UK Booting Huawei 5G

Read an article today where the UK has decided to move away from Huawei in their 5G networks due to security and supply chain concerns.

Found it interesting, curious if any of you who live in the UK have any more info on that?

Here’s an interesting article on that. This ban comes in reaction to China’s reccent actions regarding Hong Kong, and security concerns (and in part due to pressure by the US).

Earlier this year (May / June), the US announced that Hong Kong is ‘no longer sufficiently independent from PRC’, and that it reconsider Hong Kong’s special status policy under the 1992 UK - Hong Kong Policy Act. If the US imposes sanctions, it has ripple effects around the globe.

Thanks Peter, but I was looking for some first person input from people who live there, rather than just another article posted somewhere.

I think the best thing about the social aspect of the internet is being able to talk directly with people rather than relying on information posted by establishment media.

The security concerns were addressed already by there being a ban on the 5G Huawei equipment from sensitive areas, including being prohibited from a physical radius around designated sensitive areas. All very belts and braces, considering that even GCHQ has apparently had Huawei equipment in it for years now with people there being told that the potential foreign government footgun was understood and not to flag it.

It’s all splitting hairs really, it’s not as if intelligence agencies can’t get companies to do their bidding for “national security”.

The NPR article is pretty accurate, I was a (virtual) international trade conference organized by my old law firm Baker & McKenzie with lawyers from the UK, Canada, US, Hong Kong, China, etc. discussing trends in international trade.

Aside from whether there’s any truth to the security concerns (perhaps, perhaps not), when trade embargoes and restrictions kick in, companies around the globe are affected as everything is very much intertwined.

With the Huawei 5G, aside from legitimate legal and business concerns, there’s probably a fair degree of hysteria and idiocy involved as well. Remember the blockheads that torches 5G cell towers, not just in the UK but other European countries as well, saying they “spread” the coronavirus. You can’t fix stupid.

My interest has more to do with dependency on China.

I was kind of shocked to find out how much we, and other countries, have become dependent on China. I thought it was mostly electronics and cheap stuff at Wal Mart. Turns out it includes a lot of stuff that would have a huge impact on our daily lives should they decide to take advantage of that.

Not that China would use any of that to influence a countries domestic policy. Yeah, right!!

Imagine the power you would have over countries where you controlled their communications infrastructure. Not so much from a security standpoint, but from a spare parts and support standpoint.

Gets back to my “who benefits” question.

With the manufacturing side of things, our elites have sold a story that manufacturing jobs are not important since the service/brand side of the equation is more profitable. However China sees employing 500k people at close to zero profit while supplying a city with relatively well-paid employment as a big plus. China is obviously correct.

It seems that trying to turn people against brands like Huawei and Xiaomi would be an important part of this strategy since it relies on China knowing its place and sticking to manufacturing. Not design, servicing or branding. But they are not stupid.

With all of this, including the current bid for control and for the usual intelligence agencies to plant their tech in the UK 5G network I see a couple of issues:

  1. These sanctions actually tell the whole world that using US software or hardware is the business risk.
  2. China has received a clear message that they need to develop their own tech stack, and they have been. Over time this will become better and more competitive than anything we can produce.

True, but it goes both ways … China is also dependent on goods from the West, food especially.

And when it comes to trade wars, China has a tit-for-tat policy everytime the US imposes restrictions or raises tariffs, which ultimately benefit neither China nor the US.

Oh, they’re already there in terms of competitiveness. Why do you think companies like Apple and other have their devices manufactured in China? They are competitive in terms of labor and wages.

But the goods still have to make their way back to the West, to the consumers. If they become prohibitely expensive just because of trade policies and import tariffs, that’ll affect demand, and ultimately will cause facotories in China to have to scale down or even close.

That’s manufacturing other people’s IP, or manufacturing their own brands that are dependent on 3rd party components/IP. I’m talking about them developing and owning the full stack to avoid any supply chain, licensing or other sanction threats.

Here’s an iteration of an x86 chip design:

It’s… well… not very good at the moment, but it’s an iterative process and will get better over time. The more pressure is put on China, the faster these developments will be.

And think of the BRICS countries and those on the periphery. When China gets competitive with all meaningful metrics they can and will give this stuff away at close to cost price because jobs/turnover == wealth of a nation, not profit. The current Western model can’t compete with that and when BRICS expands and looks inwards, the market for Western products dramatically shrinks.

We could always all work together for a brighter future of course. But it’s not China or Russia’s fault that this isn’t happening.

I have no doubt that China is going to emerge as the dominate global economic power once all the dust from all this bullshit settles.

The question is, is that going to be a good thing for you and I? No way to tell, but China doesn’t really give two shits about their own people, don’t think they’ll treat us any differently.

And by the way Peter, there’s a lot more than just consumer goods coming in from China. Our telecommunications infrastructure here in the US may be mostly US and European companies, but all those boxes and spare parts are still made in China. What would happen to our digital infrastructure if China decided not to provide spare parts to Cisco anymore?

Were you bothered at all about all the reports of all the medical equipment, supplies, and pharmaceuticals that are manufactured in China? Do you see where that could potentially be a problem someday?

I agree with you Snooks that the best case scenario hinges on China, and everyone else for that matter, conducting themselves as a responsible, open, partners. If they were to do that, then fine. If their tech is better, and they can sell it cheaper, fine, more power to them. But what if all that comes with strings attached?

It’s still hard for me to see how individual Chinese are benefiting from all the newly created wealth there. The big boys on top have made bank, but the every day Chinese still has trouble finding enough food to eat, and God forbid they should say or do anything that pisses the big boys off. How many Muslims are locked up in “re-education camps” in China?

As far as China influencing domestic policy, don’t you find it interesting that the international community seems to be giving China a pass on all of this Covid stuff? Regardless of the hows and whys all this happened, it still started with China. Does any of their conduct during all of this give you confidence that they will conduct themselves as a partner on the world stage once they’re the big dog on the block?

My view is that nations need to be as self-sufficient as possible, particularly as we are always one enormous and guaranteed disaster away from supply chain disruption. Vital supplies like surgical masks, syringes, scalpels etc surely need to be produced domestically! Of course there’s international trade involved in the raw materials, but there can be emergency reserves for those flexible commodities that can be used for lots of different things when required.

That’s where social policies and structure wins. It doesn’t have to be a race to the bottom with costs since everybody is benefitting everybody else. Taking masks as an example, creating jobs worth millions in wages is worth paying 15% more for a mask that forms an insignificant fraction of the cost of delivering healthcare. But that teamwork does not exist in arrangements that are for-profit above all else.

Then with hospitals you have less duplication since nobody is competing. They can specialise in fields irrespective of how profitable field A is vs field B and have arrangements for A&E/ER based on geography. Massive reduction in costs through centralised planning.

But Cisco aren’t going to pay 15% more for equipment because they are an island, beholden only to their shareholders gazing at the increase in profit from last year.

I take everything written about declared enemies of the NWO with a pinch of salt and remembering that we are the ones going around burning and crushing babies and toddlers to death in bombing raids while trying to take over the world. Is what China doing worse than that? We are also constantly trying to destabilise countries, where any government resistance is portrayed as the big bad men being bad by our media.

A media that clearly can’t dig too deep into the China/COVID issue because I suspect Beijing would have an uncomfortable announcement to make about it all that they couldn’t reasonably not publish.

I agree Snooks that self reliance is a key to a lot of it, and not just among nations, but among individuals as well. I also agree with you about how manufacturing things domestically will drive up the price of those things, but you would hope that would come with good paying jobs that would enable people to afford it.

But the larger issue does come down to giving other entities power over how you conduct your affairs. A certain amount of that is inevitable, and another one of those things that everybody does and has done forever. But I’d be more than happy to take a hit to my lifestyle if it meant people here not dying or suffering because of something that happens on the other side of the planet.

I think though, in the larger sense, it’s just the progression of power. A certain amount of globalization is inevitable, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The idea that globalization creates some inter dependencies can be a good thing, forcing people to get along better recognizing that they have mutual interests. But you know how it is, people being people, someones going to shit the bed one day, and to me, that’s where those inter dependencies can jump up and bit you on the ass.

I do have to disagree with you though on the point about profit. Profit is not a bad thing. It’s been around for ever and has created both good and bad. It’s another one of those things that it’s not the profit itself, it’s what you do with it.

Yes, there’s a lot of greed attached to profit, but there’s also a lot of good associated with it as well. Lot’s of peoples retirement accounts rely on profit, profit provides jobs and taxes, it funds research and development, the list can get pretty long. Shouldn’t trash all of that because of some greedy bastards taking undeserved bonuses off of it.

One thing all successful business people have in common is that they poured their profits back into their businesses, not their pockets.

I’m not against profit itself, just profit being the primary goal. The reason most businesses succeed is because of the trillions that have been poured into the infrastructure and education sectors in our advanced economies. Stick the businessman with a plan in Liberia and watch a failed or a very unprofitable business unfold. He might not have a flushing toilet, let alone getting the finance or the highly educated workforce he needs.

There’s middle ground there. We can have profit, we can have bonuses but we don’t have to have precisely the system we have at the moment.

No disagreement there. Any successful society depends on a public/private partnership of some type. It’s funny how so many of us agree on that and yet it’s still so hard to achieve. Another one of those “who benefits” things. :grinning:

Really got off point here, sorry about that.

The point I was making about using spare parts and other support resources as a stick so to speak, did any of that come up there in any of the discussions on that?

Just wondering if there’s anything to that, or if I’m just smoking too much weed.

Yes, I’ve read that the Huawei supply chain being at risk was a reason. I think another reason that isn’t discussed is the effect of the US sanctions that would prevent US software or hardware being used to design Huawei systems. While Huawei could work magic with their supply chain, the sanctions remain in effect for the UK engineers.

That wouldn’t be an issue if everything they used was developed and manufactured in the UK. It’s a big minus point for Windows imo.

How does that work? When you say engineers can’t use US gear for things that aren’t part of the system? Like an engineer running a CAD program to design and lay out the network can’t use Windows, something like that?

Yeah, that’s pretty messed up.

Lol, like it going to make a difference to the Chinese if they aren’t allowed to pay for software that they’ve been pirating all along. :smiley: