News

ZTE is in panic mode after US imposes trade ban

MediaTek pledges help but is it enough?

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We’re in the endgame now. After suffering through the turmoil of the past few months, ZTE is now feeling the full force of government intervention.

Since last year, the Chinese-born company has found itself embroiled in a controversy involving US politics. The United States government accused the company of selling its merchandise to Iran, a no-no country for US imports.

Since the accusation, ZTE has pleaded guilty, initially agreeing to fire the erring employees. However, the company has failed to do so. Now, they face a US ban that threatens to eradicate their business for at least seven years, if not forever.

Following up on its warnings, the US has banned ZTE from doing business within the territory, from selling phones to buying parts for them. The company is now in the fallout, enlisting a crisis team to handle the massive issue.

The ban has ensured that ZTE can’t rely on Qualcomm, Dolby, and Google products anymore. They have yet to find adequate replacements. However, the Taiwan-based MediaTek has already secured a permit to supply the company with fresh parts to replace Qualcomm.

For a finnicky industry when it comes to specs, getting new parts isn’t as easy as a 1-2-switch. For example, ZTE’s premium handsets rely on Qualcomm’s more powerful chops. Further, a switch from Qualcomm to MediaTek heavily affects public perception.

Currently, ZTE is in negotiations with the US government to reverse the ban. They have also requested US telcos to retain stock space for them, should the ban be reversed.

However, the future remains bleak for the tech company. Without US sales or parts, the company has halted to a standstill. While they can still sell to other countries, the withdrawal of US parts has taken their toll on ZTE’s sales.

According to some reports, employees are left without things to do, despite still reporting to work. ZTE officials, however, are requesting their employees to maintain a state of calm amid affairs.

ZTE maintains that they have enough cash to remain in business in the meantime. However, if they don’t find resolution to this issue, ZTE might find itself on the chopping block of failed smartphone brands.

SEE ALSO: ZTE’s new concept phone has two notches

Enterprise

Huawei pledges $2 billion to secure cybersecurity of hardware

It starts in Britain for now

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Throughout the past few weeks, Sinophobia has reached an all-time high. Various countries have started banning Chinese telecommunications companies from taking over their technology market. Huawei and ZTE have faced tremendous adversity while expanding their 5G operations. Of note, the US, the UK, and Australia have stopped Huawei’s 5G plans before they could start.

It was only a matter of time before Huawei responds. Now, the company has finally promised to solve these crucial cybersecurity issues. In Britain, Huawei has met with government officials regarding their ban. Like the rest of the Western world, Britain criticized Huawei’s technology as potential backdoors for Chinese espionage.

Both parties have agreed to a compromise. To alleviate Britain’s fears, Huawei will pledge US$ 2 billion for cybersecurity. The company will then attempt to solve whatever Britain found in cybersecurity investigations.

While the United Kingdom is more forgiving, other countries are still very wary. After the initial lineup of banning countries, Japan has joined the conversation. The country is working to ban both Huawei and ZTE from 5G development as well. With that, Japan will be the first Asian country to ban both companies. Western fears are now invading the East.

At the other end of the world, Huawei is also facing another crisis. The company’s chief finance officer, Meng Wanzhou, was recently arrested for allegedly violating embargo regulations. According to Huawei, their retaliation plans in Britain were made before the arrest. Thus, the arrest is another separate battle that awaits the company after issues of cybersecurity.

Huawei is in a world of pain. Despite offering amazing products, the company can’t find any traction in hardware development. Geopolitical fears have and will continue to bog down the company throughout the rise of 5G networking.

SEE ALSO: Huawei Mate 20 Pro: When beauty meets technology

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Gaming

Crash Team Racing remaster announced for multiple consoles

Move over, Mario Kart. There’s a new racing game in town!

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Yes, you read that right! PlayStation’s lovable bandicoot returns to the race track for another hard-hitting, kart-smashing racing game! Announced earlier during The Game Awards 2018, Sony Interactive and Activision will release a remaster of Crash Team Racing (CTR) for major consoles next year.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled will feature the same elements and gameplay from the 1999 original, worked from the ground up. Beenox, the studio behind Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 spearheaded the HD remaster, retaining the core game modes the original CTR provided. The game will feature the main cast of Crash and Coco Bandicoot, Dr. Neo Cortex, Tiny Tiger, N. Gin, Dingodile, Polar, and Pura. Not only that, but the remastered CTR will also feature both offline and online play, something that deviates from the original.

The announcement came from a segment during The Game Awards 2018 in Los Angeles. A Crash Bandicoot mascot unveiled the trailer by presenting a crate that contained a trophy inside that you can find in the original CTR. This confirmed rumors from earlier this week.

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled will come out on June 21, 2019 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Next year marks Crash Team Racing‘s 20th anniversary, and what a way to celebrate it through the remaster.

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Accessories

Apple now sells 18W USB-C fast charger and clear iPhone XR case

More expensive than the ordinary, of course

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Apple has a couple of interesting new items available for iPhone owners out there.

After the month-long delay, the iPhone XR finally gets an official case. For the first time ever, Apple now offers a clear protective case. Instead of leather or silicone, you can protect your colorful iPhone XR with an optically clear polycarbonate and flexible TPU case.

It’ll be probably one of the most expensive TPU cases you’ll ever purchase for US$ 39. With its expensive price tag, hopefully, it won’t turn yellow over time like other cheap third-party clear cases.

18W USB-C Power Adapter | Image credit: Apple

Those who have been wanting a fast charger for their iPhones can finally get one without spending too much. The early solution wasn’t specifically designed for iPhones and it’s not cheap either.

Thankfully, Apple is now selling an 18W USB-C Power Adapter. Although, you’ll still have to purchase a USB-C to Lightning cable separately. The new iPhone fast charger is priced at US$ 29, while the USB-C cable is an additional US$ 19.

It’ll cost you US$ 48 to charge an iPhone faster, which should come out of the box like with flagship Android phones. Keep in mind that you should be using an iPhone 8 or later model.

The new 18W fast charger and clear case for the iPhone XR are now listed on Apple’s online store.

SEE ALSO: Apple gives away iPhone XR to everyone on The Ellen Show

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