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Huawei has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government, claiming that its efforts to block the Chinese company from selling telecom equipment to federal agencies and other parties is unconstitutional. Huawei made the announcement at a press conference in Shenzhen, and executives read their prepared statements off of Huawei’s Mate X foldable smartphone.
The lawsuit was filed in Plano, Texas, where Huawei’s U.S. headquarters is based. The U.S. government has alleged for some time that the Chinese government could use Huawei’s telecommunications equipment to spy on U.S. networks, which is why it has gone so far as to persuade other governments to ban Huawei products. It has even disrupted a potential deal between Huawei and AT&T in 2018, where the carrier would sell the Chinese company’s smartphones.
Huawei has repeatedly denied these allegations, and an executive at the press conference said the company “has not and will never implant any backdoors.”
Huawei’s biggest complaint is that the U.S. government has “never provided any evidence that Huawei poses a cyber security threat.” The company said it was left with no choice but to issue the lawsuit, which focuses on a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act. The provision specifically bans government agencies from purchasing telecommunications equipment from not just Huawei, but also ZTE. If you recall, ZTE was banned from the U.S. for most of 2018, but the ban has since lifted and it’s able to work with U.S. suppliers again.
The U.S. Justice Department recently accused Huawei of stealing trade secrets, and also accused the company of doing business with Iran despite U.S. sanctions. These charges were made in an effort to extradite Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, who was arrested and detained in Canada back in December. A hearing is set to take place on May 8 to determine whether Wanzhou will face charges in the U.S.
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Huawei has slowly been trying to repair its image in the U.S. — it placed full-page ads in the Wall Street Journal last week titled, “Don’t believe everything you hear.”
“I am writing to you in the hopes that we can come to understand each other better,” Catherine Chen. director of the board at Huawei, wrote in the open letter. “In recent years, the US government has developed some misunderstandings about us. We would like to draw your attention to the facts.”
The letter goes on to mention the 170 countries and regions Huawei operates in, the company’s history, and the types of services it provides. Huawei is ramping up its deployment of its 5G telecommunication equipment, and one of its complaints is its inability to provide its products, including 5G, to U.S. consumers.
“This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming U.S. consumers,” Guo Ping, Huawei rotating chairman, said in a press release. “We look forward to the court’s verdict, and trust that it will benefit both Huawei and the American people.”
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Samsung embroiled in ‘One China’ row after K-pop star pulls out
The world’s number one smartphone maker Samsung Electronics became the latest global brand to face criticism Wednesday for damaging China’s “territorial integrity”, with a Chinese K-pop star ending an endorsement contract.
The row broke out after Chinese viewers noticed that the South Korean tech giant offers different language versions of its website for users in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan — in English, simplified Chinese and traditional Chinese.
All three appear as choices in a list of ‘countries’.
Beijing is very sensitive about anything it perceives as portraying semi-autonomous Hong Kong and Macau or the self-ruled democratic island of Taiwan — which it views as a renegade province awaiting reunification — as separate countries.
Hong Kong has become a particularly thorny issue for Beijing in recent weeks with the financial hub plunged into months of pro-democracy protests.
Chinese K-pop star Zhang Yixing — popularly known as Lay, from the boyband Exo — on Tuesday cancelled his agreement with Samsung for it allegedly “hurting the national feelings of Chinese compatriots” by maintaining the separate websites.
The hashtag “#ZhangYixing Ditches Samsung#” went viral on China’s Twitter-like Weibo with his cancellation notice being viewed 840 million times in the 20 hours after it was posted.
“Its act of blurring the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country has seriously hurt the national feelings of our compatriots, which we strongly condemn,” Zhang’s Chinese agency said in a statement on its official social media account on Weibo.
Zhang had been a Samsung Electronics brand ambassador in China since December. The firm declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
The move comes days after several luxury retailers apologised for labelling the semi-autonomous cities of Hong Kong and Macau and the self-ruled island of Taiwan as separate countries.
Austrian jewellery company Swarovski apologised Tuesday for “hurting the feelings” of Chinese people after calling Hong Kong a separate country on its website.
Luxury brands Versace, Coach, and Givenchy also all apologised this week for making perceived affronts to China’s national sovereignty with T-shirts listing Hong Kong and Taiwan as separate countries.
The row also cost them the support of their Chinese brand ambassadors as the companies scrambled to minimise any potential damage in the lucrative mainland market.
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‘Develop viable gemstones, jewellery market’
Experts have urged the federal government to develop an environment conducive for marketing gemstones, and jewellery, to increase their contribution to the national gross domestic product, (GDP).
They also said this would mark a milestone in the quest to build a vibrant mining sector with a wide variety of gemstones and precious metal for making ornaments for local and international markets.
According to experts at Stakeholders Consultative workshop on gemstones and Jewelry industry in Nigeria, the industry presents tremendous opportunities for investment and value addition and can employ people at different levels along the value chain, such as miners, goldsmiths, dealers etc.
Prof. Theo Smeets of the University of Trier, Germany, said the government has a lot to do to boost both local and international markets for precious metal, especially with the growing population of women.
He also noted that legal frameworks will equally galvanise the industry, and instead of exporting raw materials, citizens will be able to process them in-country and get more products in the local market.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Dr Abdulkadir Muazu, disclosed that the industry could generate a total of $350 million worth of foreign exchange on an annual basis.
He also said Nigeria was so endowed with precious metal, “the key policy question we have asked ourselves is: ‘why has Nigeria not been internationally-recognised as an important gemstone destination?’”
According to him, Sri Lanka has a long history of gemstones, but it was its government’s commitment to reforms that began over three decades ago that has given her a globally-competitive edge.
“There is a huge international market potential for Nigeria’s gemstones, but it is losing vast business opportunities, value and revenue to illegal activities and smuggled to Germany, China, Brazil, U.S., etc.”
Contributing, Project Coordinator of MINDIVER, Utsu Linus Adie, said they are trying to reverse unfavourable market trend for gemstones, and create a robust jewellery market and promote export.
He equally said the government intends to develop a skilled workforce by creating community jewellery market in all the states of the federation within a five- year period.
“Our target is to emulate is India, who are today the global leaders in gems and jewellery, contributing 29 per cent to world jewellery consumption. We only generate $2 million worth of it.”
Reviewing gemstone resources, Niron Ajibade, maintained that there are many products, and when adequately harnessed will grow the nation’s economy; create jobs and wealth.
Ajibade therefore called on the government to build a sustainable jewellery industry by organising training programmes; create linkages, quality and assurance markets as well as finance the gemstone sector.