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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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Samsung overtakes Huawei as the world’s top phone seller

Huawei falls drastically

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Amidst all the ongoing geopolitical turmoil, Huawei surprisingly rose above the competition and took the top spot in the food chain earlier this year. However, as expected, the Chinese company succumbed to the pressure. In the most recent ranking, Samsung overtakes Huawei as the world’s largest smartphone seller.

In April, Huawei took the lead by a sliver — 21 percent compared to Samsung’s 20 percent market share. Naturally, the lead, albeit small, was a surprise for the industry watchers. At the time, Trump’s Sinophobic initiatives were at an all-time high. Further, the ongoing pandemic didn’t help any Chinese brand at the time. Against all odds, Huawei still sold as much as it could.

However, times have changed. Most importantly, the American government finally banned Huawei from doing business with America-dependent companies without an approved license. That said, the company plunged drastically. As of August 2020, Huawei fell to just 16 percent market share, according to Counterpoint Research.

Meanwhile, Samsung slightly grew its share, going up to 22 percent. Despite only a small improvement, it was enough to upend Huawei at the top.

On the opposite side of things, Xiaomi took the other half of Huawei’s market share. From April’s 8 percent share, the Chinese company grew to 11 percent, putting it only a mark behind Apple’s 12 percent market share. As expect, other Chinese companies cannibalized the market left behind in Huawei’s absence.

Currently, Huawei is gearing up for a Mate 40 launch later this week, potentially boosting its sales in the short term. Of course, no one can tell at this point. The company is still banned under the current administration.

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Nokia is building a 4G network on the Moon

Lunar base by 2028

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For some parts of the world, internet speeds are either still spotty or completely non-existent. Though companies are trying to make 5G a thing, not everyone has access to decent connections yet. That said, the unlikeliest of places will get 4G coverage before anywhere else. Nokia is building a 4G network on the Moon.

As seen on their website, NASA has awarded funding for Nokia to build the Moon’s first 4G network. Costing US$ 14.1 million in funding, the new project will “support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds, and provide more reliability than current standards.”

In recent years, the American agency (and a few in other countries) has announced plans to return to the Moon. The return mission jumpstarts humankind’s eventual plans to go to Mars.

With the confirmed 4G deal, NASA edges closer to a working lunar base with live astronauts by 2028. The project will eventually help astronauts and researchers to send information back and forth to Earth much more efficiently.

Besides the Moon deal, Nokia has also committed to several projects in the burgeoning 5G industry, going head-to-head with the geopolitically controversial Huawei. Since then, the Finland-based brand has risen beyond its stable smartphone branch.

SEE ALSO: Nokia released its Android 11 roadmap

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OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei leaves the company

Reports suggest that he’s starting a new business venture

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Big changes may be coming soon to OnePlus. Sources indicate that OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has just left the company for a new venture.

A Reddit user first spotted the upcoming changes in OnePlus’ leadership. Apparently, the user was able to obtain some internal memos regarding who will lead a certain division of the company. In those memos, Carl Pei’s name is notably absent.

It is worth noting that the leader for the OnePlus Nord line is also different on the memos. Pei was formerly responsible for the development of the company’s midrange device. In his place is Emily Dai, who was in charge of the company’s operations in India.

TechCrunch reported that Pei has finally left the company to start out a new business venture. His departure was further confirmed by Android Centralciting two sources familiar with the matter.

OnePlus hasn’t yet responded to these reports, but it’s only a matter of time before the company reveals any leadership changes. The upcoming OnePlus 8T launch event could shine a light on this matter given that Pei was the “face” of the company, always appearing on major product launches. After all, rumors suggest that the upcoming event will also see the company launch two more Nord devices.

The departure of Carl Pei will surely impact the company for better or for worse. It was him, alongside Pete Lau, that catapulted OnePlus from a small, struggling company to a global Android brand with a penchant for disrupting the status quo.

However, this is not the first time that OnePlus saw a big move on its leadership. Last June, rumors suggested that Pete Lau took on a significant role for OPPO, balancing this against his current position as OnePlus’ CEO.

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