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Information/Technology

SMIC’s Claim of Having No Military Tie Is Questionable

Taiwanese news site NewTalk recently reported that U.S. Pentagon officials advised that the Trump administration is considering blacklisting Chinese domestic chip maker SMIC due to its ties to the Chinese military. This could cause major damage to the Chinese chip-making industry, since SMIC is China’s largest and the most advanced chip manufacturer. It is also Huawei’s only hope for low-end chip supply. SMIC has issued announcements claiming it has no relationship with the Chinese military. However, according to Mainland media reports, SMIC was the sole manufacturer for the KD5660 Level-A network exchange chip designed by a company named ArmyFly, which is headquartered in Beijing and is dedicated to serving the Chinese military with focuses on army information network and equipment innovation. The KD560 chip even won the highest award issued by the Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission. ArmyFly’s customers are all military branches and SMIC, as its award-winning chip supplier, now declares it has nothing to do with ArmyFly.

Source: NewTalk, September 10, 2020
https://newtalk.tw/news/view/2020-09-10/463575

Micron Announced Cut-Off of Supply to Huawei

Well-known Chinese news site NetEase (NASDAQ: NTES) recently reported that Micron, Huawei’s sole primary memory and flash memory supplier for 20 years, announced compliance with the U.S. ban on Huawei. This is another major blow to Huawei’s supply chain after TSMC’s similar announcement. Micron is the world’s largest semiconductor memory vendor. Micron, Samsung and Hynix together own 95 percent of the world’s DRAM market. Micron is also one of the six vendors that together hold 99 percent of the world’s NAND flash memory market. The only hope Huawei has now is to obtain domestic support from Yangtze Memory Technologies for NAND, ChangXin Memory Technologies (CXMT) for DRAM, and Jinhua Integrated Circuit (JHICC) for DRAM. However, the U.S. already banned JHICC in 2018, due to a lawsuit that Micron filed for unauthorized use of intellectual properties. Yangtze Memory’s manufacturing process depends heavily on high-end equipment like the mask aligners from the Netherland’s SAML, which also uses U.S technology. If the U.S. blacklists the other two Chinese domestic suppliers, Huawei will face a death sentence on the memory side too, in addition to the central processing chips.

Source: NetEase, September 2, 2020
http://dy.163.com/article/FLJ48FM70517M7S3.html

Google and Facebook Gave Up on Hong Kong Submarine Cable Plan

Well-known Chinese news site Sohu (NASDAQ: SOHU) recently reported that the Google and Facebook joint venture plan of laying new submarine cable now officially dropped the U.S.-to-Hong Kong segment. The two quickly adjusted and submitted a new plan to connect with the Philippines and Taiwan. The adjusted pacific fiber cable plan eliminated the earlier partner named Pacific Optical Data Communications, headquartered in Hong Kong. The move was in response to the objection from multiple U.S. government organizations, including the FCC and the Justice Department, as well as several U.S. national security agencies. In April, Google obtained a six-month temporary permit to proceed. The new plan is the official amendment to the original application. The FCC confirmed the national security concerns. Google validated the report and ensured the public that the application is going through the proper channels for final approval. A Facebook representative encouraged people to check the official FCC filing information for more details.

Source: Sohu, August 30, 2020
https://www.sohu.com/a/415573819_99956743

SETN: Indian Government Is Silently Removing Huawei

Sanlih, one of the primary Taiwanese TV stations, recently reported that, with the worsening of the China-India relationship, the movement inside the Indian government to eliminate Huawei’s presence in India has been expanding quietly. Although India has not officially announced a ban on Huawei and ZTE, yet multiple central government ministers have been telling the Indian domestic telecommunications companies to avoid deploying equipment made in China, including 5G network equipment. A high-ranking executive from India’s top communications service provider said the government has already blocked all Chinese bidders from having access to India’s 5G network tests. “It’s now very clear – it’s game over,” said this anonymous source. India is the world’s second largest mobile telecommunications market, with 850 million users. Huawei was established as a major supplier for all three of India’s top telecommunications providers. If the government were to ban Huawei, it would be a massive setback for Huawei. Another government source suggested that India may not issue an official ban to avoid angering China; however, the Modi administration has been “on high alert.”

Source: SETN, August 25, 2020
https://www.setn.com/News.aspx?NewsID=802871

TechNews: Huawei Urges Suppliers to Ship before the U.S. Ban

Taiwanese technology news site TechNews recently reported that Huawei has lately switched to “survival mode” and is trying to establish a large enough chip stock before the U.S. ban takes effect on September 14. According to sources familiar with the matter from among Huawei’s key Taiwanese suppliers, namely MediaTek, Realtek, Novatek and RichWave, Huawei has been calling suppliers at 4 AM in the morning or setting up midnight teleconferences urging them to sending shipments. Samsung, SK Hynix, and even optical lens manufacturers are also rushing their shipments due to the fact that all these vendors use U.S. technology. In some cases, Huawei obtained agreements from suppliers to ship half-made products or products that have not yet passed the quality assurance (QA) processes. However, one of the largest Huawei suppliers, MediaTek, issued a statement clarifying that they will not ship any products without QA. Some companies declined to comment on the inquiry.

Source: TechNews, August 26, 2020
https:// technews.tw/2020/08/26/huawei-in-survival-mode-as-suppliers-race-to-beat-us-deadline/

LTN: Huawei Came up with New Method to Avoid U.S. Sanctions

Major Taiwanese news network Liberty Times Network (LTN) recently reported that, with the United Stated continuously tightening up sanctions against Huawei in order to cut off its chip-making capabilities, leading U.S. Electronic Design Automation (EDA) vendor Synopsys saw strong growth. The source of the growth came mainly from China. Many integrated Circuit (IC) companies in China suddenly started purchasing chip design software on a large scale. This type of software is on the Huawei sanction list, so Huawei can no long purchase licenses. Synopsys, along with two other U.S. companies Cadence and ANSYS, plus the German vendor Siemens, control over ninety percent of the global chip design software market. Chinese local governments were also found to be purchasing U.S. EDA software. IT Experts from Japan expressed the belief that it is highly likely Huawei can use Chinese chip design firms to perform the design work previously done by its own branch named HiSilicon. All it takes is for HiSilicon to send a group of semiconductor engineers to a small local firm to bypass U.S. sanctions on software completely.

Source: LTN, August 21, 2020
https://ec.ltn.com.tw/article/breakingnews/3267514

CCP Controlled Media Attacked Zuckerberg

The U.S. Congress held a hearing on the how the Chinese government steals U.S. Technology. Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook, was the only CEO among the four at the hearing who stated firmly that China definitely steals U.S. technology.

As a result, an article criticizing Zuckerberg was published widely on Chinese media. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) controls all media in China. The article was titled, “This ‘TikTok Slaughter Battle’ completely tore off Zuckerberg’s mask as the ‘Chinese people’s good son-in-law.’” Since the parents of Zuckerberg’s wife Priscilla Chan were Chinese refugees who fled Vietnam, Beijing had been calling Zuckerberg “the Chinese people’s good son-in-law.”

The article said that Mark Zuckerberg (of Facebook), Tim Cook of Apple, Sundar Pichai of Google, and Jeff Bezos of Amazon participated in the hearing remotely.

A congressman asked, “Do you think that the Chinese government steals U.S. technologies?”

Cook, “No.”

Pichai, “No.”

Bezos, “I only heard it on newspaper, but it didn’t happen to Amazon.”

Zuckerberg, “I believe that China’s stealing technology from U.S. tech companies is well-documented.”

The article then said that Zuckerberg had tried many things for several years to get Beijing to let Facebook enter China, but after he could not do it, he revealed his true face and, last year, became hostile towards China.

The article blamed him for having a double standard when closing several Facebook accounts, which Zuckerberg said to be connected to the Chinese government, for spreading “fake news” about Hong Kong; for using the “China threat” theory to promote his virtual currency; and for trying to destroy TikTok, his rival.

Source: 163.com, August 4, 2020
https://news.163.com/20/0804/14/FJ6NPPE60001899O.html