Enterprise

More countries consider banning Huawei and ZTE

China-phobia is back

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Throughout 2018, Huawei’s and ZTE’s stories have been tinged by cybersecurity issues. Across the globe, countries have discussed the companies’ potential for Chinese espionage. The story first broke out in the United States. Since then, US officials have bounced back and forth on whether both companies should be banned. In what was assumed to be a final swing, the United States reinstated Huawei and ZTE back into the American corporate world.

Now, more countries have picked up the pace. Australia, Japan, and the UK have recently declared their concern over Huawei’s security. Today, Germany joins in on the fun. All four countries are considering a total ban on Huawei’s hardware.

In all four nations, cybersecurity concerns appeared right before the dawn of 5G networking. Of note, Huawei and ZTE are important facets in the new network’s growth. Both are developing their own solutions to 5G networking. Facing a possible ban, they might have to look elsewhere to further their 5G dreams.

Discussions stem directly from China’s newly implemented National Intelligence Law. Within this law, China forces companies and individuals to serve the government when needed. The ruling breeds fear in other countries. Chinese companies operating within their borders can open a backdoor for China.

As the bidding game for every country’s first 5G network starts, Huawei and ZTE might have to step back. Particularly, Germany isn’t sure about a Chinese network building the infrastructure for the next generation of communication. As of now, no plans have been announced yet. However, the move will definitely come with repercussions in any of the four countries.

Besides network infrastructure, Huawei also has plans for other 5G hardware. Reportedly, the company will release its first 5G phone next year. Additionally, this phone will come with a foldable hinge, similar to Samsung’s own foldable phone.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 20 Review: The simpler sibling

Enterprise

TikTok has collected user information illegally

They know who you are

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For months now, the US has hounded TikTok for potentially enabling Chinese cyber espionage. ByteDance, TikTok’s owner, is a Chinese company, making it a prime target for data collection. Of course, despite the numerous warnings, TikTok’s transgressions have only started appearing en masse recently. Today, a new conspiracy adds another drop to the overflowing bucket. Unfortunately, it’s a big one. Apparently, TikTok has collected user information illegally for over a year. TikTok knows who you are.

Reported by the Wall Street Journal, TikTok collected and sent valuable MAC addresses and advertising IDs to ByteDance until around November of last year. Of note, Google prohibits this questionable practice, banning apps that practice the method. However, TikTok applied a layer of encryption that hid the practice from the Play Store.

For the unfamiliar, MAC addresses are much more valuable than IP address. While IP addresses constantly change, MAC addresses are more difficult to alter. Most users will usually cycle through the lifespan of a device without giving their MAC addresses a second thought. However, the MAC address is an incredibly unique identifier for your device. Only you should ideally have that address. That said, TikTok’s sketchy collection tactic is much weightier than normal.

According to TikTok’s policies now, the platform does not collect these identifiers anymore. However, it doesn’t bode well for long-time TikTok users since last year. At its most docile, the practice likely facilitated advertising opportunities for the platform. However, it is still highly illegal to collect that data without permission. If anything, the report will give cybersecurity pundits more ammo against the already struggling company.

More than a week ago, Trump had already signed a ban against the app, giving the platform only until September 15 to divest its American assets over to an American corporation.

SEE ALSO: French privacy watchdog is now probing TikTok

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Enterprise

Apple’s Tim Cook is now worth a billion dollars

Officially a billionaire

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A few years ago, Apple earned the highly distinguished status of becoming a trillion-dollar company. Without pausing to catch its breath, the company is already barreling towards the 2-trillion mark. Coinciding with his company’s success, Apple’s Tim Cook is now worth a billion dollars.

According to Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, Cook’s net worth has just passed the US$ 1 billion mark just as Apple’s shares substantially grew last week. Just recently, the company announced a 4-in-1 split for its stocks due to the success.

The Apple CEO’s new position in the success column is an interesting one. Unlike his peers in the industry, Cook is one of the few CEOs who did not found his own company. The current leader took over the reins from the late Steve Jobs back in 2011. Since then, Apple’s success skyrocketed to its current status today. Back in 2015, amidst all the riches he acquired, Cook promised to give away most of his money to philanthropic endeavors.

Apple’s recent success is a stroke of good news compared to other big tech companies in the US. Last week, the biggest tech CEOs faced an onslaught of antitrust issues surrounding the tech industry. For example, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg failed to defend his bullying and acquiring tactics to stomp competitors down. Though surviving this barrage, Apple is currently facing its own set of issues worldwide, including antitrust issues in the EU and a strange branding lawsuit in Canada.

If the current trend continues, Apple is set to ascend even further up the ranks of tech companies in the near future.

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Enterprise

WeChat ban can sink iPhone sales worldwide

Sinks by up to 30 percent

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Last week, President Donald Trump signed an official executive order banning TikTok and WeChat starting September 15. Though the spotlight is on TikTok, the pending WeChat ban can also impact the technology industry quite heavily. According to an analyst’s report, the WeChat ban can sink iPhone sales worldwide.

According to renowned Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo (via MacRumors), the impending ban will determine the iPhone’s fate in the Chinese market. WeChat, a platform owned by Tencent, is a popular messaging app in China. While the app’s presence is drastically lesser in other territories, Chinese immigrants also use the platform to stay in touch with relatives back in China.

If the ban passes, Apple’s App Store can potentially remove the app for all users around the world. Currently, the executive order’s wording is still vague. No one knows if a ban will remove WeChat from American iPhones or all iPhones all over the world.

In the best-case scenario wherein it’s only the US, global iPhone sales will likely drop by up to only 6 percent. This likely pertains to Chinese immigrants in the US. However, in the worst-case scenario wherein iPhones everywhere lose the app, Apple’s sales will sink by up to a whopping 30 percent.

Despite the overwhelming dominance of Chinese brands in China, Apple still retains a sizable share in the country’s market. Compared to last year, the American brand’s market share actually grew in size. If Kuo’s more pessimistic scenario comes to pass, Trump’s orders might have inadvertently doomed Apple’s business in China.

SEE ALSO: Apple is not interested in TikTok

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