The political news cycle around Huawei over the last few weeks has been particularly active. As trade tensions between the US and China over the last year have risen, the company has become a focus-point for the US Justice Department.

Back in December in particular we saw the high-profile arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou in Canada on the grounds of an US arrest warrant. Meng is currently on bail in Vancouver as she awaits extradition hearings by Canadian justice. The primary charges against Meng surround accusations of Huawei circumventing US export sanctions against Iran by using a Hong Kong subsidiary “Skycom”, with Meng committing bank fraud by lying to US banks and trying to hide this connection. Huawei denies any of the asserted violations in the indictment.

Additional charges against Huawei were unsealed on Monday, with the US Justice Department further accusing Huawei of “trying to take a piece of a robot and other technology from a T-Mobile lab that was used to test smartphones”. The charge claims that the event took place in 2012 as Huawei engineers tried to take photos and measurements of an automated screen-tapping robot “Tappy”. Such testing robots have essentially become common place in the industry and are employed by many manufacturers and testing labs. The incident does sound odd in this regard as the technology involved isn’t particularly high-level or that valuable.

In a more recent rebuttal of the US’s accusations, Beijing’s foreign ministry had made a statement on state TV, as quoted by AP:

China called on Washington on Tuesday to “stop the unreasonable crackdown” on Huawei after the United States stepped up pressure on the tech giant by indicting it on charges of stealing technology and violating sanctions on Iran.

Beijing will “firmly defend” its companies, a foreign ministry statement said. 
….
The foreign ministry complained Washington has “mobilized state power” to hurt Chinese companies “in an attempt to strangle fair and just operations.”

“We strongly urge the United States to stop the unreasonable crackdown on Chinese companies including Huawei,” said the statement read on state TV.

Even though Huawei’s efforts in the US has seen major set-backs and the company essentially doesn’t see any major presence in that market, the company last year still managed to surpass Apple and take over as #2 smartphone vendor. Later in the same year, the company also managed to pass the 200 million mark of shipped smartphones for 2018, signifying an important step for the company’s consumer business.

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Source: AP News

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  • drwho9437 - Sunday, February 3, 2019 - link

    There are either a lot of naive people or a lot of people who want to help China's government line out... Why would Huawei want to steal from the US?

    Why did the USSR have spies in the Manhatten project?
    Where were core of the following invented:
    The telephone
    The laser
    Fiber optics
    The transistor
    The integrated circuit
    The cell phone
    The Smart Phone
    CDMA
    I could go on. Simply put the US has been the technological leader since surpassing Germany in scientific output. Many excellent Chinese (and other nationality) student come to the US. But simply put US culture towards innovation has so far proven the best. That doesn't mean it always will be but it is very natural for people to steal to try to catch up. China does steal. So does the US. The difference though is one of scale and cultural aversion to it. China's culture does not view intellectual property the same way, which makes the theft of it much more pervasive.
    Reply
  • thomasg - Sunday, February 3, 2019 - link

    Here we go:
    The telephone - Multiple times: Invented by Philip Reis in Germany, developed by Italian Antonio Meucci (later in the US; he was not speaking any English at the time)
    The laser - Albert Einstein in Germany
    Fiber optics - (Swiss) Daniel Colladon and (French) Jacques Babinet in France
    The transistor - (Austro-Hungarian) Julius Edgar Lilienfeld, early development in Leipzip, Germany, finished in the United States after his emmigration
    The integrated circuit - (German) Werner Jacobi in Germany
    The cell phone - The cellular part (all other parts were well-known before) at Bell Labs in the US
    The Smart Phone - Nokia in Finland
    CDMA - (Russian) Dmitry Ageev and (Russian) Leonid Kupriyanovich in Russia
    Reply
  • zmatt - Monday, February 4, 2019 - link

    That's straight up revisionist history.

    The telephone is credited to Bell because his actually worked. The experiments beforehand, while important and foundational did not make a viable technology outside of lab demos.

    Einstein did not invent the laser. He came up with the theoretical framework for the maser and laser but that isn't the same thing. Saying he invented the laser is the same as saying he invented atomic weapons. Which is ridiculous. The laser was developed by several teams in the US during the 1950's, primarily Bell Labs and Columbia.

    Fiber Optics were developed over a long period by many teams. It was truly an international effort.

    The transistor was invented by Bardeen, Schokley and Brattain at Bell Labs. Lilienfield made patents but didn't have any working examples and did not publish his research. Its easy to have an idea but to invent something means you have to make it work. Otherwise HG Wells would be credited with inventing just about everything from the 20th and 21st centuries.

    Same thing with Jack Kilby and his invention of the semiconductor. You have to make it to invent it. Jacobi submitted patents in Germany but didn't actually make any IC's.

    The first smartphone was by IBM and released in 1992.

    You are right about CDMA though. That is a Russian developed technology.
    Reply

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