Huawei ‘too close’ to Chinese government to be trusted

A number of countries have also blocked Huawei from working on their mobile networks and companies have stepped back from the firm following the US ban, citing legal requirements. (File/AFP)
Updated 01 June 2019

Huawei ‘too close’ to Chinese government to be trusted

  • The US Commerce Department last month placed Huawei on an “entity list” on grounds of national security
  • The US has long voiced suspicions that Huawei is controlled by the Chinese government and thus a global security threat

SINGAPORE: Telecommunications giant Huawei is “too close” to the Chinese government, making it difficult to trust the company at the heart of an escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing, the US defense chief said Saturday.
Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan’s comments came amid a wave of controversy over the Chinese firm, which has been hit by allegations of espionage and faces a US ban.
“The integration of civilian businesses with the military is too close. China has national policies and laws where data is required to be shared,” Shanahan told a defense and security conference in Singapore.
“When I look at that situation, it’s too much risk... You can’t trust those networks are going to be protected.”
The US Commerce Department last month placed Huawei on an “entity list” on grounds of national security, a move that curbs its access to US-made components it needs for its equipment. A 90-day reprieve was later issued.
A number of countries have also blocked Huawei from working on their mobile networks and companies have stepped back from the firm following the US ban, citing legal requirements.
Concerns about Huawei have escalated as the company has risen to become the world leader in telecom networking equipment and one of the top smartphone manufacturers alongside Samsung and Apple.
The US has long voiced suspicions that Huawei is controlled by the Chinese government and thus a global security threat — charges strongly denied by the firm and Beijing.
Founder Ren Zhengfei is a former soldier in China’s People’s Liberation Army.


Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

Updated 16 September 2019

Oil prices surge after attacks hit Saudi output

  • The Houthi attacks hit two Aramco sites and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply
  • President Donald Trump said Sunday the US was ‘locked and loaded’ to respond to the attacks

HONG KONG: Oil prices saw a record surge Monday after attacks on two Saudi facilities slashed output in the world’s top producer by half, fueling fresh geopolitical fears as Donald Trump blamed Iran and raised the possibility of a military strike on the country.
Brent futures surged $12 in the first few minutes of business — the most in dollar terms since they were launched in 1988 and representing a jump of nearly 20 percent — while WTI jumped more than $8, or 15 percent.
Both contracts pared the gains but were both still more than 10 percent up.
The attack by Tehran-backed Houthi militia in neighboring Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in a five-year war, hit two sites owned by state-run giant Aramco and effectively shut down six percent of the global oil supply.
Trump said Sunday the US was “locked and loaded” to respond to the attack, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The United States will work with our partners and allies to ensure that energy markets remain well supplied and Iran is held accountable for its aggression.”
Tehran denies the accusations but the news revived fears of a conflict in the tinderbox Middle East after a series of attacks on oil tankers earlier this year that were also blamed on Iran.
“Tensions in the Middle East are rising quickly, meaning this story will continue to reverberate this week even after the knee-jerk panic in oil markets this morning,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
Trump authorized the release of US supplies from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, while Aramco said more than half of the five million barrels of production lost will be restored by tomorrow.
But the strikes raise concerns about the security of supplies from the world’s biggest producer.
Oil prices had dropped last week after news that Trump had fired his anti-Iran hawkish national security adviser John Bolton, which was seen as paving the way for an easing of tensions in the region.
“One thing we can say with confidence is that if part of the reason for last week’s fall in oil and improvement in geopolitical risk sentiment was the news of John Bolton’s sacking ... and thoughts this was a precursor to some form of rapprochement between Trump and Iran, then it is no longer valid,” said Ray Attrill at National Australia Bank.