Does anyone remember Gionee? Two years ago, the Chinese smartphone company promised the world’s most jam-packed phones. Whereas the world lived firmly in 2017, Gionee looked towards the future. Despite a lack of popularity, the company showed promise.
Over a year after the Gionee explosion, the company has seemingly lost its magic. Gionee has ceased making headlines, settling for meager sales in smaller markets. Now, they have finally fallen off into the deep end.
Currently, Gionee is facing potential bankruptcy. After churning out phone after phone, the company owes a ton of debt to its suppliers, agencies, and benefactors. At the time of this writing, the total debt already hovers around CNY 17 billion (or around US$ 2.5 billion).
Reportedly, the company already settled with its major partners. However, hundreds of others have not seen a single yuan yet. Twenty of which have already filed lawsuits against the company, clamoring for reorganization or liquidation.
To Gionee’s dismay, the company’s troubles are far from merely operational. Gionee chairman Liu Lirong has confessed to gambling company funds at a casino. The chairman apparently lost CNY 1 billion in the process. Laughably, Liu defended his choice. “I personally have no other income. It is inevitable that there will be some public and private activities, funded by the company,” he said in Chinese.
While a billion yuan is only a fraction of Gionee’s total debt, Liu’s gambling habits have cost trust as well. (Other reports have even upped this estimate to CNY 10 billion.) Gionee’s officials have, unsurprisingly, asked for his resignation.
Because of this brouhaha, Gionee is in disarray. The company’s future lies in the courtroom. If the company liquidates, another Chinese smartphone company bites the dust.
Huawei’s 5G technologies face potential ban in Europe
This could result in slow 5G rollout
The controversies and issues surrounding Huawei are far from over. Just last week, the telecommunications giant from China was charged by the US government with bank fraud, obstruction of justice, and theft of technology, among others. Things are not that different in Europe according to Reuters‘ latest report.
You might have heard about Huawei getting banned in certain countries including the US and Australia. These countries have restricted the Chinese company from building next-generation mobile networks or 5G infrastructure due to concerns regarding China’s National Intelligence Law which requires Chinese companies to cooperate willingly to the government when asked.
In Europe, a similar story may soon unfold as the European Commission is considering a de facto ban on Huawei’s 5G technologies within the European Union citing comparable concerns about security.
GSMA, a mobile communications industry body, is open to discuss these issues about Huawei in their next board meeting. The agenda, which was proposed by GSMA Director General Mats Granryd, will take place in late February during Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. MWC is the industry’s biggest annual gathering spearheaded by GSMA.
As a leader in telecommunications equipment, Huawei is already in partnership with a number of operators worldwide to put up 5G infrastructure. This means a ban will make a big impact on the 5G rollout, at least in Europe. As an example, Europe’s largest telecoms company Deutsche Telekom will have to delay their 5G plans by up to three years if they have to take Huawei out of the picture.
Huawei continuously denies the existence of any backdoor granting easy access to the Chinese government. The company and its founder also deny the allegation that they would spy for China.
Data breach affects almost 9,000 Globe prepaid subscribers
All because of free tickets
Exactly 8,851 prepaid users of Globe Telecom responded to a text promo registration, and now their personal info is available for strangers to see. It appears to be a case of “wrong-send,” but this is something that users shouldn’t ignore.
Globe sent a text blast among its prepaid subscriber base for registration to an “exclusive community of Globe Prepaid customers.” To encourage people to join, the telco is raffling off free tickets to a Blackpink concert, a popular K-pop group, in Manila.
Everything seems to be just another promotional offer. But, once the confirmation email was sent to those who registered, there has been mismatching and users received personal details of another user. The emails contained someone else’s name, full address, and email address.
Globe has already acknowledged the issue with a posted statement via its GlobeICON Facebook page:
Globe Telecom has rectified the issue with affected customers on sending wrong confirmation receipt to another individual and reported the incident to the National Privacy Commission in compliance with regulatory requirements. It was just a case of sending the data registration confirmation receipt to the wrong individual and was not sent en masse or as a group of data. It only affected prepaid customers who have registered to the On The List program to avail of concert tickets and other music venues of Globe events. About 8,851 customers were affected out of 60 million prepaid customers.
Globe Chief Information Security Officer Anton Bonifacio said: “The On The List registration site was taken down immediately to remove access to potential registrants at the time and we have notified all affected prepaid customers of the issue.”
In response, the National Privacy Commission confirmed that Globe has formally notified the concerned government agency regarding the data breach.
The NPC is now “evaluating the incident and verifying the information given to us, following our standard procedure.” They also suggest that affected subscribers monitor their online and offline accounts for any unusual activity while they are looking into the issue.
US officially charges Huawei with technology theft
And 22 other charges
After a tense year of tug of war, the US Justice Department has finally pressed charges against Huawei. For most of last year, Huawei languished in judicial and geopolitical limbo. Stemming from the US, Huawei’s problems drew from shady Iran deals and cybersecurity concerns. As a result, Huawei found itself on the receiving end of numerous controversies.
Now, the war against Huawei has reached a crossroads. A month ago, Canadian authorities arrested the company’s chief finance officer, Meng Wanzhou. The incident underscored the war’s international reach and political implications. However, Meng has so far tread on relatively safe waters. Both Canada and the US have settled for house arrests. Of course, Meng’s light sentence was only temporary.
Recently, the US government has charged Meng (and Huawei) for bank fraud, obstruction of justice, and technology theft, among others. This tremendous list contains several surprises; so far, the conflict revolved only around the Iran deal and Chinese ties.
Overall, Huawei is facing 23 charges. According to the US government, the company’s fraud case comes from the Iran deal. Allegedly, Huawei misled financial institutions and the government about its relationship with Iran. Additionally, Huawei supposedly stole T-Mobile’s technology for its own purposes. The technology includes finger-mimicking hardware that tests phone durability.
Politically, the US primarily worries about the company’s ties with China’s government. However, America’s latest tactic involves throwing everything apart from the kitchen sink. Among all the US’s strategies so far, the charges will potentially inflict the most damage on US-China relations. All eyes are now on Huawei to pull a miracle against a rampaging US beast.
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