Huawei moving on 5G while politics plays out

Huawei is leading the commercial deployment of 5G technology, according to a company spokesperson. (AP)
Updated 02 November 2019

Huawei moving on 5G while politics plays out

  • ‘I think targeting specific vendors based on country origins will not make America’s communication network more secure’
  • ‘We continue to sign more contracts globally as well, Huawei is definitely leading commercial deployment of 5G’

SAN FRANCISCO: Major state telecom operators are rolling out 5G wireless advances in China as the country races to close a technology gap with the United States amid a bruising trade war.
The new-generation telecommunication networks move data at blazing speeds, promising economic and technological advantages to countries where they are deployed.
US regulators earlier this week proposed rules to block telecom carriers from buying from Chinese tech companies Huawei and ZTE, and to remove any of their equipment already in place to “safeguard the nation’s communications networks.”
The US Federal Communications Commission said the rules — to be voted on November 19 — were part of an initiative to “safeguard the nation’s communications networks.”
The two Chinese firms have been accused of posing a national security threat because of their close ties to the Beijing government. Both have repeatedly denied the allegations.
AFP sat down with Huawei US vice president of public affairs Joy Tan to ask her three questions:

What is your reaction to the proposal of the US regulators?
Huawei has never had any major cybersecurity-related incident.
I think targeting specific vendors based on country origins will not make America’s communication network more secure.
It will only impact rural operators and the most underserved areas in US.
So, we think this kind of action will further widen the digital divide and slow the pace of economic development, not make the network more secure.
On average we procure $11 billion in goods and services from US suppliers each year. These companies cannot continue to sell components or products to Huawei. I’ve seen their business impacted in the short term and in the long term we’ll see bigger impact for US companies as well.
$11 billion creates about 40,000 to 50,000 US jobs, so we hope these jobs won’t be impacted for the longer term.

How is the deployment of 5G going?
South Korea and the US started launching 5G last year.
Already 3.5 million people are on 5G services.
China is moving very fast in terms of 5G deployment.
We continue to sign more contracts globally as well, Huawei is definitely leading commercial deployment of 5G. 5G has come faster than all expected; we believe we are 12-18 months ahead of competitors.
Our most recent 5G base stations are shipped without any US components; (instead they come) with our own or components from other countries, so we’re not dependent on the US components.

Do you need to work with the US?
We want to work with them.
Huawei’s principle is always to collaborate with the best companies around the world, so that’s why we continue to want to engage with the US companies.
If the US government allows big suppliers to continue to ship components, we’ll continue to buy from them, even if we have our own solutions and alternatives.
Harmony OS has a different purpose compared to Android or iOS.
When we designed it, we had the future in mind. It’s a lightweight, compact operating system, with powerful functionalities. We use that for smart watches and smart screens in vehicles, and smart speakers first.
We definitely want to keep working with American companies including Google.
We continue to watch to see if Google will get a temporary license from the US government to continue to supply us. We hope we’ll see some good news next month or sooner.

Oil hits three-month high as trade and Brexit fog lift

Updated 14 December 2019

Oil hits three-month high as trade and Brexit fog lift

  • Investor hopes on the rise after US-China progress and UK poll result ‘remove layer of uncertainty for global economy’

LONDON: Oil rose on Friday to its highest price in nearly three months as progress in resolving the US-China trade dispute and Britain’s general election result appeared to lift two clouds that have been dampening investor appetite for risk.

US sources said on Thursday that Washington has set its terms for a trade deal with Beijing, offering to suspend some tariffs on goods and cut others in exchange for Chinese purchases of more American farm goods.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, climbed to the highest since Sept. 23. It was up 45 cents at $64.65 in mid-afternoon trade in London as West Texas Intermediate crude gained 21 cents to $59.39.

The 18-month trade war has been a dampener for oil prices, while uncertainty around Brexit has also weighed. Britain’s ruling Conservative Party won a large majority in Thursday’s general election, giving it the power to take the country out of the EU.

“An eventful past 24 hours has removed a layer of uncertainty for the global economy,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

“Yet it remains to be seen whether the return of the feelgood factor is enough to set oil prices on a definitive northerly trajectory.”

A drop in the US dollar against the backdrop of a strong pound helped boost commodities. 

“Risk appetite among financial investors is now likely to remain high thanks to the deal between the US and China and the forthcoming end to the Brexit cliffhanger,” said Eugen Weinberg, an analyst at Commerzbank.

“This will also benefit the oil price,” he added.

Brent has rallied by almost 21 percent in 2019, supported by efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia to cut production.

The alliance, known as OPEC+, agreed last week to lower supply by a further 500,000 barrels per day as of Jan. 1. They have been limiting supply since 2017, helping to clear a glut that built up in 2014-2016.

OPEC’s own research indicates that the oil market in 2020 may see a small supply deficit, although the International Energy Agency sees global inventories rising despite the further step by OPEC+. 

Global stocks and sterling also gained on Friday as the double dose of relief around US-China trade and the UK election undercut safe-haven sovereign bonds and the Japanese yen, and led markets to scale back expectations of more interest rates cuts around the world.

“Global investors have been given two of the biggest gifts on their Christmas list and should be appreciative for a while at least,” said Sean Callow, a senior forex analyst at Westpac.

“Global equity indices such as MSCI World should set more record highs and sterling could push above $1.36.”

The pound reached its highest since mid-2018 as exit polls and then UK election results wiped out any chance of a victory by the left-wing Labour opposition or a hung parliament, which had been a worry for investors.

Prime Minster Boris Johnson won a commanding majority in Britain’s Parliament, giving him the power to deliver Brexit, though trade talks with the EU are set to drag on for months yet.