Qantas changes website to recognize Chinese territories

The Australian airline said it was amending an “oversight,” following in the footsteps of several other international corporations who were in the past week called out by Chinese authorities. (AFP)
Updated 16 January 2018
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Qantas changes website to recognize Chinese territories

SYDNEY: Australia’s Qantas has changed its website classification of Taiwan and Hong Kong from separate countries to Chinese territories after Chinese regulators scolded several foreign firms over similar listings.
The airline said Tuesday it was amending an “oversight,” following in the footsteps of several other international corporations who were in the past week called out by Chinese authorities.
“Due to an oversight, some Chinese territories were incorrectly listed as ‘countries’ on parts of our website,” a Qantas spokesperson said. “We are correcting this error.”
Shanghai’s cyberspace authority last week sent a stern message to international firms when it ordered Marriott to shut down its Chinese website for a week and amend what it termed the “illegal” categorization of regions Beijing claims under its authority.
Spanish clothing giant Zara, Delta Air Lines and Medtronic — a medical device company — were also called out for listing Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong as separate countries.
The firms were urged to “immediately alter their illegal content and publish apologies.”
They have since apologized and changed their websites.
In a separate rebuke, the Civil Aviation Administration of China noted in an online statement that Tibet and Taiwan were listed as countries on Delta’s official website.
The airline issued a public apology and amended its classification of the regions.
The backlash was triggered on Chinese social media after Marriott established a customer questionnaire in Mandarin asking members of the hotel chain’s rewards program to list their country of residence, offering Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan as possible options.
This drew the ire of authorities as Tibet is an “autonomous region” firmly under Chinese control since the 1950s.
Hong Kong and Macau are former British and Portuguese colonies, respectively, that are now “special administrative regions” of China.
Taiwan has been self-ruled since splitting from the mainland after a 1949 civil war, but Beijing continues to claim sovereignty over the island.


US intelligence says Huawei funded by Chinese state security: report

Updated 20 April 2019
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US intelligence says Huawei funded by Chinese state security: report

  • The accusation comes at a time of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing
  • Huawei dismissed the allegations

US intelligence has accused Huawei Technologies of being funded by Chinese state security, The Times said on Saturday, adding to the list of allegations faced by the Chinese technology company in the West.
The CIA accused Huawei of receiving funding from China’s National Security Commission, the People’s Liberation Army and a third branch of the Chinese state intelligence network, the British newspaper reported, citing a source.
Earlier this year, US intelligence shared its claims with other members of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing group, which includes Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, according to the report.
Huawei dismissed the allegations in a statement cited by the newspaper.
“Huawei does not comment on unsubstantiated allegations backed up by zero evidence from anonymous sources,” a Huawei representative told The Times.
The company, the CIA and Chinese state security agencies did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
The accusation comes at a time of trade tensions between Washington and Beijing and amid concerns in the United States that Huawei’s equipment could be used for espionage. The company has said the concerns are unfounded.
Authorities in the United States are probing Huawei for alleged sanctions violations.
Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of its founder, Ren Zhengfei, was arrested in Canada in December at the request of the United States on charges of bank and wire fraud in violation of US sanctions against Iran.
She denies wrongdoing and her father has previously said the arrest was “politically motivated.”
Amid such charges, top educational institutions in the West have recently severed ties with Huawei to avoid losing federal funding.
Another Chinese technology company, ZTE Corp. , has also been at the center of similar controversies in the United States.
US sanctions forced ZTE to stop most business between April and July last year after Commerce Department officials said it broke a pact and was caught illegally shipping US-origin goods to Iran and North Korea. The sanctions were lifted after ZTE paid $1.4 billion in penalties.
Reuters reported earlier this week that the United States will push its allies at a meeting in Prague next month to adopt shared security and policy measures that will make it more difficult for Huawei to dominate 5G telecommunications networks.