Top U.S. universities are ditching telecom equipment made by Huawei Technologies and other Chinese companies to avoid losing federal funding under a new national security law backed by the Trump administration. U.S. officials allege Chinese telecom manufacturers are producing equipment that allows their government to spy on users abroad, including Western researchers working on leading-edge technologies. Beijing and the Chinese companies have repeatedly denied such claims.
The leading supplier of network switching gear for phone companies, Huawei Technologies Ltd. is spending heavily to develop its own chips, an area where the U.S. dominates. That can reduce Huawei's multibillion-dollar annual components bill and help insulate it against possible supply disruptions when U.S.-Chinese relations are strained.
A new report is urging the Trump administration to take action against a pair of Chinese telecommunication giants over the firms’ alleged misconduct, including claims that they work on behalf of the Chinese state government. “Huawei and ZTE represent a serious, long-term national security threat to the U.S. that expands exponentially with the advent of 5G,” reads the report released from researchers at The National Security Institute (NSI) housed within George Mason’s Antonin Scalia Law School.
Amid a rise in Chinese cyber-theft and the huge growth in the numbers of Chinese exchange students and scholars, officials have stepped up pressure on administrators to take greater precautions to guard against espionage and efforts to steal American technologies and research data.
Transit officials in Washington, D.C., are concerned that their next subway cars might be bugged. Cybersecurity experts wonder: If a state-owned Chinese company wins a contract to supply the city’s Metro system with new cars, might they come with devices installed to surveil U.S. public officials? Metro officials will try to engineer their contract to prevent all this. But why can’t they solve the problem by simply buying American? The answer is this: No U.S. company makes them.
China is closing the global innovation gap with the US. Fast, very fast. That’s according to the recently published Global Innovation Index: Energizing the World with Innovation. A collaboration between Cornell University, INSEAD, and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) as co-publishers, and their Knowledge Partners (Cornell University and Partners report), relies on international patent filings and scientific publishing activity to identify innovation clusters in 126 countries; and come up with a global innovation ranking.
Two influential U.S. business groups have issued a report detailing how China is moving ahead with a technology policy set to be a key point of contention in the U.S.-China trade talks that resume next week in Washington. In a joint report to the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber of Commerce in China say Beijing’s ambitious plan to become a global technology leader is being widely implemented, casting doubt on efforts by Chinese officials to play down its significance.
Google may speak about moon-shot ambition, but its Waymo self-driving car firm has yet to gain commercial traction. Apple may speak about its technological prowess, but it is only seeing its revenue decline and its Chinese position unseated. Facebook may speak about virtual reality as the next user interface, but it can’t even rid its newsfeed of fake news. There is a ceiling on how fast the internet giants can innovate.
The Trump administration has been clear about its view of China. A 2017 national security strategy document called China a “revisionist” power attempting to reorder international politics to suit its interests. It’s difficult to think otherwise given Beijing’s military buildup, its attempts to undermine American influence and power, its retaliations against American allies such as Canada, and its economic actions.
The increase in U.S. patents comes as the U.S. and China are embroiled in a trade war with a sticking point over Chinese firm’s accessing the intellectual property of U.S. tech companies. The report noted the increase in patents also marks a shift in how tech companies are operating in China. As one example, the report pointed to Huawei, which has beefed up its internal research and development as it aims to expand around the globe.