back to article Malaysia goes its own Huawei, won't ban Chinese vendor from 5G network

Malaysia could be putting itself on a collision course with the EU and US as the country looks set to allow Chinese suppliers including Huawei a chance to play a part in its planned 5G network rollout. The Southeast Asian nation said it will not interfere with commercial decisions made by telecoms operators in the country over …

  1. VoiceOfTruth

    Malaysia

    Showing it is an independent country. Unlike any country in the EU or the UK. Cue the usual threats from Washington.

    1. unimaginative

      Re: Malaysia

      Like any country that does notmake its own equpment, it just gets to choose who gets the spying opportunity.

      The UK chooses to buy from allies as the lesser evil.

      Malaysia has a less clear cut choice.

      Asian countries closer to China/threatened by China will probably not buy Chinese.

      1. LyingWest

        Re: Malaysia

        Truth is UK is an unofficial State of US hence these has never been a sovereign policy decision especially when it involved China. Has any decisions made by UK ever been in the best interest if the people and nation? And what lesser evil when Blair himself has not been trial for war crimes, one of the worse since WWII. Let's not forget the current batch of Brits war mongers

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Malaysia

          "unofficial State of US" not at all, UK people wouldn't have been stripped of their ability to defend themselves if they were.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @VoiceOfTruth

    Can't upvote you enough

  3. Yes Me Silver badge

    Well done

    One up for fair and open procurement policies based on price and performance, as advocated by capitalist theory.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ... decision by the new Malaysian administration to review existing plans for a single state-owned 5G network that has so far largely been built using technology from Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson.

    That rollout by state-owned telco Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) has been hit by numerous delays, and the current government is now looking to introduce a second 5G network to compete against it, according to previous reports.

    Should have tried cultural diplomacy - sweetening the deal by offering some of the surplus bored ape NFT's from the US stockpile.

  5. martinusher Silver badge

    Its geography

    Our journalists blithely state that this puts Malaysia "on a collision course with the US and EU" but maybe they should pause for a moment and ask themselves "What????". Obviously what they're implying is that if you don't do what the US says then there will be trouble. Everyone knows this but one problem with chucking your weight around all the time is that sooner or later someone's going to call your bluff. China has done this -- they're carrying on being China, interacting with other nations, trading and so on but at the same time ignoring our (the US's) government. We splutter and sanction, we try to enlist / bribe "allies" in the region and generally carry on like the empires of old, completely ignoring the history and contemporary realities of the region, all the while giving everyone a very good reason to ignore us as best they can.

    Malaysia is about as far away from the Anglosphere as its possible to get. How they build out their cell network should be no business of ours -- unless we've got superior equipment to sell them in which case they should decide based on its merits. However, given the way that we've demonstrated that we're likely to cut anyone off at the drop of a hat (or rather, some 'get tough on whatever' resolution in Congress, usually bought and paid for by a lobbyist and pushed through by some legislator that doesn't know his a$$ from his elbow) they'd be very foolish to rely just on us at the moment. They need a Plan B that's going to work.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Its geography

      >Malaysia is about as far away from the Anglosphere as its possible to get

      You mean they aren't rushing to rejoin British Empire 2.0 now the UK is free of the Eu ?

  6. Avon B7

    "untrusted suppliers". Now if that designation were to be the result of a concerted effort by industry experts based on hard data and agreed through consensus, it might carry some weight.

    As it stands though, that just isn't the case. It's a unilateral designation created by one country which is quite literally imposed on 'allies' and which is itself quite literally running scared of China taking the upper hand in key technology domains.

    "Dirty networks", "untrusted suppliers", "national security". There is a label for everything and none of it has ever stood up to scrutiny.

    A bit of pushback by sovereign nations is almost equivalent to an "up yours" from those who are just fed up with US antics which ultimately only have its own interests at stake.

    I see a bluff being called by some nations.

  7. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Factual discussion

    "Huawei believes that there should an objective and factual discussion about how risks in cyberspace can be mitigated."

    And I agree. The last audit I recall seeing of Huawei equipment, the worst they found was that some modules on it would have an up-to-date SSL version, while some other modules would have one that is somewhat out of date. But they found the same type of issues looking at telecom equipment from other companies too. No spyware, no unusual logs on the thing, no unusual network behavior. I mean, really, with the amount of traffic that goes through some of these things, even if the barest summary was being sent to Huawei or whoever someone would notice. (After all, if the equipment had a backdoor, how would they know what to request the equipment to send back without some kind of summary? Oh you (J. Random Politician) think it's sending everything do you? Yeah I'm sure it could send gbps of extra traffic with nobody noticing.)

    1. LyingWest

      Re: Factual discussion

      If every world problems are looked into based on facts and proofs, the Western world will be left with nothing as their arguments are always based on "Me Win" "You Lose" supremacy

  8. Spanners Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I remember

    When Trump started babbling on about how Chinese 5G was a bad thing, it seemed obvious to many that he wanted the (non-existent) US 5G industry to take up the slack.

    I have yet to hear a more plausible reason for banning Chinese kit. What 5G companies are there in the USA nowadays? I would give them an equally wide berth to Chinese ones.

  9. Avon B7

    The Bigger Picture

    The US claims of 'national security' threats have never stood up to scrutiny. They are in fact quite ridiculous.

    Internet data travels the world through gigantic fibre optic pipelines. Many of those are built, deployed and managed by Huawei and its partners or subsidiaries. Thousands upon thousands of kilometres. We all know that in case of a major worldwide conflict those lines will be cut. Until such a moment happens, let's look for cases of Huawei siphoning off huge chunks of internet transport data to China.

    We may look until the end of time for any such evidence. None has been found in the last 35 years and Huawei now handles around a third of the world's ICT transport needs.

    Is that surprising?

    Of course it isn't!

    The first sign of any such abuse (with evidence to support) would spell Huawei's instant and utter death. It would be the end. Is there a single reason for them to run that risk? Nope and believe me, if the US had any, it would just sit on it.

    Government actors are another story but here, it is the US, with its habit of falling foul to some of the most gigantic and embarrassing leaks in modern history, that is carrying a huge 'Never trust us for anything' banner.

    You can argue that, as a sovereign state it can do whatever it pleases with regards to China, just as China has done the same but we know what the US has been up to. We know about Operation Shotgiant. We know about Crypto AG.

    But still, within US borders it's their country and their rules.

    What is weird is that you can't buy a Huawei phone easily within the US for national security reasons but you can buy one from other Chinese vendors. Why? Isn't the Chinese government digging into all Chinese tech companies? That's the US claim, at least.

    Huawei cannot ship phones with US 5G components but can buy 5nm processors from US companies. Does that make any national security sense? Nope.

    The reason is not national security. The reason is protectionism because the US woke up with a jolt to Chinese advances in just about every area of modern technology and the supply lines to bring that technology to market.

    The US just didn't see the importance of 5G until it was far too late and by then a lunatic had already taken over the asylum.

    The ball was set rolling, and hawk after hawk walked up to the mic in Congress and any other political stage willing to give them a voice, to tell us how bad Huawei and the Chinese government was.

    Trump, Barr, Rubio, Pence et al. All utterly clueless, as made clear by some of the most preposterous technology proposals ever made, in an effort to stop China from advancing.

    Ironically, at the very same time, the US was demanding more trade from China.

    Having failed in their ultimate goals, and in spite of knee-capping homegrown US tech interests in the process (just listen to what the CEO of Nvidia had to say on that this week), it turned its attention to sovereign nations and tried the age old tactic of pressganging. Using government bullying to push sovereign governments to impose limits on their own commercial interests via private or public companies, which invariably involve China as a major revenue source.

    The usual 'it's us or them' rhetoric. Where have we heard that before?

    So now we see, over and over again, that any international advance by Huawei or China is swiftly met by the sending of a US delegation of loons to throw some threats around.

    Johnson buckled. Australia got itself in a right royal mess. Canada the same but they both got screwed for different reasons in the end. Just look at the Auckus Nuclear Submarine deal.

    That's how the US does business. By pulling the rug out from underneath supposed allies to support its own cause. Expect Macron or who follows him to poke a finger up the collective US/UK/Australia ass for that mess.

    At the earliest opportunity Macron was in China.

    Was the US behind Nord Stream 2's sabotage? Nobody knows but Scholtz took no time to visit China either (with the CEOs of major German companies filing in behind him).

    The CEO of Vodafone UK made it clear four years ago that eliminating Huawei from UK 5G networks (leaving just two major suppliers) would distort competition, increase prices and slow down the 5G roll out in the UK.

    That in turn would put a stick in the spokes of the economic fruits to be had from 5G as part of the digital industrial revolution.

    That applies to all nations that decide to follow US 'orders'.

    There are now claims (Nikkei) that the Huawei ban has cost industry over one hundred billion US dollars around the world.

    If Malaysia sticks two fingers up to the US, then that is admirable if they want to take their own decisions. Let them do it. Shame on Boris for not doing the same.

    The middle east, parts of Africa and Latin America are doing just that.

    Parallel to all this (and a direct consequence of US policy decisions) we may start to see the de-Americanisation of technology to 'free' companies from weaponised, extra-territorial sanctions of the US. That boomerang will be back.

    Original estimates put the task at around five years. Counting from 2019, we may be seeing non-Chinese companies completely removing any remnants of US origin technology to free themselves of the shackles of unilateral sanctions.

    Of course, the Chinese started that process years ago and have only accelerated efforts since then.

    Rumours claim Huawei will be releasing updates to it's entire chip line in the second half of this year. That's Kunpeng, Tiangang, Kirin, and Ascend among others. The company has, in a rather round about way, denied the rumours so we'll have to wait and see.

    In AI, Huawei's Pangu is making great strides with Pangu-Σ model already reaching the trillion parameter milestone (and on older Ascend 910 clusters).

    Pangu was also used in the development of Drug X, currently undergoing clinical trials.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Malaysia has plenty of motivation to not rely entirely on China:

    When Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim made his first official visit to China earlier this month, Chinese officials questioned Malaysia’s oil and gas exploration within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the South China Sea. China was concerned that state-owned energy company Petronas “carried out a major activity at an area that is also claimed by China,” Anwar said in response to a parliamentary question on April 4. Anwar said he told his Chinese counterparts that Malaysia considers the area Malaysian territory and “therefore Petronas will continue its exploration activities there”.

    That's why they agreed to plans for a single state-owned 5G network that has so far largely been built using technology from Swedish telecoms giant Ericsson". But that "has been hit by numerous delays, and the current government is now looking to introduce a second 5G network to compete against it, according to previous reports". Well, duh.

    Try again when the West the telecom mfg capacity to actually build it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So you don't think it wasn't a case of "let Huawei build your second 5G network and maybe something nasty wont happen to your oil and gas operations in the South China sea"?

      As for the rest of the comments, it is touching to see so much naivety all in one place, that's got to be worth a Yuan or two.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Carry on buying Nokia and you won't see any viking longships attacking your oil and gas operations

        1. LyingWest

          Using Nokia will not get you any signal hence the safety feature supremo

      2. CrackedNoggin Bronze badge

        I'm not sure I understand you. Do I think the US ambassador and EU delegation were making "threats"? No, I think they were just being honest. I also think the Malaysian side is being honest in saying that the lack of progress in Ericsson's work is unacceptable. Honestly, Malaysia is probably very low, if not the bottom, on Ericsson's work priority list, and they won't react to this by making it a higher priority, but by dropping it, although that's not much of a change.

        A recent article in Forbes you should read: "FOIA records show state governments and local police are buying thousands of Chinese drones made by DJI and Autel, flying them all over the East Coast. Marco Rubio says there’s “no excuse.”"

        Or this from Silicon.co.uk: "US Carriers Ask FCC for $5.6bn For Chinese Kit Replacement. US carriers ask for billions more dollars than the $1.9 billion initially offered by the US to replace all Huawei equipment"

        Sooner or later there is going to be some kind of trouble around Taiwan, shipping insurance there will skyrocket, and good luck getting a new motherboard after that, not to mention things chemotharapy medicine which China is now supplying through an emergency declaration by the FDA, necessary because the Indian Company Intas was found to be extremely negligent during an on site inspection, where bags of hand shredded quality control documents were found doused in acid and hid under stairs. ("Burn after reading: FDA blasts Intas for 'cascade of failure' after investigators find heaps of shredded documents").

        The first priority should be to attack and neutralize the lobbying power of shareholders who insist on outsourcing US health and security - of course taking care to minimize collateral damage beyond what's necessary.

        1. LyingWest

          Correct and mind your own business and settle the mess in your own country first. Western countries ambassadors have not function in a proper manner disrespecting countries who stands soverign. Why not the Malaysia Ambassador harras the US Senate and Congress on a daily basis on racism, gun violence, Asian hate, incarceration of minorities in the millions, illegal wars, occupation and invasion?

      3. LyingWest

        Show one case of a major issue using Huawei's 4G not only in O&G but any other industries? Shooting off your foul mouth will not change facts.

  11. Persona

    The lesser evil

    When it come down to getting the kit from the US or China its a hard call. It's widely rumored (largely by the US) that China could use it for the purpose of spying as opposed to the US kit where thanks to the Snowdon disclosures we know that the US can and does use it to spy on friends and enemies alike.

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