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A Chinese High School Recommend Students Buy Huawei’s Customized Mobile Phone

On May 11, a high school in Liuzhou City in China’s southwest Guangxi Province recommended that students purchase Huawei’s customized mobile phone, claiming that it can manage students’ mobile phone usage, automatically filter bad messages, and record student violations. According to photos that netizens provided, this customized version of the Huawei Nova4 mobile phone has a management platform that Huawei’s Wuhan Research Institute developed.

The phone has several major functions. It can manage students’ time by locking and unlocking the phone at different times, such as class time, lunch break, nightly bedtime, or holidays, so as to avoid students’ excessive usage. The system will also automatically filter 500 million pieces of “bad” website information related to pornography and violence. The school can distribute notices to students via its back-end, and if a student is given a “misconduct” in phone usage, the system will keep a record.

Although the high school’s deputy principal said that this was a recommendation at the request of parents and not a mandatory purchase, the news triggered heated discussion among Mainland netizens. Some people criticized Huawei for launching such a mobile phone at such a sensitive time. Some questioned, “Who gives Huawei the power to monitor the lives of others under the banner of serving the good of students?” Others joked that this is “buying and bringing ‘big brother’ home.”

Source: Central News Agency, May 13, 2019
https://www.cna.com.tw/news/acn/201905130106.aspx

China Mobile Denied after Eight Years of Waiting

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently reported that the U.S. FCC (Federal Communications Commission) unanimously rejected the application that China Mobile submitted in 2011 for it to become a communications service provider. The excuse was still the old-fashioned national security concern. In fact, in July of 2018, the U.S. Department of Commerce had already recommended that the FCC refuse China Mobile’s application. The FCC Chairman pointed out that China Mobile was owned by the Chinese government and it could collect U.S. intelligence for the Chinese government. He identified this as an unacceptable risk. However, in 2011, the China Mobile application only filed for the service scope of international telecommunications, instead of U.S. domestic communications. The U.S. government has since been dragging its feet on the review and approval process. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented on the matter and recommended that the U.S. government give up its Cold War mentality. It appears that this latest development is yet further evidence that shows the Trump administration is trying to make China’s entry into the U.S. market harder.

Source: Sohu, May 10, 2019
http://www.sohu.com/a/313048474_115479

Guangdong Police Found Massive Invasive Mobile Apps

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently reported that, in a recent focus investigation, the police from Guangdong Province discovered a large number of Chinese mobile applications that have stolen customer’s private information. In the first quarter of this year, Guangdong Province identified over 1,670 mobile apps that exceeded the proper scope and collected user information without permission. Key categories of these invasive apps were in the areas of TV and entertainment, the stock market, free novels, and money management. The apps collect user information like phone call logs, text messages, contacts lists, and other accounts. Abuse of the microphone and of video cameras is also a common practice. The Guangdong police activities are a part of a campaign that the Central Government Internet Information Office, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, and the General Administration of Market Supervision lead jointly.

Source: Sohu, April 30, 2019
https://www.sohu.com/a/311163491_120027127?sec=wd

VOA: Report Indicates Huawei Will Build a Chip Factory in Cambridge

The British Financial Times reported that Huawei plans to build a 400-person chip research and development plant in a suburb of Cambridge, England, and plans to start production in 2021.

According to the report, the plant will be located in the heart of the UK’s silicon chip industry, only 15 minutes from the headquarters of Arm Holdings, the UK’s largest chip design company. Huawei plans to use its plant to develop chips for broadband networks.

The U.S. has repeatedly warned that the Chinese government can use Huawei’s equipment for espionage and has urged allies not to use Huawei products in the construction of 5G networks.

The report said that, in order to win the support of local people, when Huawei announced the plan at a local junior high school last week, Huawei executives urged local residents to raise their concerns. They also claimed that Huawei could fund new medical centers or build bus stations locally.

A local resident told the Financial Times that the site that Huawei chose is an ideal location to monitor the British government. However, most locals have a positive attitude toward Huawei’s construction.

According to a report in the Financial Times, Huawei has thousands of employees in the UK, including about 120 in Cambridge. Also Huawei didn’t deny that it selected Cambridge as the chip factory site with the intention to gain access to Cambridge graduates.

Source: Voice of America, May 6, 2019
https://www.voachinese.com/a/huawei-to-build-chip-plant-in-cambridge/4903659.html

Netherlands Telecom Giant KPN Decided Not to Use Huawei 5G Equipment

Well-known Chinese news site Sina recently reported that the Netherlands’ largest telecommunications company, Royal KPN NV, announced recently that it will select a European supplier for its core 5G mobile network. KPN is one of the first set of companies that officially stated it would exclude Huawei for 5G. The United States is the one pushing for banning Huawei among its allies, citing national security concerns. Huawei denied any possibility of spying on customers because of Chinese government pressure. KPN explained that the decision of not choosing Huawei was based on the need to protect critical national infrastructure and the potential future impact it might have on the Netherlands policies. The government of the Netherlands has not made an official decision yet. However, the government formed a working group with KPN and other telecommunications companies to coordinate the risk management aspects of building the nation’s 5G infrastructure. In the past decade, Huawei has been one of KPN’s primary suppliers.

Source: Sina, April 26, 2019
https://t.cj.sina.com.cn/articles/view/2101850115/7d47b00302000fpb3

Qualcomm’s Chinese Joint Venture Is Closing Its Doors

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu recently reported that HXT-Semitech, the joint venture between Qualcomm and China’s Guizhou Province, is set to close its doors by the end of April. According to information leaked from within in an internal conference, HXT had already announced the closure  along with the employee layoff compensation plan. HXT CEO Wang Kai had already quietly left the company and many HXT staff had also started looking for other opportunities. HXT did not make any official information available; nor did Qualcomm or Guizhou Province. HXT was founded in 2016 with a joint investment of US$570 million from Qualcomm (with a 45 percent stake) and Guizhou Province (with a 55 percent stake). The company later established three bases in Guizhou, Beijing, and Shanghai. HXT planned to focus on designing ARMv8 64-bit server chips. In May last year, HXT announced the successful design of its Number 1 chip for commercial release. After the news of HXT’s closure was made public, experts expressed the belief that there is no shortcut to take in the field of core chip development.

Source: Sohu, April 21, 2019
http://www.sohu.com/a/309379318_343547?sec=wd