back to article How the US attacked Huawei: Former CEO of DocuSign and Ariba turned diplomat Keith Krach tells his tale

The United States' Clean Network plan has won support from 53 nations and 180 telcos, and Huawei has unwittingly legitimised it. So says Keith Krach, the US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, who late last week spoke on a webinar hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia. …

  1. Claverhouse Silver badge

    Which People ?

    People trust the USA ?

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: Which People ?

      There's all these "acts" that require US companies to exfiltrate data outside of the US jurisdiction basically against the laws of the country the data sits in.

      Cisco backdoor anybody?

      The snooping uncovered by Snowden?

      Privacy shield and safe harbour falling apart?

      That's why governments don't trust the cloudy office stuff, for example (I know from sources that there is a lot of concern about the first point).

      1. Potemkine! Silver badge

        Re: Which People ?

        That's why governments don't trust the cloudy office stuff, for example (I know from sources that there is a lot of concern about the first point).

        As soon as your data are outside of the EU, they are not safe.

        Problem is, we don't even know if data stored in EU datacenters are not backed up/ extracted to other locations. What secret agreements exist between GAFA and the NSA or one of the other 16 US 'intelligence' agencies? Snowden showed us the US cannot be trusted.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

          Re: Which People ?

          No need of secret arguments.

          The current US laws state that if a US company owns/operates a datacenter, data stored there can be requested by law-enforcement officers, whatever the location.

          Before the law was enacted MS was fighting (in courts and in the press) against such requests, now it doesn't...

          1. Robert Grant Silver badge

            Re: Which People ?

            Would you mind providing a link?

          2. Jaybus

            Re: Which People ?

            They can't just request it. It still requires a court order. Some historical data requires an administrative subpoena, but most require a court order. The only thing they can legally get without a court order or subpoena is a list of phone numbers that a phone has interacted with, as that was upheld by the Supreme Court. I can't imagine there is much cloud-based data that wouldn't require a court order. It is true that any data center in the US is subject to US law and so a court may issue a warrant to obtain any data stored there, regardless of its origin. But that is likely true most anywhere.

        2. Kaufman

          Re: Which People ?

          Surely, we already knew that they could not be trusted long before Snowden. How many millions of Iraqis did the US coalition kill based on a lie?!?

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Which People ?

            "How many millions of Iraqis did the US coalition kill based on a lie?!?"

            One? I'm not disagreeing with the main thrust of your statement, but millions dead? Estimates from various sources, and depending who and how one counts, 140,000 to about 1.2 million are the extremes of the guessing curve. Once you start exaggerating for effect, it reduces the validity of what your are saying and removes your audiences confidence in the true facts you are accidental hiding with fake facts.

        3. Stuart Castle Silver badge

          Re: Which People ?

          Re: As soon as your data are outside of the EU, they are not safe.

          Being honest, with the state of the computing industry today, that should perhaps read "As soon are your data are outside of your server room, they are not safe.

          While the EU legislation does offer some very good protection for data and control over how that data is processed, it's likely not infallible, and probably includes all sorts of exemptions, probably under the guise of National Security.

          It's not the same act, I know, but I remember years ago, while researching for a college essay, sitting in our local library reading the actual data protection act (1984), and found a very worrying section that basically said that none of the protections in that act applied to anything the government deemed to be a National Security risk.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Which People ?

            "found a very worrying section that basically said that none of the protections in that act applied to anything the government deemed to be a National Security risk."

            That's a fairly standard government "get out of jail free card" in lots of legislation enshrining citizens rights or restricting what Government can do. On the other hand, there are safeguards such that a Prime Minister or Cabinet Minsters can't just take it on themselves to claim "National Security" and override the legislation. And even if the Government does invoke "National Security", they likely will have to justify to the peoples representatives, eg House of Commons, or in a court of law at some point.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Which People ?

        "governments don't trust the cloudy office stuff"

        HMG seems to. That should be a strong enough warning to the rest of us.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      2 months to go

      Do NOT trust Huawei.

      Huawei agreed to open the code to their customers, you're right to be suspicious and demand auditing of Huawei's kit and code. This is how it should be. You should demand Cisco's code too. Why build critical infrastructure on blind trust!? WHen you build a bridge, you get a structural engineer to check the engineers calculations, you *verify*, you do not trust.

      US voting machines run on bespoke software that cannot be viewed or verified. Even the owners of the companies are kept secret. You're supposed to trust the voting machine, but the voting machine company doesn't trust you.

      You need to verify those machines and the companies behind them. Trumps accusation of fraud in those companies is projection. Trump always projects. If he's saying theirs fraud for Democrats there, then there's fraud for Trump there. Projection.

      Voting machines AGAIN voted heavily for Republican candidates! The verifiable mail-in ballots is strongly Democrat, and those ballots can be checked with a hand count, and matched. Real people making real verifiable votes. Yet the voting machine that cannot be verified (or only verified against a paper trail that could be a fresh printout), vote for Republican.

      Machines vote Republican, but people vote Democrat.

      Republicans screwed up this time, they needed Lindsey Graham and his buddies to call around to try to get votes discarded. Sloppy. They didn't rig the election enough. A few less mail-in votes and they would have had a plausible win.

      Also see those spoiler candidates in Florida? The 3 left wing spoiler candidates actually run and funded by Republicans? Fake democrats to split the Democrat vote? Follow the money and it goes from printing company to son-of-owner to 2xRepublican PACs to a Delaware holding company.

      So much effort to hide the money, but far less effort to hide that the Republicans running the spoiler candidate! Right away that tells you the money conceals a super-big crime, far bigger than Republicans running fake left-wing candidates. A real genuine crime that needed to be hidden by layers of PACs and front corps.

      Russia used Delaware front companies heavily in 2016, so I bet that money was Russian. With Russia running its own political spoiler candidates to help their chosen Republican candidates.

      So you use all this US kit because its a country of laws, and democracy? Rethink this. Get the code, require auditing, check it yourselves.

      If Americans cannot trust Republicans to hold an election, how can you trust anything coming out of the USA!

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: 2 months to go

        I know there's a tendency for threads to drift OT but don't you think you're pushing it a bit too much?

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: 2 months to go

          But the tomato soup has gotten so much more expensive lately.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: 2 months to go

            Heinz or Campbells?

            1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

              Re: 2 months to go

              Both, or neither.. I forget now!!

              Still, talking about Heinz, remember "The Great Egg Race"?

      2. Outer mongolian custard monster from outer space (honest)

        Re: 2 months to go

        Cisco already provides access to its codebase to select parties with a strong requirement to view it (and BT is on that list) and they build a version from the codebase and place it in escrow in case shenanigans should happen like they do with all their vendors. And Ive been told in the past the Cisco code compiles easier with a more reproducible result.

        Perhaps you should stick to ranting about things you know about?

      3. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: 2 months to go

        "Voting machines AGAIN voted heavily for Republican candidates! The verifiable mail-in ballots is strongly Democrat, and those ballots can be checked with a hand count, and matched. Real people making real verifiable votes. Yet the voting machine that cannot be verified (or only verified against a paper trail that could be a fresh printout), vote for Republican."

        It is a bit more complicated than that. In some states there is heavy gerrymandering, which means that in state elections democrat areas have strong majorities for Democrats, or are split into smaller areas linked to predominantly Republican areas, so that the end result is a Republican vote, but for state elections for Governor, or US elections for the presidency, they vote Democrat, or vice-versa.

        That is why several Staes have Republican state senates, but Democrat Governors. In addition, many voters chose Biden-Harris for presidential elections but Republican candidates for state elections. They basically voted against Trump. In Georgia, there was a full recount due to the election results being within 0.5% of each other.

        Remember that Trump has spent months disparaging mail0in votes (even though he registered for one himself), while the Democrats have warned against the health risks of contracting Covid-19 from queuing for hours to vote in person, so advised for mail-in voting.

      4. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: 2 months to go

        Voting machines were used on the day. Mail in ballots were used before the day. I don't need a conspiracy theory to explain why the voting patterns were so different.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      "People trust the USA ?"

      More than China? Yes.

      It's not a blind trust, of course.

      1. mevets

        Re: "People trust the USA ?"

        The US President is less trusted than the Russian or Chinese Leaders.

        1. DavCrav

          Re: "People trust the USA ?"

          "The US President is less trusted than the Russian or Chinese Leaders."

          That's fair. Trump is unpredictable. He lurches from position to position and therefore I cannot trust him. I can trust Putin and Xi, because I understand their goals: expansionism, repression at home, and interference overseas. I mean, I trust them to stab me first opportunity they get, but since I know that, I can trust them to do that.

          With Trump, I just don't know.

  2. six_tymes

    I see, so, back doors are a good thing now? wtf?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They always have been, as long as you have the key.

    2. Yes Me Silver badge

      kinda irrelevant

      It's kinda irrelevant whether they're a Good Thing. They're compulsory in most countries. That's why most governments hate e2e encryption, because all they get from the back doors is metadata and random bits.

  3. Mark192

    "advancing a theory that the criticism legitimized Clean Networks because the USA is trusted and Huawei is not."

    I trust both of them to spy. Does that count?

  4. Uffish

    Reads like a Hollywood Movie

    Slightly aged good guy says enough is enough and takes on young,fit and nasty bad guy and wins. Standard script "based on a true story".

    1. MiguelC Silver badge

      Re: Reads like a Hollywood Movie

      And like any Hollywood script, it's just bollocks for public consumption.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Reads like a Hollywood Movie

      As Vetinari points out in one of the Discworld stories, in this arena everyone _thinks_ they're the good guys but the truth is that there are only bad people on both sides

  5. Zolko Silver badge

    Why 5G ?

    What's the point of 5G anyway ? A good 4G provides the necessary bandwidth for anything, including streaming films and videoconferencing, what is it that 5G will do that 4G doesn't ? This sounds like a new plot to sell more stuff that people don't need.

    1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Re: Why 5G ?

      I must admit that 5G seems like bandwidth for bandwidth's sake to me too.

      The mantra is "5 is bigger than 4! When do we need it? Now! Whatever it is...!"

      Give me a good mobile signal of *any type* such that, wherever the caller and receiver are in the UK, the most basic voice signal did not drop out, squeak or warble and consigns the phrase "you're breaking up" to the bin of communication history and I'd be more than happy ...

      5 makes more hype-money than 4. Good 2 across the entire country would be expensive ... So all things considered, and ignoring anyone who has yet to see a 4G signal, we obviously need 5 investment as fast as possible ...

    2. Kane Silver badge

      Re: Why 5G ?

      "What's the point of 5G anyway ?"

      I can't speak for anywhere outside of the UK, but I suspect there are probably some real world cost/logistics issues involved.

      1. It will probably be cheaper for telcos to roll out 5G in the UK instead of upgrading the remaining areas of the old copper network to full fat fibre, even if it's just FTTC/N as opposed to FTTP/H/B.

      2. It will probably be practically easier than upgrading the old network.

      Consider the financial/practical upheaval of digging up vast swathes of road/pavement areas in heavily populated locations (those who don't already have the fibre laid out), getting fibre roll out to those locations that aren't major city centres where organisations like BT/Openreach consider the fibre roll out as cost prohibitive (i.e. investment on return).

      From a personal perspective; there is no real fibre option where I live even though the likes of Virgin are continuously bombarding the house with junk mail offering the next big thing in fibre internet. When enquired upon, the service isn't actually available in my area ("but it's coming soon!"), so I have to settle for the 10/4 connection I have. It's the fastest available.

      Yes, that's 10 Mbits down and 4 Mbits up.

      (Disclaimer: I am not a telco/network engineer, so it may be I'm completely wrong; the above is pure speculation on my part; YMMV etc, etc)

      1. iron Silver badge

        Re: Why 5G ?

        And where is this superfast wireless data to go if you don't upgrade to fiber? Without sufficient backhaul 5g is useless.

        1. JetSetJim

          Re: Why 5G ?

          It's easier and significantly cheaper to run a bundle of fibre to a single site with a mast, perhaps in the corner of a field with nice soft verges to dig up to get to than it is to run fibre either over poles or in new conduit through pavements and across roads. It *will* be deployed in an area when a bean counter works out that the threshold for costs to deploy will be outweighted by the return on that investment - calculated by looking at potential revenue generated by the site from the variety of services on offer (be they domestic broadband replacement, mobile phone use, rental to other networks, etc...)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why 5G ?

        You are correct in bringing in the economics of providing infrastructure. It is quantified by the number of users or economic benefit.

        Every time NIMBYs and "but what about MY not-spot" people come here, and the same commentary comes - "I just want 2G for a phone call". When 3G was introduced, when 4G was introduced and will be there when 8G comes.

        The very, very vast majority of phone users will not downgrade from 4G to gprs. Even if they said they were fine with 2G.

        The telco decision goes - spend say £200 million to enable 2G for these 10-0 people, or continue with 4G and increase per user bandwidth by 1 MBps for 50,000 people, or enable 5G and increase per user bandwidth by say 5 MBps for 200,000 people.

        Most of these arguments about the next G being irrelevant "for my non-spot" is really about diverting the upgrade for 200,000 people to the 100 people. It is arguing to hold back 200,000 people for the sake of 100.

        There are placeholder numbers, but the point is the scale of economics that the technology brings.

        And there will ALWAYS be a not spot. The economics of it just simply does not add up no matter the technology. It simply has to be subsidized and has nothing to do with the G.

        Indeed, cell topology upgrades that a new revision can support could help make non spots fewer, and reduce the size of subsidies required, or make the economics of some non-spots sensible..

        Given the role of cellular connectivity to the economy, there is also an argument to be made that supporting 200,000 upgrades can fill those subsidy coffers better for those 100.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Why 5G ?

          "The very, very vast majority of phone users will not downgrade from 4G to gprs."

          They'll also complain when they can't get a signal of any sort. So where do you place the trade-off? Or, to make it personal, any time you find yourself without a signal do you consider it a good trade-off for somebody somewhere else to have 5G?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why 5G ?

            >>any time you find yourself without a signal do you consider it a good trade-off for somebody somewhere else to have 5G?

            Depending on where I am when I do not have coverage.

            For the UK the answer is YES.

            Because in the UK, *no* coverage is somewhere remote/rural/poorly populated.

            Or no coverage from any network means it might not be technically feasible.

            Do I spend 100% of my use without 5G or 0.1% of my use without any coverage, with prior knowledge I won't get coverage?

            Yes, 5G please.

            I don't expect anyone to spend million of ££££ to provide coverage in some location for 20 phone calls a year.

            It just does not make sense to justify that spend because of personal circumstances.

            It might mean getting a sat phone or femtocell etc.

            1. Down not across Silver badge

              Re: Why 5G ?

              Or no coverage from any network means it might not be technically feasible.

              I would think the reason is usually more likely to be financial rather than technical.

            2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: Why 5G ?

              "Because in the UK, *no* coverage is somewhere remote/rural/poorly populated."

              Er, my house has no signal. I am about a mile away from the Cambridge Science Park. Your assumption just crashed into a medieval church (on a rise between me and the mast) and your assumption came off worst.

              (This post brought to you by a domestic WiFi connection and an ADSL link.)

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Why 5G ?

                This will not affect visitors - you are talking about a spot of coverage missing not a region.

                I don't see what you expect.

                A tower just for the ten people affected??

            3. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: Why 5G ?

              I can show you a number of no coverage areas within 35 miles of Tower Bridge and they're in the heart of the stockbroker commuter belt

              I suspect that availability of Starlink will be making BT's Openreach sockpuppet clutch its pearls and demand protection and I further suspect that will happen via a ban on network connectivity not subject to IWF filtering

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Why 5G ?

                Like I said the economics or technical feasibilty must be the reason - there might be a local order, NIMBYs or the area where the tower needs to be put to obtain coverage is privately owned.

                These arguments are never offering the evidence that somehow spending a reasonable amount of money solves the coverage problem.

                Taking your example, you want 98% of commuter belts to stay on 4G until the 2% get coverage. If it is a NIMBY until the NIMBY dies. If it is a private property, then the comapny must spend billions if necessary and acquire it.

                Till then no other upgrades. My extension, all these areas would be at 2G if such a legal policy was in place, whilst the rest of the world moves forward.

                This makes no sense and will never make sense to me. It is entirely a me-my-I want coverage, ignoring what benefits the very vast majority.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Why 5G ?

              "I don't expect anyone to spend million of ££££ to provide coverage in some location for 20 phone calls a year."

              I upvoted because I don't want fucking towers everywhere!! People forget the physical reality that comes with "mobile" (which is enable purely by very non-mobile structures).

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why 5G ?

            >>where do you place the trade-off?

            How many will benefit. Bang for buck spent.

            Usually, remote areas with a lot of visitors will get coverage for the reasons you mention - enough people will experience no signal.

      3. Scene it all

        Re: Why 5G ?

        When I was having my DSL service upgraded here in Florida, in a community with underground service, I asked the AT&T technician about fiber. His answer was basically that if I did not have it now, I would never get it. "They are not spending any money upgrading existing customers."

        On TV we are hit with lots of ads from the major Telcos pushing their 5G rollouts, claiming that it is "faster". Well, on a cellphone, how would I notice? They never explain.

        On the plus side, maybe moving to 5G means we can finally get rid of IPv4.

      4. CrackedNoggin

        Re: Why 5G ?

        To get (significantly faster than 4G type of) 5G to the home you need a very local 5G transmitter. That requires line being run to those very local 5G transmitters. That line that's saved is a fibre not run from the very local 5G transmitter to the house. The fibre run to my residence (1GB both ways) runs from a box high upon a telephone pole diagonally across the street to a high hole in the wall - the installer drilled in less than a minute. ("How did you know there wasn't a pipe or other cabling there?" I asked him. "I didn't" he replied.)

        Now if you are talking about (NOT significantly faster than 4G type of) 5G, no digging required because it transmits over long distances. Some industry people say that will be up to 20% faster than existing 4G due to superior time multiplexing algorithms. But not 1GB.

    3. mevets

      Re: Why 5G ?

      I heard it said by somebody, not me, that it was to help Gates spread covid.

    4. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Why 5G ?

      My impression is that 5G is only actually needed where there are huge crowds of people trying to use phones simultaneously. Say Shinjuku-eki at rush hour or any large stadium while waiting for the event to start. But I have NOT run the numbers and perhaps I've been misled or have misled myself.

      Not that I care much. I have a smart phone. It was on sale. Really cheap. Nice hardware. But the software (Android) is so annoying and the UI so awkward that I've never activated service. For my very occasional remote phone needs -- phone calls and the odd text message -- I use an ancient 2G Nokia.

    5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: Why 5G ?

      LTE is a dead-end in areas where there can be serious bandwidth deficiencies - both urban and remote. 5G opens the doors for combining more spectrum, adjusting traffic priorities, boosting spectrum efficiency, and decentralizing some IP connectivity. Essentially, 5G is some needed upgrades for technical reasons that consumers don't care about. Upgrades are being driven by consumer-friendly hype, and that hype can only be maintained if there's a rapid and working upgrade path provided by telcos. Phones with 5G will only be built if there's enough consumer hype to drive sales. That's why there's such a high demand for 5G infrastructure equipment.

      Yes, Telcos want you to get off the old radios. Most people here can sympathize with the hassles of maintaining many versions of a product at once.

  6. Norman Nescio Silver badge

    Clean Networks?

    The lesson of 'Clean Networks' should not be "don't trust China", but in fact, "don't trust anybody, in case they pull a China on you", and that definitely includes the USA.

    Essentially, it it a strong argument for FLOSS hardware and software in critical infrastructure, so that you can audit it and assure (by the number of mutually distrusting eyes looking at it) that it is as unknown, uncontrolled backdoor free as possible, according to the competence of the people doing the auditing.

    National security services will always want to put their own monitoring in for data crossing national borders, and law enforcement will want the ability to 'tap' communications (with a valid warrant, naturally), so as end end-user of such infrastructure, you will not be free of local (legal) government backdoors/monitoring: but the point is being able to be reasonably sure there are no illegal, hidden backdoors. From a National Security point of view, it should be a no-brainer, especially as history shows that trusting the current 'Great Power' is a poor idea in the long run.

    Arguing for 'Clean Networks', is in fact arguing for auditable hardware and software where you can make changes without legal problems, like copyright, patent, and trademark issues. Do you, as a country, want your communications to go through DRMed binary-blob software on hardware manufactured without oversight in another country? Do you feel lucky?


    1. You aint sin me, roit

      It's not about clean or secure...

      And it never has been.

      It's all about US envy of a Chinese success story.

      Huawei pumps billions into R&D. Western companies have been driven by bean counters obsessed with the bottom line. And now they find that they are lagging behind in a fast moving technology.

      So what do you do? Invest the billions required to catch up? Or play on "red under the bed" fears to undermine trust in the competition.

      So now we have a clean network... pretty soon they'll start playing up the "terrorists and paedo" fears to outlaw strong crypto. Which ironically would protect my data from Chinese snooping (alleged).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's not about clean or secure...

        >> Huawei pumps billions into R&D

        Well, where is it coming from? Their management are also millionaires and billionaires like western companies, chinese tech labour is cheaper but not cheap as say India, yet their products are substantially cheaper.

        I'll agree when Huawei's accounts are an open book and Chinese banking and reporting standards meet those elsewhere..

        If labour laws in the west matched those in China, there would be more bang for the R&D buck that Huawei enjoys. So, this isn't just about beancounters, even if they matched Huawei spend.

        I'm not saying the US is innocent, but that is not a license to whitewash Huawei and the CCP's very aggressionist foreign policy, and firewalled information flow.

        For the sake of argument, for a moment, let's suppose that Huawei is indeed an apparatus of the CCP. What evidence would you accept?

        1. You aint sin me, roit

          Re: It's not about clean or secure...

          Cheap Chinese labour... is that why Apple build phones over there? Of course. So you can imagine Huawei gain the same cost benefits.

          Is Huawei bankrolled by the CCP? I don't know, but I suspect only in the way that NASA bankrolls Boeing. One man's unfair state subsidies is another man's government contract. China has such a massive market and invested so heavily in trying to claw its way into the 21st century it's easy to see how Huawei could grow so big. And they appear to have decided that the only way to compete is to invest.

          What evidence would I want?

          I dunno, how about the government making Huawei pay for a complete security audit overseen by GCHQ. A level of scrutiny we don't apply to other manufacturers.

          But of course that didn't find any backdoors...

          Whereas we know the NSA backdoored Cisco products.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It's not about clean or secure...

            >> is that why Apple build phones over there?

            I don't get it. You said beancounters are holding back R&D.

            I said matching R&D spend is not enough.

            You point to ill treated manufacturing labour.

            You're still support my point that spending 1 bn in salaries in the west does not get you the same as spending 1bn on salaries in China. This is not about beancounters as you posit.

            So you want the west to ill treat? Or because it is accepting in manufacturing it should be for R&D too? You want r&d in the west to be treated like those Chinese labour to be competitive with Huawei?

            The real answer is to withdraw support for ill treated chinese manufacturing labour. Not go a support more of it.

            Everyone does manufacturing in China - that advantage is an even one.

            The labour that makes apple phones does not design 5G radio equipment and software FFS.

            You need seriously experienced engineers and it is really expensive r&d.

            These people are not as cheap in China, they are entirely in urban centres like Shanghai and don't go live in hostels and labour camps that makes the phones cheap.

            You are blinded by anti-US sentiment, which is making you think a pro-China one is an even counter balance. It isn't.

            You seem to think being successful is the same as being trust worthy. China has a bad reputation and clashing values - Uighurs, Taiwan, Hong Kong. Boorder disputes with all their neighbours. They also believe they are right, at least the US does bad things but keeps quiet. Or there is some quid pro quo like intelligence sharing.

            China is a rogue international actor. No country disputes this, not even China.

            What on earth benefit is there to save some money and create USSR 2.0 on something like infrastructure. Support savings on bad value like labour mistreatment.

            I go on to ask what evidence would be there if Huawei was an arm of the CCP.

            You gave an answer that proves, at the very best, that the CCP has not asked anything of their Huawei arm. Assuming GCHQ is as good as the Chinese equivalent.

            You don't see the difference in the evidence I bet. What a moronic answer.

            "Let support cheaper mistreated labour, even though the product has long term implications to our nation if there is the slightest mistake. Let's treat infrastructure the same as my tv remote, and make them as cheap as possible.

            Because the US started it, there is no merit in it whatsoever. The merit must, therefore, be in the opposing position."

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: It's not about clean or secure...

              >I don't get it.

              That is probably because you've fallen for the Trump manufactured news that this story reveals the US anti-Huawei hysteria to be.

              Interestingly, the Conservatives obsession with keeping in with Trump, has effectively killed off Huawei opening a meaningful R&D facility in the UK...

              Fundamentally, the current "China" mess is down to western beancounters, aided-and-abetted by big-name management guru's and consultants, who since the 1980s extolled the virtues of outsourcing low-value stuff such as manufacturing and offshoring it to emerging markets; specifically Asia-pacific - of which China was a major component with many investments being channeled through Hong Kong to China. Hence why so much stuff we purchase now is "made in china" even if it gets relabelled "made in USA/UK/EU" after "assembly".

              It was obvious 10~15 years back that the US ego & psyche was going to receive a knocking when the US woke up to the fact that it was no longer the world's largest economy and thus no longer did the rest of the world revolve around the US and simply accept US imperialism.

              I don't dispute that China is also acting like an imperial power in its international dealings, but in part that is because the US (and the European nations) has for several decades failed to play their part and help shape the emerging new world order.

              Being outside the US, it doesn't really matter if Huawei are or are not an arm of the CCP, given we know that Cisco et al are arm's of the US government and there is a documented history of the US government passing on intelligence to the benefit of US businesses over its allies (including the UK). So from a Brexit-UK perspective, we will just have to find ways of living in a world where we are a small fish with reduced influence over the large fish.

        2. teknopaul Silver badge

          Re: It's not about clean or secure...

          Fact is Huawei made a lot of money and the US now sees breaking thing as a success story. The article is depressing, the guy has a smug attitude to doing massive amounts of damage and replacing it with something more expensive.

          That is the current US economic policy.

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: It's not about clean or secure...

          1: Chinese labour isnt cheap

          2: Huawei's staff are shareholders

          3: This has nothing to do with labour laws. "American" equipment is built in China too

          4: Huawei have been going hell-for-leather in 5G for a long time and hold a huge patent portfolio worldwide. Even if you don't buy Huawei kit they're still getting significant royalties (which leads into the point that they're cheaper because they don't pay royalties to themselves)

          This is mostly about payback to Cisco et al for the back doors we've seen inserted in much of their kit for decades and the USA's fear that it can no longer infiltrate/spy on 3rd country networks using bsckdoors they mandated be installed

          "After all" they reason "if we've been doing it, surely China will be doing the same thing too?"

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It's not about clean or secure...

            Huawei ONLY competes on cost.

            If costs are the same, why is Huawei cheaper? Who is subsidising this?

            I don't get your logic - US is bad, China is bad, so let them all in.

            They are different kinds of bad. Politics and policy do matter.

            The fact that China is bad on the other side of western values is being ignored by you. UK has intelligence and security relationships with the US, not with China. China is an political antagonist of the UK, it is not an ally. The US does not interfere with democracy and misinformation with the UK, China actively does. The US are not innocent, but for the UK, the US policy is congenial, not China's.

            But no, let China in, deep into the key infrastructure build for the next decade.

            You are also rather misinformed:

            >>Huawei have been going hell-for-leather in 5G for a long time and hold a huge patent portfolio worldwide.

            So have qualcomm and ericsson. Qualcomm's cross licensing with Huawei still requires Huawei to pay Qualcomm.

            >>still getting significant royalties

            Not for infrastructure - deployments do not match the device count of phones/terminals for revenues. Huawei pays Qualcomm. The patent license for the standard is common ((there isn't a different pool to license for 5g infra vs 5g mobile).

            >>This has nothing to do with labour laws.

            How is Huawei cheaper? I am talking R&D, we agree manufacturing costs are the same for all vendors. Either Huawei pay their r&D less (as labour laws as weaker - no pension ,holidays, excess working hrs etc) or something else allows them to be cheaper. If the former we should not support, if the latter, where is the money coming from?

            >> This is mostly about payback to Cisco

            You are badly misinformed. The equipment in question is not made by Cisco, Huawei was already excluded from that for quite a while now. The alternate vendors for the equipment are Ericsson and Nokia-Seimens NSN. Both european. Monetarily no US company benefits, as none manufacture the equipment in question (Nortel, Canadian, did, the reason all the other vendors died is due to severe price undercutting by Huawei for decades, many times well below cost.)

            Given the misinformation, I assume you are responding emotionally. US cronyism emotions.

            China needs to align their foreign policy with their economic ambitions as a world player. They could change the laws to allow true independence of companies. They can take a far less aggressionist foreign policy and they would still be successful.

            But their ideology wont permit that. That's fine, but there are then consequences on the global field with other ideologies. And there should be.

            Huawei battles are a failure of Chinese foreign policy. When 53 nations are convinced, somethings up. Even if the other bad boy started it.

        4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: It's not about clean or secure...

          "I'll agree when Huawei's accounts are an open book"

          Some people are saying that Huawei are waiting for Trump to go first. I heard this from some good people, very good people, the best people.

      2. Yes Me Silver badge

        Re: It's not about clean or secure...

        "US envy". Exactly. They made up the necessary lies (e.g. that Huawei has military ties and is controlled by the CCP) that Cisco etc. suggested to them. I hope the Biden administration will back off on the dirty war side of things, even if they still consider China as a dangerous trade rival.

    2. nijam Silver badge

      Re: Clean Networks?

      > "law enforcement will want the ability to 'tap' communications (with a valid warrant, naturally)"

      They want to tap communications and *say* they want to do it with valid warrants. Subtle - but clear- distinction.

  7. Mike Richards

    Boy is he in for a shock

    ‘ Krach’s evidence for that is Chinese laws that require all companies and individuals to provide authorities with intelligence or data on request as a reason Huawei cannot be trusted.’

    Wait until Krach learns about RIPA 2000 and IPA 2016 in the UK.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: Boy is he in for a shock

      Krach surely knows and doesn't care about those, because we're part of the 5 eyes "good guys" (insert preferred measure of "good"), and we're toeing the line on Clean Networks.

      Likely every country has similar laws for intelligence service access. Just that for some countries the vast majority of their citizens are unaware of them, or too stupid to even consider it a possiblity. Krach played on that and, for the moment, it's working.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: Boy is he in for a shock

      And National Security Letters in the USA.

      It frankly strikes me as bollocks when someone can go and accuse another country of doing exactly what his country does and nobody smacks him in the face with it.

      And let's face it : is there any country in the world where a CEO is not going to comply with the local government ?

      When you find armed men in official uniforms at your door, you comply. You don't have to be in a banana republic, it works everywhere.

  8. oiseau Silver badge

    Pot and Kettle

    ... USA believes Huawei is an arm of China’s government, enables its pervasive surveillance regime and is also a critical part of its intelligence apparatus.

    Hmm ...

    Is the kettle calling the pot black?


  9. frankvw

    Meanwhile, in the rest of the world...

    While Huawei may or may not be Pure Evil and bound on world domination by using all our precious private data, let's not forget the other baddies out there. The Mossad, for example, has fingers in many pies and backdoors in many data centres through "confidential" agreements with various governments who should know better. While Israel is the only one I have first hand information about, I'm sure there are more.

    The reality of the situation is that the West seems to need an enemy. It used to be the Russians, but now the cold was is essentially over and they have ceased to be our favourite threat, China has been promote to fill that role. Once they turn out not to live up to our expectations of being horrible, something else will be chosen to fill the niche. A conglomerate of all Islamic countries, perhaps, or maybe the French, who knows...

  10. nijam Silver badge

    > "because the US is trusted and Huawei is not"

    Errr... well, 50% right, I suppose.

  11. fajensen

    American Chamber of Commerce in Australia

    Too much gloating and smugness on display in front of people! It's just Too Bad that Australian exports to China are suddenly experiencing customs clearing problems and Scotty from Marketing has absolutley no idea what is wrong, so he obviously can't solve it. -

    1. julian.smith

      What could possibly go wrong?

      Who knew that deliberately pissing off your biggest customer (30% of Australia's exports used to go to China) would have consequences?

      Scotty from Hillsong didn't think it through ... and now he's knee deep in shit and the tide is rising

      Would you be wanting some:

      - barley

      - beef

      - timber

      - lobster

      - wine

      - coal

      - education services

      - residential property

      suddenly there seems to be a problem with the Big Buyer of all of these easily substitutable products.

      You don't get rewarded for being stupid

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He's simply a Krach head working to assist the US government. What would you expect him to say?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "economic aggression"?

    Is that what we call capitalism when they practise it?

    1. Allonymous Coward

      Re: "economic aggression"?


  14. JetSetJim

    > He also found Huawei's very keen 5G pricing suspicious. "Why do they give it to you or charge not much?" he asked. "So they can get your data."

    They don't charge much so that they can get their feet through the door, and kit on the ground. Ripping a network isn't cheap, so they achieve an amount of lock-in once they're in. They charge for s/w upgrades. At least that is what they were doing in the 3&4G days.

    I have my doubts about it's "so they can get your data". Most NOCs I've touched were significantly hardened against outside access. When a port was opened, it was to a specific IP only and didn't stay open if it wasn't used.

    Sure, lots of Huawei engineers were rather naughty in their brazen approach to evaluating competitor kit when they did site visits, but I wonder how much can be said for engineers in other companies (anecdotally, it was rather rife in Huawei at times, though!). But now they're ahead of hte pack, and have an awful lot of talented engineers in their dev-labs. Methinks this Krach fella comes more from the viewpoint of having been out-competed (however fairly/legally or not).

    1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

      where does the finance come from?

      This is the issue. Huawei can afford to invest huge amounts in R&D, and offer sweetheart deals to struggling operators to sell their kit. And supply infinite numbers of on-site engineers to make it go.

      All of this requires financial muscle, and the suspicion is that Huawei has essentially an infinite credit line to the Chinese State to achieve this. Even Boeing isn't that well supported.

      It's not about being out-competed, but out-subidised.

  15. HildyJ Silver badge

    Trust has nothing to do with it

    It's not about trust, it's about fear. More nations fear what America might do versus what China might do.

    Even if a new administration is less random in its international actions, its big stick will influence nations more than China's.

  16. mevets

    The invisible finger.

    I wonder if Adam Smith, when conjuring the metaphor of the invisible hand, quite saw the opportunity for such a cartel-based approach to give the finger to all competition. A great day for laisse faire...

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: The invisible finger.

      Adam Smith knew about cartels and mercantilism

      He quite rightly regarded them as anti-capitalist.

      In his view capitalism done right benefits all parties involved (including the workers) and he went as far as to say that business had a moral obligation to support its employees

      The world moved away from mercantilism at the end of the 19th century precisely _because_ of all the economic damage it causes. The UK reverted to it post WW2 and the USA followed suit in the 1960s. The resulting mess was more or less inevitable..mercantilism _is_ economic warfare which treats business as a zero-sum game with winners and losers. That's not capitalism

  17. PhilipN

    Learning from the best?

    Creaking memory cells suggest Microsoft would approach another software company all friendly like sign confidentiality agreements get their hands on the code then wave bye-bye.

    Stacker anyone?

  18. six_tymes

    I know spreading such hatred towards the US is popular, but its also idiotic. "attacked" Hardly... more like protecting its own interests, by preventing back doors is fact. are people clueless what Huawei did just 4 years ago? are people that dumb?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Nice try at misdirection but it's not about preventing back doors, it's about Huawei not allowing US backdoors.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    After at least 2 decades, the world has concluded

    That the US is an unreliable ally.

  20. AVR

    It's not that the US is seen as good, it's that they successfully painted Huawei as worse. There's a parallel to a certain American politician in 2016 managing to damn his opponent and thereby win.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This is why countries don’t feel like they need to contribute to NATO – they are paying the US industry tax by being required to buy more expensive not as capable technology.

    Now admitting it is a bit of an own goal.

  22. Ubermik

    Yeah the absolute LAST thing the US wants is someone spying on their citizens that isnt them or israel lol

    Anyone still think the intel "vulnerabilities" are anything but a deliberate back door to spy on governments and individuals that ordinary people stumbled across?

    I wouldnt be surprised if Huaweis REAL crime was actually making networking equipment that DIDNT have a back door built in, or that it was merely that they had the "audacity" to outsell Apple phones and were set to outsell US companies in the 5g arena, but most probably a bit from A and a bit from B

  23. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Just curious ... so as to better know what best to <s>target</s>engage in deologue

    But the US believes Huawei is an arm of China's government, enables its pervasive surveillance regime and human rights abuses, and is also a critical part of its intelligence apparatus

    And the equivalents toiling and trailblazing in the West, and a critical part of its intelligence apparatus? Who/What/Where be they, residing and presiding and leading with a brand new vital and virile global technology sector ....... or even just exercising effective influence able to steer the future direction of critical parts of intelligence apparatus ..... should that be all that is really required in such endeavours?

    Do they exist to be contacted about flaws detected which are exploitable and exportable, and are being exploited and exported? Do they have real personal points of contact or are they defaulted to think humans will accept talking to machines which may or may not have one jumping through hoops and browsing through menus to end up nowhere near anywhere near where they need you to be ..... and thus one concludes there be a definite lack of human interest at those particular and peculiar locations so one naturally ventures elsewhere, and somewhere foreign and exotic and erotic is always invariably nice and probably quite terrifyingly alien territory too to many, given the stern tests one would surely be subjected to if a stellar object of mutually beneficial, positively reinforcing desire. :-) Some though, who may or may not be just a few, would simply just love it and excel to excess with successful engagements there.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Funny thing is

    Funny thing is why didn't China turn it around and point out that the U.S. has similar legislation that forces network equipment vendors and telecoms to aid in spying and are even have secret security letters that prevent them from discussing or publishing about it.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Silver tongued devils are no funny daemons and can be priceless/invaluable ....

      ....... and highly prized and much appreciated in all the best of influential circles

      Funny thing is why didn't China turn it around and point out that the U.S. has similar legislation that forces network equipment vendors and telecoms to aid in spying and are even have secret security letters that prevent them from discussing or publishing about it. .... Anonymous Coward

      Probably concluded that it wasn't necessary, AC, as Uncle Sam has manufactured more than enough rope and is never content unless or until it has hanged itself, but that is only a guess/crazy opinion/likely valid reason offered with no clearly apparent evidence, however, whenever has that ever before stopped a crooked operation from operation, for as we know, having been told before and not so long ago too, in this three carriage train of sentences from one of Uncle Sam's finest .......

      "There's another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. It is basically saying the same thing in a different way. Simply because you do not have evidence that something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn't exist." ..... Donald Rumsfeld

      Indeed, in deed, it's a funny old world .... :-) RIP Margaret Thatcher :-)

  25. PanchoVilla

    Lets see now, Google spies on you,facebook spies on you,whatsup spies on you, Microsoft spies on you,.....Apple, Verizon,ATT,the NSA, they ALL spy on you, Cisco router are all compromised, ever heard of "PRISM", Edward Snowden told us that all "Five Eyes countries spy on us".

    Yet we blindly believe anything that comes from the USA.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re-write needed.......

    Quote: "But the US believes Huawei is an arm of China's government, enables its pervasive surveillance regime and human rights abuses, and is also a critical part of its intelligence apparatus."


    Needs a re-write:

    "But everyone believes the RSA, Cisco and Jupiter are arms of The USA's government, enabling its pervasive surveillance regime and human rights abuses, and is also a critical part of its intelligence apparatus."


    Pot and kettle (again)......but fixed.

  27. sitta_europea

    I have personally seen state-sponsored Chinese attackers siphoning live data from clients.

    In my experience, no American attacker has ever done anything like that.

    That's just my experience of course, but it does cover nearly three decades of Internet vigilance.

    I qualified as a Chartered Electrical Engineer in 1980. In the following four decades I have personally seen (and even unwittingly purchased) many illegally produced, unsafely made and fraudulently sold products -- many of which have carried forged BSI, CE, TUV and numerous other certification marks. There are several examples on my desk as I write this. They were [B]all[/B] made in China.

    I have [B]never[/B] seen anything like that made in the USA, nor for that matter made in Europe.

    The Chinese manufacturers with whom I have come into contact seem to me in general to be dangerous thieves, bare-faced liars and incorrigible criminals, and if I never see another Chinese-made product in my entire life it will be too soon.

    If that seems racist then I apologize, because I have nothing against anyone purely because of their race.

    It's because of how they behave.

  28. CJ Hinke

    BRICS, and backed by gold

    Honestly, the words “trust” and “business” are incompatible. Who, exactly, doesn’t trust China? Not consumers, they love cheap kit. Manufacters love China; without China’s tech & labour, they’d have to at least double the prices.

    Governments? Ah, here we’re geting somewhere. China is not part of Western designs on empire, particularly, ahem, America. China doesn't even partner with the World Bank. It founded the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) financial structure precisely for non-aligned emerging nations.

    BRICS member states have 42% of the world’s population, 23% of GDP & 18% of global trade. Scary, huh, neocons? (Pretty damn tired of that old, tired con, too.)

    Among them, China is the only country on the planet which backs its currency with physical gold. I'm no kind of right-wing libertarian, just stating a fact. From BRICS mission statement: “to promote peace, security, development and cooperation”. (Listen, we’re not having any of this airy-fairy nonsense!)

    China doesn’t play by America’s rules so Western nations profit less handsomely by them. Belt-and-Road takes care of international distribution even if the West pulls the plug.Huawei is a great, well-managed company producing quality kit for half-price—doesn’t that sound downright DANGEROUS!?!

    Okay, 5G, from Huawei or anybody else is complete nonsense but still; it would be a better solution to cancel 5G's adoption entirely & stick with 4G

    Would it ever upset the applecart if investors decided RMB based on gold was a safer bet than US green toilet paper, backed by promises.

    Lest you think this has some high-minded human rights & democracy implications, well, would you like fries with that? Privacy, hah: the USA already pwns YOU!

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