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Huawei can still get banned again in the future

Ban’s lift only temporary, official says

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By now, the whole Huawei situation is more confusing than anything. Naturally, Trump’s initial announcement ushered in a wave of optimism across the industry. Huawei was finally free once again. The company’s reinstatement should have ended the entire saga. Unfortunately, things aren’t going as planned.

As reported earlier, the American government still held on to the Chinese company. Despite assenting to Trump’s announcement, US lawmakers kept Huawei on their blacklist. Huawei is still in political limbo.

Finally, the US has announced an official statement regarding the ban’s lifting. According to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, the government will issue trade licenses to approved companies who deal business with Huawei. The licenses will depend on whether a product is a threat to national security. Unfortunately, this isn’t a crystal-clear definition. Ultimately, government officials will subjectively judge products according to their own whims.

If anything, the relaxed ban will likely save Huawei’s consumer business. The company’s consumer devices aren’t the government’s focus right now. The government will likely issue consumer licenses much more liberally.

Unfortunately, the relaxed ban might mean nothing in the long run. According to economic adviser Larry Kudlow, the reversal is only “for a limited time period.” In other words, Huawei isn’t out of the woods yet. Should trade talks fall apart (or if Trump decides so), the government can ban the company once again.

Currently, Trump is negotiating trade policies with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. The fate of the US-China trade war is still up in the air. Accordingly, Huawei is still clamped in American jaws as a bargaining chip. Huawei’s troubles just can’t seem to end. Will we ever see the end of the war against Huawei?

SEE ALSO: Our security shouldn’t only be Huawei’s price to pay

Enterprise

Sophos and Qualcomm are teaming up to secure 5G PCs

AI-enabled protection against cyberattacks

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Sophos, a British cybersecurity company, has announced that it will provide its Intercept X software for 5G PCs powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon compute platforms. Called the Intercept X, it’s an endpoint protection suite that helps prevent malicious code deployment such as ransomware.

“The combination of Sophos Intercept X with Snapdragon compute platforms will provide users next-generation security through an always-on, always-connected PC environment,” the companies said in a statement.

The sophisticated software is capable of protecting advanced systems and endpoints via deep learning AI capabilities. The system can inspect and scrutinize files from hundreds of millions of samples to identify and neutralize threats that haven’t been seen before.

In case of a ransomware attack, Intercept X can detect and block foreign encryption processes to protect the device and data. It’ll also use Connected Standby technology to constantly communicate with other Snapdragon-powered devices so that unknown processes are limited and data won’t be compromised when the PC goes offline.

Since Qualcomm’s platform is designed for portable computing, Intercept X shall use AI acceleration through the Qualcomm AI Engine to optimize the device’s performance and ensure minimal battery loss.

Lastly, it’ll be able to harness hardware-level root of trust to ascertain device and cryptographic integrity. According to the firm, the Snapdragon processor series — used to power light, 5G PCs — will come in useful in combating security blackspots as the software will leverage connected standby functions.

“Now, in addition to enabling always on, always connected PC experiences, our 5G-enabled Snapdragon compute platforms bring next-generation security innovation rooted in our advanced AI and 5G connectivity capabilities,” said Miguel Nunes, senior director Product Management, Qualcomm.

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Xiaomi announces three new manufacturing plants in India

Two for smartphones and one for smart TVs

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Xiaomi announced it’ll be opening three new manufacturing facilities in India to boost its local presence and supply chain. Two of them shall be dedicated to smartphones while the third ones for smart TVs.

Xiaomi’s India Head and Global Vice President, Manu Kumar Jain, said that 99 percent of its smartphones sold in India and 100 percent of its televisions will now be manufactured within the country.

In a briefing to GadgetMatch, he said that Xiaomi has been assembling phones and TVs in India for a while now. But many components are still imported, and the company is trying to reduce this as much as possible. Xiaomi has partnered with DBG India, and its plant in Haryana is already functional.

The second facility will be set up in Tamil Nadu by Chinese electronics maker BYD. The two plants are strategically located to ensure the supply chain runs smoothly across the country. For the smart TVs, Xiaomi has tied up with Hyderabad-based television manufacturer Radiant.

The Chinese phone maker has already tied up with Foxconn and Flex for smartphones and Dixon Technologies for televisions. Jain even went on to say that a vast majority of the phone components that include printed circuit board assembly (PCBA) and sub-boards, chargers and battery, back panels are domestically manufactured in the country.

Jain also proudly said in the briefing that Xiaomi now employs 60,000 people in India via its many facilities, retail units, and back-end operations. Xiaomi’s investment in India isn’t surprising because it has been serious about the market for years and has solidified its standing as an indisputable leader.

The Indian government recently kicked-off a billion-dollar scheme to encourage local sourcing. Also dubbed Production Linked Incentive (PLI), the government is ready to offer subsidies and tariff reliefs for companies that are open to localization. The program has worked wonders for companies on the electronics front, and thousands of jobs are being generated.

Despite competition from Samsung, realme, OPPO, and vivo, the company has largely remained unscathed. However, the brand is still in warm waters due to geopolitical instability between India and China. The anti-China sentiment has affected many Chinese players like Huawei, TikTok, Alibaba, and more. But Xiaomi and other mobile phone markers have avoided controversy by amalgamating with the local market and the workforce.

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Biden wants to make US tech ‘China-free’

Will affect chipsets and EV batteries

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For the past four years, the Trump administration has tried to severely impede the rapid expansion of Chinese companies on American soil. For the most part, Trump was largely successful in firing a horrific warning shot especially with Huawei as an example. Now that Trump is finally out of office, Chinese tech companies are hopeful that the Biden administration will be more lenient. Unfortunately, that might not be the case. According to a report, Biden is making the American tech industry “China-free.”

According to Nikkei, Biden is in the process of signing an executive order which will jumpstart a supply chain without China’s help. Instead, the United States will tap into partners in Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.

Currently, the plan will include semiconductors and EV batteries. Though the plan doesn’t include everything related to smartphones, it will ensure China-free chipsets going forward especially for Apple and Google. With enough resources and ties, the China-free goal should be feasible enough for the biggest American companies. However, for those without such resources, China might already be way too ingrained in how certain companies operate their business.

No one knows how the supposed deal will impact any Chinese companies already trying to succeed on American soil. However, a China-free supply chain might ruin business for Chinese suppliers.

SEE ALSO: iPad and MacBook production to shift from China to Vietnam

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