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What is Huawei Technologies and why is the Chinese company so controversial? – National

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The arrest in Canada of Meng Wanzhou, a top executive at China’s Huawei Technologies and daughter of the founder and CEO, jolted the global business community on Thursday and raised fears that a truce in the U.S.-China trade war could come to a swift end.


READ MORE:
Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng arrested in Vancouver, faces extradition to U.S.

Meng’s arrest came at the behest of U.S. authorities and is connected to an investigation into alleged violations of U.S. trade sanctions, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters. China’s foreign ministry said neither the United States nor Canada have explained reasons for the arrest.

What is Huawei?

Huawei is the world’s largest supplier of telecommunications network equipment and second-biggest maker of smartphones, with revenue of about $92 billion last year. Unlike other big Chinese technology firms, it does much of its business overseas and is a market leader in many countries across Europe, Asia and Africa.

The company was founded in 1987 by former military officer Ren Zhengfei. It remains privately held and describes itself as employee-owned, though its ownership structure is unknown. It is based in the southern Chinese tech hub of Shenzhen and employs about 180,000 people.

WATCH: China calls on Canada, U.S. to release Huawei CFO after being arrested in Vancouver






How did the company become so successful?

Huawei was a pioneering supplier of telecom gear at a time when China was spending heavily to upgrade its networks, importing much of its equipment. Huawei began competing internationally in the 1990s and was known for drastically undercutting rivals on price.

Competitors branded Huawei a cut-rate vendor of copycat equipment, and companies including Cisco Systems and Motorola filed lawsuits over alleged trade secret theft.


READ MORE:
Huawei’s smartphone deal with AT&T collapses due to U.S. government pressure

But Huawei spent heavily on research and development and is now regarded as a global leader in key telecom network technologies and high-end smartphones. In contrast, its major Western rivals, Nokia and Ericsson, have struggled financially in recent years.

Huawei today continues to expand into new areas including chip development, artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

Why have some governments banned Huawei equipment?

U.S. intelligence agencies allege that Huawei is linked to China’s government and that its equipment could contain “backdoors” for use by government spies. No evidence has been produced publicly and the firm has repeatedly denied the claims.

But suspicions persist. Concern now centres on the deployment of fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks, where Huawei is at the cutting edge. A new law in China requiring any domestic firm to assist the government when asked has also stoked concern.

WATCH: Huawei’s chief financial officer arrested in Vancouver.






The U.S. government has taken a series of steps to block the firm from U.S. markets, including banning government purchases ofHuawei gear and denying government help to any carrier that uses Huawei equipment. Top carriers Verizon Communications and AT&T pulled out of deals to distribute Huawei smartphones earlier this year.

Most countries, even close U.S. allies such as Canada, Britain and Germany, have not made any moves against Huawei, arguing they have sufficient procedures to test equipment for security. But Australia and New Zealand recently banned Huawei from building 5G networks, and there are indications that other countries including Germany are revisiting the issue.

Is the arrest of Meng Wanzhou related to these security concerns?

U.S. authorities have not disclosed circumstances surrounding Meng’s arrest, but a person familiar with the matter told Reuters the arrest relates to violations of U.S. trade sanctions. Reuters published an investigation almost six years ago about her and Huawei’s ties to a company call Skycom that tried to sell Hewlett-Packard computer equipment to an Iranian mobile-phone operator, in contravention of those sanctions.

Wasn’t another Chinese company also accused of Iran sanctions violations?

Huawei’s smaller rival ZTE Corp pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to evade embargoes by selling U.S. equipment to Iran. Earlier this year, the U.S. Commerce Department said ZTE violated the settlement and barred it from buying any U.S. components – a move that all but halted many ZTE operations.


READ MORE:
New Zealand becomes latest country to bar Huawei technology from 5G network

A new settlement was reached and the ban lifted at the behest of U.S. President Donald Trump, a perceived concession to Chinese President Xi Jinping that surprised and angered others in the U.S. government.

Are these issues related to the U.S.-China trade war?

The sanctions investigations long preceded the trade war. But the timing of the arrest tangles the issues as it came just as Presidents Trump and Xi reached a temporary trade war truce. Financial markets turned negative on news of the arrest on fears it could scupper the truce. However, there is no evidence of it being a deliberate provocation by the U.S. rather than just an awkward coincidence.

WATCH: Canada yet to block 5G technology from China’s Huawei






What might happen to Huawei now?

A ban on U.S. component purchases, such as the one temporarily imposed on ZTE, would be devastating, but there is no immediate reason to suggest that will happen. If the case prompts major European countries in particular to turn against the firm, that would have a long-term impact on its growth and influence.

Still, Huawei’s status as a kingpin of China’s high-tech industry, at a time when the country is racing to catch up with the U.S. in difficult areas such as chip development, means it will almost certainly remain a powerful force for years to come.

WATCH: Trudeau says decision to ban Huawei 5G technology will be based on facts and evidence








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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu
RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA

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Harris accepts VP nomination

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Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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