying that we should buy Huawei; today I am inclined against that.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The reasons have changed from 2 years ago

      The level of reach China has in one's day to day life is too high and they know it. Most often or not, whenever you buy something, it's coming from China.

      And China seems to taking advantage of their position. They already changed the EU's narrative about Covid origin, able to drop Australian's Covid investigation, bully their neighbours, constantly trying to encroach other lands, and denied sovereignty of countries live Taiwan.

      Nobody is able to say anything already. More they get into monetary advantage, stronger bully they'll become.

      1. Spasticus Autisticus

        B Movie

        "What has happened is that in the last 20 years

        America has changed from a producer to a consumer

        And all consumers know that when the producer names the tune...

        The consumer has got to dance

        That's the way it is. We used to be a producer – very inflexible at that

        And now we are consumers and, finding it difficult to understand"

        Some lyrics from B Movie by Gil Scott-Heron, 1983.

        Change the names for some in the current administration and the whole song/poem is still relevant.

        I tried to not have the lyrics double spaced but I failed :-(

  5. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

    Without us, you'll 'widen the north-south digital divide'

    This presupposes the current UK government actually gives a toss about the north-south digital divide.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Without us, you'll 'widen the north-south digital divide'

      Of course it does. In fact if you didn't need a bunch of Geordie brickies - they would build a wall

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Without us, you'll 'widen the north-south digital divide'

      Given that the original interview was in The Grauniad it's possible that the North starts at Euston Rd.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Without us, you'll 'widen the north-south digital divide'

      Considering the government drastically reduced laptop allocation to schools with disadvantaged pupils in a pandemic when more students would need to learn from home, they probably want to exacerbate it.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Without us, you'll 'widen the north-south digital divide'

    I think it'd be a mistake to go to bed with China, in general. They're on the up and up, so yeah, ultimately, it's better to be on the winning side (if they ever get there) then to have them for _true_ enemies, but do we want to be on the winning side "China style"? Because, make no mistake, once they truly, and firmly, grab you by the balls, they will squeeze to make you follow their glorious ideological part, and it'll be too late to wriggle out. While democracy, as we see it, might be shit, it's nothing compared to how they run things in China.

  7. You aint sin me, roit
    Thumb Down

    Arresting officer decides not to testify?

    I'm surprised that an officer in execution of their duties is allowed to say "You know what, I don't think I'll bother with the court bit."

    Sounds rather dodgy to me. I'm not an apologist for China's human rights abuses, but this does seem like a human rights abuse perpetrated against Ms Meng. As part of what Trump himself implied was just a bargaining chip in trades negotiations.

    1. prh_99

      Re: Arresting officer decides not to testify?

      If they really need the officer the court can order them to testify, and they aren't their to establish guilt. Also the investigation that lead to her arrest predates Trump.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Arresting officer decides not to testify?

      The prosecution could decide not to call him which makes their job a little difficult. But the defence could decide to call him instead and get to treat him as a hostile witness.

      1. Bitsminer Bronze badge

        Re: Arresting officer decides not to testify?

        Actually Meng is not on trial. This is a hearing to decide whether she should be sent to trial in the US. The judge can still issue a subpoena for the said officer to testify, but as he is reportedly now living in Macau that may not fly.

        And the RCMP officer in question is alleged to have disclosed "technical information" to the US FBI, he wasn't the arresting officer. The defence wants to prove "improper" procedures between the customs/border security people and the police and the US police. That might open the door to a sufficiently egregious civil rights violation to void the extradition request.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An opportunity to push OpenRAN?

    Though Huawei may be cheaper it still locks UK networks into a particular supplier. Obviously so does Ericsson and Nokia but as they are more expensive that gives greater incentive to encourage and support OpenRAN.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trump could (and I think will) win in 2024. He's got an entire 4 years to undermine the elected government and stoke civil unrest in the US.

    Huawei is thus tainted. Any company in the west procuring it at this point is doing so at significant risk of future disruption/costs.

    Given how cheap cash is, why take the risk on Huawei. The opex on Huawei is not lower.

  10. J27

    As a Canadian, I can say that if China wants anything from us, they can release the two Canadian men they have illegally imprisoned without cause. Until they do that we need to continue doing everything possible to replace Chinese products with ones sourced from other countries.

    And even after that, it's been proven that China does not care about the rule of law. All countries that care about freedom, justice or democracy should reconsider doing business with China.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Good luck with that. You obviously have considerably better financial means than your fellow citizens.

      You're presumably aware that the West's moral compass currently allows it to arm Saudi Arabia, so it can murder civilians in third world countries.

      And America worships the dollar.

      But yeah, add China to your list if you want to feel morally superior.

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