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Department of Homeland Security Does Not Doubt Statements of Tech Giants Regarding China Hack

Apple contested the Bloomberg report Thursday, saying its own internal investigations found no evidence to support the story’s claims.

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Department of Homeland Security
CPU chips are seen at a recycling facility in Tokyo in October 2010.. VOA

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said Saturday it currently had no reason to doubt statements from companies that have denied a Bloomberg report that their supply chains were compromised by malicious computer chips inserted by Chinese intelligence services.

“The Department of Homeland Security is aware of the media reports of a technology supply chain compromise,” DHS said in a statement.

“Like our partners in the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre, at this time we have no reason to doubt the statements from the companies named in the story,” it said.

Department of Homeland Security
Customers look at iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus phones at an Apple Store in San Francisco, California, Sept. 22, 2017. (VOA)

Bloomberg Businessweek on Thursday cited 17 unidentified intelligence and company sources as saying that Chinese spies had placed computer chips inside equipment used by around 30 companies, as well as multiple U.S. government agencies, which would give Beijing secret access to internal networks.

Apple and Amazon

Britain’s national cyber security agency said Friday it had no reason to doubt the assessments made by Apple Inc and Amazon.com Inc challenging the report.

Apple contested the Bloomberg report Thursday, saying its own internal investigations found no evidence to support the story’s claims and that neither the company, nor its contacts in law enforcement, were aware of any investigation by the FBI on the matter.

Department of Homeland Security
Experts: Cyber attacks Growing Increasingly Sophisticated. Pixabay

Apple’s recently retired general counsel, Bruce Sewell, told Reuters he called the FBI’s then-general counsel, James Baker, last year after being told by Bloomberg of an open investigation of Super Micro Computer Inc, a hardware maker whose products Bloomberg said were implanted with malicious Chinese chips.

Also Read: Apple And Amazon Deny Chinese ‘Spy’ Chips Into Their Network

“I got on the phone with him personally and said, ‘Do you know anything about this?” Sewell said of his conversation with Baker. “He said, ‘I’ve never heard of this, but give me 24 hours to make sure.’ He called me back 24 hours later and said ‘Nobody here knows what this story is about.” Baker and the FBI declined to comment Friday. (VOA)

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Chinese Behemoth BBK Group Dominates Xiaomi in Smartphone Market

This year, the group has infused another brand called iQOO in the competitive Indian market that will be the first

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Xiaomi
In comparison, Xiaomi grew 5 per cent year-over-year in 2019 driven by expansion in the offline and strong performance of its Redmi Note series. Wikimedia Commons

Chinese behemoth BBK Group, the parent company of OPPO, Vivo, Realme and OnePlus brands, dominated the India smartphone market with 37 per cent share for the full year 2019, compared to 28 per cent of Xiaomi, reveals latest data from Counterpoint Research.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, the BBK Group captured a mammoth 43 per cent share in the India smartphone market while Xiaomi had 27 per cent share.

While Vivo’s market share grew to 16 per cent in the calendar year 2019 from 10 per cent in 2018, realme’s share grew to 10 per cent in 2019 from 3 per cent in 2018, OPPO’s share grew to 9 per cent in 2019 from 8 per cent in 2018. With 29 per cent growth in market share, OnePlus also became one of the fastest growing smartphone brands in India in 2019.

While Realme grew a massive 255 per cent in 2019, Vivo registered 76 per cent growth and OPPO 28 per cent, In comparison, Xiaomi grew 5 per cent year-over-year in 2019 driven by expansion in the offline and strong performance of its Redmi Note series.

“India now has emerged as the biggest market for Xiaomi, surpassing its home market China in 2019. However, the growth rate has declined to single-digit as Xiaomi is now serving a much larger installed base in India,” according to the data.

Vivo’s stunning growth in 2019 was driven by good performance of its budget-segment series. “Also, by successfully pivoting to online and aggressively positioning the S series in the offline segment with new features, it managed to make a dent in Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000 segment,” said Counterpoint.

Overall, in the fourth quarter of 2019, the BBK group captured a mammoth 43 per cent share in the India smartphone market. Interesting here to note is that the BBK Group does not seem to be resting on its laurels.

This year, the group has infused another brand called iQOO in the competitive Indian market that will be the first, 5G-ready premium device in the country and would take on Xiaomi’s new sub-brand POCO.

Xiaomi
In the fourth quarter of 2019, the BBK Group captured a mammoth 43 per cent share in the India smartphone market while Xiaomi had 27 per cent share. Wikimedia Commons

The iQOO brand — which already has six devices in its portfolio in China with the most recent one being the iQOO Neo 855 Racing — would work as a separate legal entity in the country. With this brand, the BBK Group will now have five brands — OnePlus, Vivo, OPPO, Realme and now iQOO — to take on its rivals in India in 2020.

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“We aim to sell 10 lakh iQOO devices next month in India. It will be 100 per cent ‘make in India’ premium device focused on strong performance, design innovation and 5G-ready,” Gagan Arora, Director-Marketing, iQOO India, recently told IANS. (IANS)