Enterprise

Huawei exec arrested in Poland for spying

Huawei’s troubles continue

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New year, new you? Despite the new year, Huawei can’t move on from its tempestuous 2018. Last year, the Chinese company ran into a flurry of legal troubles across the globe. For one, the American government seeks to ban the company from its soil. Similarly, affiliated countries have joined in on the act. At the end of last year, Huawei was still reeling from potential and realized bans worldwide.

Now, add Poland to that list.


Recently, the Polish government arrested a high-ranking Huawei official. The official, Weijing Wang, is a Chinese citizen. He was arrested alongside a former high-ranking officer at Poland’s Internal Security Agency.

According to Polish officials, both detainees are accused of spying for the Chinese government. They will be detained for at least three months, facing potentially ten years in prison if found guilty.

In a statement, Huawei confirms that the company is “aware of the situation, and [they] are looking into it.” For the Chinese company, the arrest isn’t anything new. Late last year, Huawei’s chief finance officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver. (She has since been released on bail.) The recent arrest is another strain on the global trade war against China.

On the other hand, the Chinese government has also shared concerns over the arrest. China will also investigate the issue in due time.

Regardless, it’s not a good start to Huawei’s 2019. The company is still dealing with the fallout from its troubles last year.

If anything, Huawei enjoys success elsewhere. Last year, the company overtook Apple as the second-most valuable smartphone brand in the world. It will also launch heavily anticipated successors to last year’s successful P20 and Mate 20 series.

SEE ALSO: Huawei P20 drops to incredibly low price

Enterprise

Huawei secretly worked with North Korea on spying tech

Here we go again

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In the 2014 film The Interview, director Seth Rogen depicted North Korea as a backwards country incapable of basic human rights. The Hollywood depiction echoed the political sentiments of the present age — that North Korea falls behind most nations on several levels. Prejudices can, of course, be deceiving. According to a new report, North Korea isn’t the backwards country that everyone thinks it is.

Apparently, North Korea received invaluable help from outside technology — Huawei. As reported by The Washington Post, Huawei has secretly worked with the North Korean government for the latter’s wireless communications technology. Partnered with China-based Panda International, Huawei has engaged in North Korean business deals for at least eight years.


In 2008, then-leader Kim Jong Il discretely struck a deal with Huawei. The latter would help establish the North Korean telecommunications provider, Koryolink. Huawei became the country’s main provider for technology. The company even shipped employees to North Korea, establishing an inconspicuous office at a local hotel.

According to a telling internal document, Huawei’s assistance went beyond mere technology providing services. In 2008, North Korea asked Huawei for a spying algorithm; to which, the latter agreed. Huawei created an encrypted algorithm that allowed the government to intercept and monitor all calls made using Koryolink.

Huawei’s involvement went through all the protocols of secrecy. Internally, they struck all mentions of North Korea, hiding behind codes. (For example, “Country A9” would refer to North Korea.) Naturally, when America cracked down on North Korea in 2016, Huawei withdrew from all its North Korean offices, leaving current business deals hanging.

Huawei’s current troubles stem from its alleged involvements with blacklisted countries. Before its recent obsession with cybersecurity, the American government sought sanctions against Huawei for dealing with Iran and North Korea. The government, however, could never pin anything conclusive against the company. The recent ban stems from a different concern.

Of course, this latest report is a huge monkey wrench in the geopolitical machine. Both China-US and North Korea-US relations are already tense. Huawei’s North Korean involvement can potentially cause ripples throughout both fronts. For one, Trump already relinquished his iron grasp on Huawei recently. Will his tone change after today’s report? Will we see Huawei banned again? The Huawei saga continues.

SEE ALSO: Huawei is firing hundreds of workers

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Xiaomi makes the Fortune Global 500 list for the first time

It is the youngest company on the list

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How do you define a company’s success? For most people, success is landing the top spot: in being the best among competitors. Of course, there can only be one top dog. In chasing the number one spot, sometimes the journey is the success story in itself.

Backed up with years of experience, Xiaomi is making the necessary steps towards its own success story. For the first time in its nine-year existence, the Chinese company has made the Fortune Global 500 list of companies.


Currently, Xiaomi ranks as the 468th largest company, raking in a revenue of US$ 26,443.50 million and a net profit of US$ 2,049.10 million. In specific categories, Xiaomi is also the seventh-best company in the Internet and Retailing category.

At only nine years old, Xiaomi is the youngest company in the 2019 batch. It joins long-standing companies like Samsung (US$ 36,575.40 in net profit) and Apple (US$ 48,351.00 in net profit).

Additionally, Xiaomi is no stranger to Fortune’s lists. Back in June, the company also made the Fortune China 500 list, ranking 53rd overall. Needless to say, 2018 was a big year for the Chinese company.

Outside of Fortune, Xiaomi has made its mark elsewhere. Currently, the company is a huge player in international shipment and sales rankings. Xiaomi is on the rise. With a little luck, they should climb higher by the next fiscal year.

SEE ALSO: Xiaomi starts teasing Android One powered Mi A3

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We’re not replacing Android yet, Huawei says

HongMeng is not the replacement system

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Amidst the long-standing Trump saga, Huawei has quietly developed its own operating system. Or so we thought.

Weeks earlier, Google blacklisted Huawei from its services, heralding a premature end to the latter’s Android support. Naturally, Huawei needed a more reliable replacement. Besides third-party replacements, the company supposedly started developing a completely new operating system. According to rumors, the future system will carry the name “Ark” or “HongMeng.”


Of course, as we know now, Huawei’s landmark ban as short-lived. Recently, Trump reversed his decision. Huawei’s Android support lives on — at least, for the immediate future. However, despite the optimism, Huawei isn’t resting on its laurels. HongMeng’s rumor mill kept grinding news every day. Most notably, Huawei was reportedly gearing for a late 2019 launch.

Out of nowhere, Huawei has finally addressed the torrent of rumors. HongMeng isn’t an Android replacement. At least, not yet.

According to senior vice president Catherine Chen, the operating system is not designed for smartphone use. For the meantime, Huawei is working closely with Google for continued support.

In another report, chairman Liang Hua comments on the company’s indecision regarding the operating system. Huawei still hasn’t decided if HongMeng can fit into the Android ecosystem. Further, he clarifies the system’s true nature. Apparently, HongMeng is software meant for industrial IoT devices. Whatever Huawei’s replacement operating system is, it’s not HongMeng.

Regardless, Huawei’s HongMeng system should be a lessened priority for the company. Huawei is still riding on both optimism and a need for damage control. If anything, Huawei is tying up its loose ends before its next big move.

SEE ALSO: Huawei can still get banned again in the future

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