Why are Huawei smartphones banned from the United States?
|Why huawei is banned|
Fear of espionage or protectionism?
Six years after the ban on the equipment of Huawei's telecommunications division, the smartphones of the Chinese manufacturer are about to be banned in turn.
The House Intelligence Committee, which oversees US intelligence agencies, in 2012 accused Chinese equipment manufacturers Huawei and ZTE of threatening national security. These agencies were well placed to imagine that foreign equipment could be used for espionage, since that is exactly what the same agencies were doing on their side with American equipment, as part of the Prism scandal revealed by Edward Snowden.
The Commission therefore banned their network equipment, but not their consumer products, such as telephones, tablets or watches.
Six years later, they are about to be banished in their turn. Number three worldwide, behind Samsung and Apple, Huawei had just set out to conquer the American market with its Mate 10 Pro. But after AT & T and Verizon in January, Best Buy could yield to political pressure and fail to Huawei, according to a CNET source. The Mate 10 Pro would then no longer be available from any US operator, the main smartphone acquisition channels in the United States, and would disappear from the largest chain of electronics stores in the country. It is still referenced by Amazon and Newegg.
Espionage or protectionism?
Why is Huawei gradually being excluded from the United States? According to US intelligence agencies, it is mainly for fear of spying. They believe that Huawei, founded by a former engineer of the Chinese army, is in the pay of power. Recall that the Trump administration wants to build a federal 5G network for the same reasons.
But some mention other reasons. A former adviser to the Chinese consulate in New York, quoted by the South China Morning Post, believes that the failure of Huawei reflects growing fears of US authorities regarding Chinese investments:
"The United States is very concerned about the China's high-tech industry is growing, fearing that US technology will be transferred to China through mergers and acquisitions. "
Others are still pushing for protectionism: as iPhone sales slow in China, the authorities would seek to balance the trade balance by limiting imports of Chinese products.
Huawei also banned from Canada?
The risk of banishment also weighs on Canada. Three former directors of the Canadian intelligence services actually call the authorities to follow the United States. But Canada's interior minister told The Globe newspaper that Huawei was controlled and did not pose a risk to Canada's security.
Huawei could also be banned by Belgium
What is the problem with the Chinese telecom giant?
The Center for Cybersecurity Belgium (CCB) is considering the possibility of banishing Huawei in Belgium, like many including the United States, report Belgian newspapers this Friday. The subsidiary of the Chinese telecom giant in our country reacted: "We are working perfectly according to regulations," said his spokesman. Back on a case with political, economic and diplomatic perfumes
More and more countries are critical of Chinese network and mobile giant Huawei, whose infrastructure is suspected to be an open door for espionage by the Chinese state and its military.
It all started with the United States, which has always banned the use of Huawei's hardware (GSM antennas, smartphones, etc.). Officially, they suspect risks for their cybersecurity. In reality, it is more than likely that this is an economic and diplomatic war: the US does not want to leave their mobile network in the hands of Chinese actors. The trade and protectionist war between China and the United States since the arrival of Donald Trump obviously does not help the situation.
This American fear has come back on the scene since the arrest of a senior official of the Huawei Group in Canada. This is Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of the founder and current chief financial officer (among other responsibilities). Washington accuses him of not respecting an embargo with respect to Iran. Behind, there are stakes and political and diplomatic (the founder of Huawei had links with the Chinese army). Washington is probably trying to pressure and rally other countries in its "war" against the Chinese telecom giant. For the moment, the USA are imitated by Australia, New Zealand and Japan, which has just announced that Huawei and ZTE (a Chinese competitor of Huawei) could no longer be present at the level of the equipment of the administration.
Finally, to further aggravate the situation, there is the 5G that lands next year. The standards of this mobile technology that will revolutionize our Internet connections are not yet established, and so there is another war going on at this level, that are engaged in East and West.
That being said, the facts are there: there is no evidence of espionage from China via Huawei's networks for now.
In Belgium, "plans" to ban Huawei
In Belgium, the Center for Cybersecurity is planning to ban any activity from the supplier of Proximus and Orange Belgium (Telenet / Base uses the equipment of another Chinese, ZTE). "We have recently asked, through national and international channels, for objective studies that show that the use of Huawei's technology is risky," says CWB boss Miguel De Bruycker in the Echo. "We made contacts at the academic, civil and official level".
The goal is to conduct a clean and objective analysis of the risks. "In order to issue for our country a substantiated opinion about Huawei," concludes Miguel De Bruycker.
In France, as explained by the specialized media Les Echos, Huawei has had to respect certain rules dictated by the authorities, but it can operate in full transparency. The Chinese company is very active on the networks of SFR and Bouygues.
"Nothing to fear" 😊
Is Huawei spying on the entire world (except the United States) with his telecom equipment? For now, there is no evidence, but the Chinese company has been working with operators around the world for many years. Hard to believe that this spying would take place without anyone noticing.
In addition, the financial stakes are huge for Huawei, a symbol of Chinese capitalism. Why would the company take the risk of seeing its empire crumble, by putting its infrastructures at the service of espionage?
But remain cautious: China remains a country apart, with a single party (and "communist") at its head, and is not one of the nation’s open to the world, the most transparent on its internal and external policies ...
"We have nothing to fear, we work perfectly according to the regulations, which are particularly strict concerning network infrastructures," said a spokesman for the Belgian subsidiary of Huawei.
"In and of itself, we cannot have anything against such an investigation (that of the CCB, Ed.) There is not yet the least evidence that we have done any fault whatsoever. We are active in more than 170 countries and we submit to local regulations ".
The company also denounces a political game.