Sunday December 16, 2018
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U.S. Sues Chinese Tech Executive Over Business Dealings With Iran

Concerns about Huawei have been growing for some time.

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A woman walks past an advertisement for Huawei at a subway station in Hong Kong. VOA
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A top Chinese technology executive faces U.S. charges related to business dealings with Iran, a Canadian prosecutor said Friday, after the executive’s arrest rocked financial markets around the globe.

In a packed courtroom in Vancouver, a Canadian prosecutor argued that Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of tech giant Huawei, should be denied bail pending possible extradition to the United States because she was a flight risk. She has spent most of the past week at a women’s detention facility in a suburb of Vancouver.

The prosecutor disclosed that Meng was wanted by the United States for allegedly deceiving financial institutions about the relationship between Huawei and another tech company, SkyCom, based in Hong Kong, that is alleged to have sold U.S.-manufactured technology to Iran, in violation of U.S. trade sanctions.

In the first glimpse of the case against Meng, prosecutors alleged during the five-hour hearing that she was not truthful to U.S. banks who had asked her about links between the two firms.

Huawei, Honor 8x, U.S.
The U.S. and Canadian governments have so far said little about the Meng case.

An attorney representing Meng, David Martin, told the court “there is no evidence” that SkyCom was a subsidiary of Huawei during the period in question, in 2013 and 2014.

The bail hearing is set to resume on Monday.

If extradited to the United States, Meng would face charges of conspiracy to defraud multiple financial institutions.

The arrest of Meng in Vancouver, at the request of the United States, surprised financial markets after Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a trade truce last weekend in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Stocks plummeted Thursday after news came out of Meng’s arrest, which followed months of already shaky markets affected by the U.S.-China trade war.

Trump sounded a note of optimism on Friday about the trade talks with China, tweeting that “China talks are going very well!”

Huawei, U.S.
The prosecutor disclosed that Meng was wanted by the United States. (IANS)

The U.S. and Canadian governments have so far said little about the Meng case. But China has demanded her release, saying she violated no laws in Canada or the United States.

Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei, a former engineer in China’s People’s Liberation Army. Chinese state media have argued that the United States is abusing the law to hurt the company’s international reputation.

Also Read: Chinese Tech Giant Huawei Announces to Bring Wireless Charging in India Next Month

However, concerns about Huawei have been growing for some time. Since 2012, the U.S. government has raised alarm about suspicions that Huawei’s hardware may have a technical back door that could be used by the Chinese government to gather intelligence.

Huawei has denied that its products pose any security risk and says it is a private company. (VOA)

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Apple Decides to Update iPhones in China To Avoid Ban

The ban does not cover the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Plus or iPhone XR, which were not yet available when Qualcomm filed its lawsuit

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Apple, Iphone XR, Apple Watch
Apple to update iPhones in China to avoid ban. Flickr Commons

Apple has decided to update iPhones in China to avoid a ban after a court ruling banned the sale and import of most iPhone models after granting Qualcomm an injunction against Apple.

According to a report in The New York Times on Friday, the Cupertino-based tech giant said it would update the software of iPhones in China early next week to try to resolve the legal dispute.

The company said it would update its iPhones “to address any possible concern about our compliance with the order”.

“Apple said its update would change the iPhones’ software so it did not infringe on Qualcomm patents, which relate to switching between apps and changing the size and appearance of photographs,” said the report.

Apple and Qualcomm are suing one another in courts across the world. Billions of dollars are at stake, and each side has claimed some victories.

A Chinese court had banned the sale and import of most iPhone models after granting Qualcomm an injunction against Apple, a stunning decision that comes amid the trade war between the US and China.

Apple, however, is still selling iPhones in China.

Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

According to Don Rosenberg, Qualcomm’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Apple is violating the court’s order.

“They are legally obligated to immediately cease sales, offers for sale and importation of the devices identified in the orders and to prove compliance in court,” he was quoted as saying.

Apple has also appealed against the Chinese court ruling.

Also Read- Irish Watchdog Opens Inquiry into Latest Privacy Breach of Facebook

It accused Qualcomm of playing dirty tricks, including asserting a patent that had already been invalidated by international courts, and other patents that it had never before used.

“Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world,” Apple said in a statement earlier this week.

The ban does not cover the new iPhone XS, iPhone XS Plus or iPhone XR, which were not yet available when Qualcomm filed its lawsuit. (IANS)