Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
U.S. Accuses Huawei of Stealing Trade Secrets, Defrauding Banks (bloomberg.com)
336 points by ericzawo 79 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 245 comments



In China, stealing trade secrets is called “打破技术封锁” (breaking the technical blockade). The U.S. does not even need to collect evidence through investigation. Just by reading Chinese news reports and textbooks, you will find there are lots of Chinese nationalist stories about their hero technician / scientists steal western technologies. They are literally proud of it.

I heard from my Chinese friends who work in the US universities in the field of EE, CS, material, etc.. Huawei actually has personnel monitoring their university webpages. Add working project to your webpage, Huawei could call/email you the next day (in Chinese of course) if they find something they want to buy to get ahead.


Stealing trade secrets and technology has historically been very common among developing nations (the US included).

https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-02-18/us-complains-other-na...


It happens within our (US) borders where those who have tons of money and power yet lack innovation and innovative ideas steal willfully from those who do. Patent or no patent!


Interesting--is this a euphemism ingrained in industries, or is this explicitly defined somewhere? I just searched for some articles (limited, using Google translate), and the articles mainly glorify research work, and sometimes talk about reverse engineering. The latter is a gray area, and maybe I'm missing the point, but these articles are along the lines of, "We've broken through the technical blockade on satellite positioning with our own Beidou system!" and not, "Hooray, we broke the evil western monopoly by stealing their technology!"

http://news.baidu.com/ns?word=打破技术封锁


Most Chinese people are not proud of stolen technologies. Recently, a small Chinese internet company, Redcore, marketed a chromium based web browser as a indigenous innovation without acknowledgement. This sparked a public outcry in China and the company was forced to apologize and retract its claims.


> you will find there are lots of Chinese nationalist stories about their hero technician / scientists steal western technologies. They are literally proud of it.

Reminds me of the movie "Firefox" [1] with Clint Eastwood. The plot? An all-American hero sneaks deep into the UDSSR to steal a new high-tech aircraft. And I'm pretty sure Hollywood is still pumping out ideological crap like that.

[1] https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0083943/


Interesting comparison, given that Firefox was set in the context of the Cold War. The US and China certainly seem to be developing this kind of "frenemy" relationship where they're competitors and at the same time they're commercial partners. How different would the Cold War have been if the U.S.S.R. had done the lion's share of the U.S.'s manufacturing?


US built a lot of factories in USSR before WWII (+ Lend Lease during the war). However, those factories are paid by gold and wheat confiscated or produced by de facto slaves.


It's an interesting premise, however it probably would have been impossible.

China - which has never come even remotely close to doing the lionshare of US manufacturing [1] - required enormous capital to be invested by US (and European) companies to build up their manufacturing base. That capital needed to exist first before it could be invested into Chinese factories. The US got dramatically richer from 1950 to 1970 (GDP went from $280b to $1t, during the strong gold dollar era), while it dominated global manufacturing. The wealth it built up in those decades of manufacturing hegemony is what in part enabled the US to deploy such immense capital into China in the following decades.

The US wouldn't have had the accumulated wealth and consumer base to utilize the USSR as a manufacturing offshore and make the necessary investments, minus the post war domestic manufacturing boom. Unless we're talking about doing that at the very end of the USSR in the late 1980s, after US manufacturing had already peaked and begun to decline. (obviously this is all fantasy, because the USSR's policies would never have allowed for the scenario, but it's an interesting thought experiment regardless)

Also, given the USSR's population ratio with China (~260m people in the USSR versus 980m in China circa 1980), it would have been impossible on a more practical basis, for them to output so much. The USSR's economy was never known for having world-class efficiency and scale of output. They never mastered high quality massive scale manufacturing. I'm skeptical the bureaucracy would have ever made it possible. It's likely they couldn't have output but a modest fraction of US manufacturing needs under any scenario.

[1] US manufacturing output was about ~$2.1 trillion for 2018. Imports from China for 2018 were something like $560 billion. Approximately a 4x difference.


One thing was a movie, the other actually happens. One in the context of a Cold War the world is better off we, the West, won. The other to aid a non democratic regime. Also, we (and the Soviets) should have every right to defend against industrial espionage.


> One thing was a movie, the other actually happens.

Fair point on the comparison, but industrial espionage isn't a one-way street.


So which Soviet industrial secrets did the U.S. steal? Which Chinese industrial secrets did the U.S. steal? It certainly appears to be a one way street.


US DOD reportedly learned quite a bit about jet engine lubrication from a "stolen" MiG-25.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktor_Belenko


The US definitely stole its share of British industrial secrets during the Industrial Revolution and German technology post-WW2, back when the US was behind. The US doesn't need to steal Chinese secrets, we're already ahead.


You should look up the Snowden leaks, and the NSA's activity in the corporate espionage world.


You realize the Snowden leaks only she’d light on our misbehavior and shows little of the shenanigans other powers engage in. You’re getting a very myopic view from Snowden’s leaks.


I think you misunderstood what I said. The comment I replied to expressed the myopic view that stealing trade secrets and corporate espionage is a one-way street.

I'm fully aware that pretty much every nation uses it's capabilities to get an advantage, through any feasible means - that includes corporate espionage. I highlighted the Snowden leaks because they exposed the NSA's activity in that space, in response to a comment that painted the picture of "only the Chinese do this" and "it's a one-way street".


I read an article a while back, probably a couple of years (sorry, I can't find/cite). The observation in the article paints this "theft" in what they perceived to be a cultural distinction...

Specifically, in the US (and the west, more broadly) we ascribe a great deal of value to figuring out "what" to do commercially and "how" to do it technically. Most of our energy around IP are wrapped around this value and defending it.

The article had observed that for the Chinese, there was no additional value ascribed to the people or groups that paved that path, but rather that there was perceived merit/value in "doing" those things better. To use an example, identifying the market and technology and usage trends to develop a valuable product is no more important or meritorious than merely seeing/understanding that product and fast-following with some other advantage. And further, there is nothing inherently negative about re-creating someone else's work for personal benefit, after all, you still need to do the work of "doing" it.

One of the conclusions drawn was that this lack of value around creativity and direct inventorship makes the Chinese a super formidable second place in many arenas but without the skills or cultural DNA to actually take the lead or be the expeditionary force... There are pros and cons to all of that (and some pretty rebuttable presumptions in the analysis) but I thought it was an interesting take that (if valid) sheds light on what we have seen, are seeing, and will continue to see.


> One of the conclusions drawn was that this lack of value around creativity and direct inventorship makes the Chinese a super formidable second place in many arenas but without the skills or cultural DNA to actually take the lead or be the expeditionary force

That's a bit much, don't you think? Pick any engineering discipline, then randomly pick any top US university and then count the number of post-grad researchers who happen to be of Chinese heritage, or people who were raised with, as you put it: this "cultural DNA".

I've always wondered how Detroit failed to see Japanese competition coming, but I now have a front-row seat to watch this Chinese STEM "misunderestimation" unfold.


People also make parallels to government secrets, when every government does the same.


> Just by reading Chinese news reports and textbooks, you will find there are lots of Chinese nationalist stories about their hero technician / scientists steal western technologies.

Can you kindly provide an example of this? I searched "打破技术封锁" on Baidu and first page gives me advancements from research.

http://www.baidu.com/s?ie=utf-8&f=8&rsv_bp=1&rsv_idx=1&ch=&t...


Search "打破技术封锁" + "改良" and see how much "improvment" are plain stealing with minor detail changes.


> Huawei could call/email you the next day (in Chinese of course) if they find something they want to buy to get ahead.

That's not stealing? That's just acquiring interesting tech.


I worked at a competitor of them, across the street from Huawei. It was common knowledge that they interviewed people without the intention to hire them, acted super interested, and asked increasingly pointed questions to get you to violate your NDAs, and describe projects you shouldn’t. And they would do the same to those they hired. These are personal anecdotes, but I’m not surprised by these accusations.


I worked at a company that did chip design work for contract. Our bright biz dev director tried to land a deal with Huawei. Huawei kept asking detailed questions about how we would design certain features that they wanted in their chips. So our genius management would assign some of our engineers work out conceptual designs to show Huawei, detailed enough that you could jump right into HDL coding of them. It went on and on. No contract ever materialized. Many engineering hours were spent doing a fairly signicant portion of the designs.


This is sometimes called brain rape, and here's an obligatory Silicon Valley scene about it - https://youtu.be/JlwwVuSUUfc


Hey, people are stupid. I don't think Huawei is the only company doing that..


They provide "scholarship" for "best innovator" in Hong Kong Universities. Years passed, the innovative idea are stolen, the scholarship are never paid.


On the flip side, though not often corporately, the US does the same, as do most countries. I love how China gets pointed fingers at constantly for espionage and the like when the rest of the world does the same damn thing. The main difference is govenment-backing of corporations, and the blatant corporate abuse of such things. China for Chinese, and similar nationalistic views aren't exactly shocking given the behavior of our nation, and others toward the Chinese, especially under our current administration. The nationalism and racism is on both sides. And given the scale of China, well, do the math.

Beyond this, the level of information published on the Chinese web is amazing -- I did product research for a Fortune company in the US and the Chinese research published freely put them ahead.

10x the startups. 10x the millionaires made. Every. Year. Everyone else is tiny and stagnant by comparison.


As one who speaks Chinese, I find what you said is a blatant lie.

In deed, “打破技术封锁” means to break the technical blockade, but by means of independent innovation, not stealing "trade secrets". Given China has the biggest force of engineers and scientists in the world, it is not so hard to understand.

Fact check, Huawei is the only full 5G solution provider in the world; whereas no such company can be found in the US.

So when you or your friends think the US has much to be stolen by China, think twice.


if I google my name on github I can find code that was stolen from my time working at one of the major NEV's (not Huawei/ZTE) by our colleagues working at the Chinese site. The guy stealing it literally uploaded it all to his github repo including my original copyright stanza just after he moved to a Chinese state backed company.

frankly, speaking Chinese makes you an expert about this as much as is speaking English makes you an expert about Google.


I've found many "weird" repos in github with full codebases that should be secret (like SDKs, linux device drivers, etc) that were posted by Chinese people. I never understood the reason. I wonder if it's related to this?


can't say. But from my personal experience working for NEV's and attending nearly every ETSI workshop on 5G, SDN and other Future-Network topics I dare to claim that the IP theft, at least as reported by the media isn't true and most certainly smells politically motivated. Let me explain: from the late 90ies to the mid 2000 there were several rounds of mergers, consolidations in Telco, Siemens-COM, Nokia, A/LU, Ericsson all consolidated by shutting down major R&D departments by moving to China. In some cases across cheaper EU countries e.g. Italy, Croatia, etc sites just disappeared without moving but simply the consolidation of the portfolio led to a lot of people losing their jobs (again Italy especially had a lot of people working for NEV's). Some employees left the country, others managed to find a similar job with operators (but only in areas of acceptance testing, O&M, etc but not actual R&D). When Huawei swooped in to the rescue at these sites they could simply employ these guys who did the same job for the other players (after all it's all the same tech thanks to ETSI/3GPP standards so skills+experience are highly portable). And when you ask somebody to work on a system who has actually built an almost identical thing for the competitor (again identical because of standards) you have a head start.

What I want to say is that this wasn't some cloak+dagger operation as the US media paints it. When I say US media one must also consider the amplification of these news from other FVEY members - especially Australia who were very vocal about Huawei being a security risk - all very heavily involved in amplifying this manufactured outrage.

Another reason why the IP-theft angle (as reported in the West) is true but still exaggerated is that from what I have seen at the standardization meetings (again since mid-2000 till today - which is when LTE/-a were conceived is that Huawei was unlike their Western competitors very aggressive in innovating. I can't say the same thing about the delegates from Ericsson, A/LU, Siemens, Nokia which sent (quite old) people that were promoted away internally to look after these bureaucratic process. Huawei outperformed all of them (especially in 4G, 5G, SDN and the Future-Netwerks/IGN even M2M/IoT topics). They invested incredible amounts of time and money in innovation (through the standards path) almost like a start-up, which can't be said for the others and set up bodies in China (CENELEC) to ensure being on par with ETSI regs.

What hurt the established (big) guys most is that they actually thought like a start-up. If you worked at Huawei as a junior in Italy and other sites, you were allowed to move across departments and fields getting a well rounded picture of how the telco-sector works. If you wanted to gain the same experience with the big guys you'd have to stay 15-20 years in the company as opposed to 3-5 with Huawei. This is why Huawei engineers are highly sought after by other telco firms.

Lastly Huawei has been always competing on price. I got downvoted for saying this before here because people only saw the price-tags of the latest UEs like the P-range etc, but this isn't what we're talking about when we speak about NEV's (and from a security pov the risk isn't so much in the handsets but the rest of the infrastructure that makes the lions share of the R&D work). Huawei kit was (and still is) the worst and most shoddy equipment you can get in terms of Interoparability. (IOT means "interoperability testing" in this context and the industry used to employ whole departments in this field of work). Despite the crap quality they could sell their wares very cheaply across Africa and emerging countries (often to questionable regimes, ... but so did all the others only that their prices eventually ended up being to high once Huawei entered that regional market). So if it wouldn't be Huawei selling custom-made Lawful-Intercept (LI) to these dictators it would still be the established players doing it ...

The only thing that has changed in this game is the perception of how China is viewed in the world. Trust is a fickle thing and once you start playing with protectionism and trade-war that trust is over and from a security POV you have no other choice than re-think your supply-chain. Also to be fair to the established NEVs: Huawei sold their kit across the globe and still operates R&D centers across Europe employing thousands, the established players entered China and moved a large amount of innovation into China, the playing field wasn't equal. Huawei could tap into the know-how overseas and back home, while the established players operating in China faced a lot of restrictions.

Damn this is getting long, last point: if you are able to undercut your competitor at a loss (because you're propped up by your own government) there is simply no way for the others to compete with you. This is the kicker IMO and not the topic of Huawei being a natsec threat (which only is a symptom once trust broke down).

EDIT: TL;DR I'm not saying they didn't steal things but the information is twisted the way it is reported. And if we speak about backdoors we'd have to equally speak about threat-models and here backdoors are only tangentially interesting since the vulns that stem from shoddy engineering (hello crappy ASN1 parsers) are much cheaper to harness than some hypothetical purpose-made backdoor that costs millions to implement and keep covered-up. (Occam's razor)


Use to work in this space more in the 2G-3G era and a bit of 4G in packet core networks.

Interesting space and would love to know about how I can keep up (will shoot you an email if you do not mind)

A few semi-random thoughts: -Initially Huawei had that reputation of stealing back in the days when they were caught reverse engineering Cisco router OS code -They are also known to throw tons of people to any network issue including bespoke on the spot fixes (which would be a nightmare for support engineers, imagine a worst case where every client is running a specific version of code from all the hot fixes and custom patchs) -Growth in revenue has been unbelievable from the above. And yet their core equipment is banned in a few countries (US, Canada, Australia). A true Chinese success story.

Other thoughts: -NEV is a tough space, margin rates are so low yet your hip phone manufacturers are making bank $ -The patent wars are very real with a number of companies that are not not equipment makers (e.g. interdigital) that just collect royalties


> will shoot you an email if you do not mind

please do, always happy to get mail from fellow HN'ers

> Initially Huawei had that reputation of stealing back in the days when they were caught reverse engineering Cisco router OS code

agree, they did that :( What always puzzles me is how the West keeps underestimating Asian countries / societies abilities to outperform them. They did not see this coming after the lesson from Japan (e.g. Toyota) establishing a beach-head in the West and by initially copying them, later they move to upmarket by perfecting what they have and beat them with confidence. My uncle bought a Mazda in the 80ies and he was ridiculed for buying such a cheap-ass car. (iirc the word "rice bowl" was used to make fun of the quality). When it comes to telcos/tech it seems that we are witnessing the same thing again. When I remember the outcries over moving sites to China and giving them access to our repos - with the only promise in return "that the market will eventually be opened to them", it seems obvious that the established NEV's made huge mistakes here. People in the lower ranks have been vocal over this but their cries were drowned out by those pushing for cost-reduction at all cost (since it meant short term gains in their balance sheet which the mgmt could cash in on). Especially in this field which is all carved up by big players and no room for small innovators the strategy has always been short-sighted. I could go on and on, ... Now they're all crying and pointing fingers at the Chinese boogie man when the root cause of this is their own incompetence. When it comes to vulns CISCO is probably an interesting case. They literally sold countless backdoors as undocumented features over the years. I don't know of any company that violated basic security principles as much as them.

> -NEV is a tough space, margin rates are so low yet your hip phone manufacturers are making bank $

it's really hard for NEVs and has been for years because operators are reduced to utilities. (the phrase "dumb pipes" has been thrown around in the industry ever since youtube/streaming took off). And they're all pushed to reduce costs while at the same time innovating. Within the NEV's the mergers were always justified with "Huawei is on the rise and this is the only way to compete". It started with the Alcatel + Lucent merger and the rest is history. Now it seems NEV's don't even think about organic innovation anymore and only view it through the angle of merge with the second largest to stay ahead of Huawei. There is very little IP that is created these days internally. At least when you compare their core R&D headcount to patents it's quite a joke. :-/

Getting back into this game today should nevertheless be much easier than it was when you were working on 2/3G. I had no knowledge of the stack yet they were somehow convinced they wanted to hire me. It was weird. I didn't have any connections either. It dawned on my only later that the move from CS to PS networks meant that my skills suddenly became interesting to them (before I did systems & security development for web companies). And with PS came the people who brought the agile mindset ... low and behold everyone in Telco now talks about virtualization, CI/CD and stuff you never heard the old guys talk about. In a similar way the Automotive landscape was transformed a decade later (a sim-card with wheels that is using Ethernet instead of CAN). @pmarca was right when he said SW is eating the world

I'd imagine it would be difficult finding a spot with the big ones, mentioned in this thread. They often have a hiring stop in many Western countries which forces them to outsource good jobs to external "suppliers". If you get a gig like this it is usually great money provided that you land in a department with a cool boss (always a gamble in these bureaucracies). Also being geographically flexible helps especially when you want to carve out your niche as a consultant. When they do eventually hire for internal jobs then they usually look to convert these "externals" into "internals" before they even announce it.

Another route is to closely follow a hot topic that you are passionate about at ETSI. (avoid anything that smells like Enterprise vaporware like their TLS middlebox clusterfudge and you should be good). At ETSI you can find small companies that are still innovating in areas which aren't considered the core-business of the big guys (public safety comes to mind). Also the good news is that the topics here (https://www.etsi.org/technologies) are widely applicable across industry silos. If you just focus on telco you might lock yourself in too much which defeats the effort (of doing the legwork required to penetrate these fields). In any case play the long-game otherwise there is no point (imvho).

EDIT: another thing ofc is virtualization. SDN, SD-WAN, and all that. If you're into this kind of turtles all the way down complexity it's a great selling point: https://media.ccc.de/v/35c3-9446-sd-wan_a_new_hop ... other areas I could think of is security and further automating delivery pipelines. I have so far not seen any web based (or even automotive) company that puts as much money into CI/CD as the big telcos do. Fines for downtime of a eNodeB are in the millions/day so the quality/automation angle always sells well. Reducing the time that it takes to map responsibility between a trace/bug-report to an actual developer/tester to look at the problem is real $ saved.


> What always puzzles me is how the West keeps underestimating Asian countries / societies abilities to outperform them.

The same smug condescension is frequently on HN; the third comment right now reads in part ...this lack of value around creativity and direct inventorship makes the Chinese a super formidable second place in many arenas but without the skills or cultural DNA to actually take the lead or be the expeditionary force... If I were China, I'd encourage this attitude until I was good and ready - a little paranoia and an assumption of competence would help (come to think of it; this might be the whole point of the recent flood of China stories, if one were to put on their conspiracy theory hat.)


indeed, these people need to travel more, or at least read Confucius / Sun Tzu. They all forget that they're thinking long term and not like in the West where today's short-term profit trumps all that might make sense in the long-run (not just companies but already starting from the way families work).

I'm convinced that this complacency, ignorance and attitude of superiority is also the kernel to their downfall and demise. The aging US/EU as a viable market simply is a joke when compared to the potential of the Asian markets.

I asked an Italian double Michelin star chef once where he had the best dish of authentic pasta ever. He said in Tokyo (but that it was closely followed by his mothers recipe).

Not saying that the Chinese are as quality obsessed as the Japanese, but there are countless similar points where the West just misses things because of ignorance and the Emperial feelings of superiority.


Gongkai?[0]

The kind of codebases you mention are actually good to have in the open :).

--

[0] - https://www.bunniestudios.com/blog/?p=4297


Yes of course. Especially when it's the SDK of a router, or drivers for an Android mobile so you can make a ROM for them! (Those are the examples I had originally in mind)


On HN, it's important to disagree by neutrally providing accurate information. Attacking someone else's comment as a "blatant lie" falls under what the site guidelines refer to as "calling names" and is not ok here. If you'd please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and use HN as intended, we'd appreciate it.

That particularly means avoiding nationalistic flamewar, even on divisive topics where it's hard to resist. Most of all on those topics actually.


I don't get it. What you wrote and what you're responding to are not in contradiction with one another. On what basis is what GP said a lie? What relevance does 5G have to anything?

Progress in technology is progress regardless.

I just watched a few episodes of Black Mirror so I'm in cynical mode. I'm not trying to be argumentative but it just felt more like a non-sequitur than anything...

Progress is good (mostly), though, right?

As for which economies that progress happens to bolster, well, let the chips fall where they may, I suppose.


[flagged]


Can you show a few press articles in which that term is glorified as "stealing from the west" as GP mentions? As far as I can tell using translators, the usage is almost exclusively in articles talking about their own research, technical and scientific advancements, etc. Nothing that implies stealing.

So is that "translation" actually a translation or just the personal interpretation of GP based on their preferences and understanding?

P.S. I'm genuinely curious for those articles, just in case you're interested in supporting the idea that the word actually has a more "creative" translation. Shouldn't be hard to find given that there are "lots of Chinese nationalist stories in Chinese news reports and textbooks".


Also as a Chinese speaker I would put this kind of misinformation into "subjective distortion based on partial facts in order to inject wrong meme into audience, intentionally or otherwise". As opposed to “blatant lie”. This misleading technique is much more powerful than "blatant lies" that only effective before cold war. The technique is used very often in Western main stream media and it's so powerful that many intelligent HN'ers are totally convinced by many misinformation about China. Any argument against their belief would be easily downvoted

I would substantiate the point a little more proof which missed in your claim:

To correctly understand an expression with some ambiguity it is necessary to put the expression under context for test. Here we have enough context for the common expression of “打破技术封锁”: When it is used in China media like TV, along with the expression are all the stories about how engineers work so hard and with their own innovations finally find good solutions. Never a single story about somebody steal an IP from others. I’m talking about the values that medias publicly promote. No society can become and sustain prosperity with a value of encouraging stealing.

On the other hand, we should also need think about how this kind of wrong and unfair bias comes from. There are reasons for that. A lot of wrong practice of Chinese companies during competition, (maybe including Huawei in early times in my personal opinion) lead to the strong bias toward Chinese companies today. The bias even it's unfair might be a pressure to force Chinese regulators to do better on making and enforcing IP policies which could benefit both domestic Chinese and foreign companies with better environment

There's a Chinese variant concept of open source called "Gongkai" could be helpful for technology advancement but that's another topic.


>Fact check, Huawei is the only full 5G solution provider in the world; whereas no such company can be found in the US.

And..... they are also the only full 4G solution provider. None of the other telecom infrastructure companies have client side business. Arguably Samsung do, but that are relatively new. But that doesn't prove anything.

Credit where Credit's due Huawei has made fair amount of contribution towards 5G. But they don't own 5G like what the Chinese Media states, and they are not the number one in total 5G patents either as many Chinese Media likes to put it.


No, Huawei does not own all the 5G patents/technology; so it must have stolen from other countries?

So when you want something you don't own, the only option is to steal? I find your logic so absurd. Then how much is the US stealing everyday?


>I find your logic so absurd

It is funny you challenge me on logic and yet none of my reply intends or implies, their only option is to steal.


Ah yes, glass heart syndrome strikes yet again.


That's bullshit. Even Chinese academics in the west don't care about stealing or copying.

There's a reason nobody bothers to cite Chinese papers, it's because you should cite the original instead.

5G is a technology without purpose.


Since I scolded someone up thread for saying "blatant lie", I'd better point out that you should just as much drop "That's bullshit" from your comments here, regardless of how wrong another user may be. Please review https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html and especially note the point about not calling names in arguments.

cauldron 79 days ago [flagged]

>independent innovation

As a Chinese, you may also know the inherent hatred and despisement towards "foreigners" mainly the "white skinned pigs", believing that the "foreigners" deserve anything done to them, it's just payback time for what they had done to the Qing dynasty otherwise China would have "still" been the greatest and most powerful country, right?

And the "No matter the cat black or white, it's a good cat if caught the rat" kind winner-take-all, by fair means or foul, mentality is never more prevalent in today's China?

>full 5G solution provider

This refrain again, you really should read less Chinese propaganda, Huawei has always been mainly an assembler and modifier like ZTE, just because they have that cellphone SoC which itself is not that advanced and original and handicapped on GPU, so magically Huawei is now a tech giant?

Tear down what ever Huawei product and especially tele equipment and see how many key parts are "innovated" by Huawei? And how many are from the "foreigners"?

Even that overblown SoC is cobbled together with all kinds of licensed IPs and algorithms from companies all over the world.

Such an innovative and successful marketing company.

Next time whitewashing China, do your homework first, your nonsense works wonderfully in China, but not anywhere else.

>think the US has much to be stolen by China, think twice.

Sounds just like straight from the CCTV with a gigantic complex.

Also have a look at China's latest invention.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_new_inventions


We've banned this account for abusing HN with nationalistic flamewar and ignoring our requests to stop.

It's really shocking to see material this vitriolic on Hacker News. I hope everyone understands that it's totally unacceptable here, regardless of your views on geopolitics or whatever.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


And "on the horse" means "right away". Doesn't mean you literally should get on a horse and get over here.


Equating "stealing trade secrects" with "打破技术封锁" is disingenuous. And this

> you will find there are lots of Chinese nationalist stories about their hero technician / scientists steal western technologies. They are literally proud of it

is a blatant lie.

Sure, if you just want to feel superior, keep making blanket statements like this. But if you really want the West to outcompete China, you'd better spend more time on understanding the intricacies.


[flagged]


>Simply put, Huawei's products have better quality and companies in the US can't compete with it.

>I'm now typing on a Huawei Matebook 13 and carrying a Huawei Mate 10 phone. Those things have amazing quality and it's a real pity customers can't have them in the States.

You have an interesting post history supporting Huawei for an account only a month old...


This kind of thing is becoming really common lately. Not just Chinese companies doing this -- Qualcomm shills have been relentless whenever there's new press out regarding their legal battle with Apple, for example.

I wonder if it's just part of the "package" when a company buys the services of a marketing or PR company these days. Maybe before it was just a few phone calls to some editors to get some puff pieces in magazines and an ad campaign.

Now it's those things too, but also a massive online wave of comments across the web and social media to push a narrative in a certain direction.


I'm so sick of it. It just makes me want to stop using these portions of the internet completely. It is naive to think that companies aren't putting as much into social media manipulation campaigns as they do into advertising.


Was that quoting from their flagged comment, or from their post history? Because if it's from the flagged comment, they posted exactly the same comment yesterday on another HN post:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19015649


my flagged post was about how the OP misinterpreted the chinese phrase (since you asked i include below). thats why I questioned what his point is. in my old post i was also critisizing huaweis early products as cheap knockoff but he seemed not bothered to quote.

reposting here:

> In China, stealing trade secrets is called “打破技术封锁” (breaking the technical blockade).

Wow. This is a blatant lie. Where did you get this piece? The Chinese phrase means developing the technology to a certain level that an embargo no longer works as intended. There are plenty examples in space technologies - US prohibits NASA collaboration with China and there are indigenous innovation breakthrough from within like landing on the far side of the moon.


Thanks for clearing that up - it wasn't clear to me if you were being accused of repeatedly posting exactly the same comment, or just comments supportive of Huawei & China in general.


You're welcome to read all my posts and comments, and they are public. I have been reading hacker news for a few years and only recently wanted to sign up. so what's your point?


You are nakedly cheerleading for an authoritarian China and it's creepy and weird.


So it must be shills to be supportive of China? Have you considered supporting China may be quite a popular opinion among the Chinese people both domestically and overseas?


Most westerners appreciate a balance between supporting one's country of origin in a generic, thoughtful way, and unthinking jinoism[0].

Part of the mental maturity process is being able to see the greater affects of the policies of one's country on the wider world, and advocating for policies which enhance things for the greater world while still being positive for one's own country. That maturity process is naturally short circuited in authoritarian countries like China.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jingoism


You seem to not have come across this so I'll spell it out.

Authoritarian China controls both the education, media and internet. It can and does fan the flames of ethnonationalism for political purposes.

The propaganda is usually reasonable sounding, but actually incorrect reading of history.

The more nationalist individuals make their own decisions and are encouraged to be themselves propagandists. Especially spreading propaganda towards other ethnically Chinese people but also to the wider world.

The infectiousness and effectiveness of this propaganda is actually quite fascinating to observe.

Everywhere on the internet there are examples of this information warfare.


where did you get this piece of crap? i have lived in china and us, both countries have pros and cons, things that their people should be proud of. its weird that you label my post as nakedly cheerleading

Puer 79 days ago [flagged]

Ah yes, more unsubstantiated claims about Chinese tech and culture on HN. Can you back up a single thing you've claimed?


Please don't post unsubstantive comments here regardless of how wrong someone is. And especially please don't post in the flamewar style. I realize it's frustrating to encounter these discussions on the internet, but we need you and everyone here to do better than this.

If you know more than others, post correct information so that readers can learn something. Even if you don't persuade the person you're arguing with, the fair-minded majority will benefit.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Sharing knowledge and advancing technology for everyone is something to be proud of. Society needs to end the practice of hoarding private knowledge.


I think the idea behind intellectual property is to encourage people to take risks associated with developing something new and profit through their innovations. If all new discoveries were the property of the state/public then there wouldn't be a high incentive to be inventive for any given individual.

It's like if everyone was a farmer but everything harvested was immediately taken from the farmer. Why would any farmer put in effort to increase yield when they would not profit from their extra effort?


> I think the idea behind intellectual property is to encourage people to take risks associated with developing something new and profit through their innovations.

No, the idea is to prevent other people from profiting through 'claimed' innovations.

> If all new discoveries were the property of the state/public then there wouldn't be a high incentive to be inventive for any given individual.

Most innovation is not done for money. It's done by people with genuine interest in the subject, often earning less than an average professional in the field. The vast majority of valuable R&D for computer(s/ing) came, and still comes from the public sector.

> It's like if everyone was a farmer but everything harvested was immediately taken from the farmer.

Why is it that intellectual property proponents always try to make analogies using physical property? Copying != moving/deleting. If I was a farmer and along came some poor hungry people that saw me farming, learned from it, then went and farmed their own land, I would have no problem with that.

> Why would any farmer put in effort to increase yield when they would not profit from their extra effort?

If we're talking about innovation, then because it could make farming easier, safer, more enjoyable, healthier, etc.


Its unfortunate that out economical system discourages sharing and rewards those who act selfishly. If the farmers needs were taken care of, they would push to make better tech to make their lives easier and provide more food for the rest of their country.


The best system humans have come up with to meet the needs of the farmer is capitalism. Think of all the selfish actors whose countless innovations (big and small) go into making sure peoples needs are met. The irony of capitalism is that by each individual focusing on themselves society is the beneficiary.

The farmers needs are more than met under capitalism than under any other economic system people have thought up (to date). That’s why innovation happens more in capitalist societies.

Communism, as a counterpoint, is pinned on selflessness. Think of your brothers and your sisters! Work hard and freely give away your labor, for everyone will give you their labor. Think about the good of the nation! The irony is that this system minimizes innovation and maximizes a cruel society.

Why should a capitalist society, whose individuals act for the good of themselves, have a stronger societial fabric than a communist society, whose individuals act for the good of society?

Who knows, but I certainly am not willing to throw out such a proven system just because it’s raw “selfish” focus at the micro level makes people a little queasy.


I think that if we got rid of those incentives people would still innovate


If someone stole their invention and made money off it?? Why the hell would anyone want to invest time into that? Its not like the Chinese are pursuing some ideology of free knowledge, no they are trying to scoop for profit.


Why do people work on open source or give up time for charity? Not everyone is focused purely on collecting more money when their needs are already covered.


> when their needs are already covered

So few steps to go here then; many (by far most) inventors do not have that little detail so they rely on their invention being monetized to give them that. People in open source or charity often just have enough money/time to do that on the side, but most people do not.

Needs basic income or working communism; both do not exist (yet or ever) so how would that work?


Very few people work on open source. You will find that most people trade their hours for money.


I think most people are very willing to do things simply for the sake of improving the world as long as it doesn't mean giving up their quality of life. Many people offer help for free, pick up rubbish they didn't drop and work on improvements for things we all benefit on. The only problem we have currently is many people are busy with menial work to maintain their quality of life.

I think the solution is potentially a mix of automation providing cheap resources to everyone and government funding for useful research.


With open source, your work is still protected by copyright


Because they want to.


> I think that if we got rid of those incentives people would still innovate

Yes, but then they'd keep their innovations secret as trade secrets or they would only innovate when it was cheap and unrisky.


China stole trade secrets and technology from US Steel and Alcor (aluminum) that allowed them to catch up in technology at an unreasonable pace. This is just one huge example. They don't innovate, they steal and then copy, undercutting others' costs.

The US metal producing industry has taken a huge hit and they were the ones to put the R&D money into the production technology.


Do you have more info about this? I work in Steel and I admit I don't have a large high level picture of things, my understanding/perception is the tech innovation in recent decades have come largely from JKT (Japan, Korea, Taiwan) region those countries have the modern plants that are technologically interesting, my understanding is US plants are mostly older previous generation technology so I find it dubious that trade secrets from US plants would have much value any info would be less relevant to modern style plants being built in China.

I'm aware there is a lot of shades of grey around large commercially sensitive ore contract negotiations etc - see Stern Hu case https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-07-04/stern-hu-explainer-wh...


Not the parent, but I recall that Deng Xiaoping basically kicked off China's steel industry by buying a modern steel plant from Japan for a not insignificant portion of China's total GDP at the time. It was a risky investment which paid off.


Okay, but who decides what a "reasonable" pace is? Isn't more competition better? It's not school and you don't need to do your own work.


This line of thinking is too black and white.

What would incentive a company to invest millions in new technology, like a new cancer drug, if they have to give up their secrets as soon as they do? No one would bother inventing any at all.

And what about nuclear weapons? Are we supposed to think that it's better if every tin hat despot could just download plans for an ICBM?


> What would incentive a company to invest millions in new technology, like a new cancer drug, if they have to give up their secrets as soon as they do? No one would bother inventing any at all.

Well, the incentives around research are a bit weird. I'm usually all-in on free market capitalism, but I have to admit that historically government sponsorship has a pretty great track record for research.

For your specific question though, the answer could easily be because someone paid them up front to develop a new cancer drug. There is no question that companies that synthesise drugs are incentivised to research new products and deploy them as a stream of new and more effective drugs entering the market will cause it to grow in size and hence increase their profits. It is a question of debate about whether the current American IP system or natural incentives would give a better result overall.

> And what about nuclear weapons? Are we supposed to think that it's better if every tin hat despot could just download plans for an ICBM?

Splitting hairs, but it is debatable if building ICBMs is 'private knowledge' for the grandparent comment. That sort of tech is probably more of a grey-area public-knowledge style. It certainly isn't protected by the IP system, because then someone would be selling ICBMs to tin hat dictators. It isn't used in products that are sold to private entities either (I hope!).


Nuclear weapons are a good example of IP theft though. Russia stole plans from the US for nuclear weapons to get ahead. The US literally executed people for their role in it.


Which was also a good thing. Now every country has them, no one will use them because there is no longer any power imbalance.


Why wouldn't they use them? MAD only exists if there is a credible threat. Imagine that you are a leader of a small asian dictatorship with large amounts of starvation. Other countries threaten to invade to dethrone you. If you do nothing, you die.

You're likely to want to use anything you have to keep your power, including threatening to use your nukes if anyone tries anything. That threat is only credible if you are actually willing to do it.

So now we would just have a multitude of countries playing brinksmanship, seeing who can act the most reckless to convince everyone else not to mess with them because "I'll really do it, don't test me". Great, that sounds like a really wonderful world to live in.


Ya how dare anyone make money from their well researched work!!!


Its sad to think how many amazing inventions never get used because they are encumbered by patents or kept secret.


Patents allow for the knowledge to be documented and the patent has a limited term after which anyone can use it. Without patents, more things would be kept as a trade secret.


The majority of things in patents could not be kept secret. What we end up with is disposable products because every part is patented so you can't make replacements or other devices that are compatible.


For most things, feel free to reproduce patented parts for your own consumption, just don't give them away or try to sell them.


Thats a non answer. I don't have metal working tools sitting around in my shed that would let me whip up a replacement part for things. As a society we throw away so many things because they contain patented parts and the original company wont sell replacements or they sell them at enormous prices.

Hopefully in the future metal 3D printing becomes common and cheap so we will be able to source replacement parts from torrent websites.


Then what incentive do I have to spend money and innovate when everyone else can capitalize on it? That comment is a demotivational one for innovation in that it doesn't reward the entity that spend time and resources making it a reality.


Inventions could be publicly funded and then the findings be made available to everyone. We already pay for all the inventions we use indirectly so why not just fund them to begin with and actually have access to this information.


That's what academia is for. Perhaps we should ensure that academic research that is publicly funded doesn't end up with IP restrictions placed on it, and also expand the range of research academia engages in, to include more applied-research stuff and rediscovering/popularizing existing know-how that often is not publicly documented and might not even exist other than in tacit form. (This expanded scope for research would also help reduce waste due to academics overcrowding into a few über-popular fields of research, and largely duplicating efforts while trying to "scoop" one another.)

Of course, tacit know-how and first-to-market advantages will always exist to some extent. So, in a sense, we can't fully get rid of "IP"-like dynamics. But we can, and should, mitigate them.


And where are these unlimited funds you speak of? I have a few crazy ideas of my own, that I'm willing to pursue on someone else's dime.


We have the ability to automate almost everything needed for life. It seems realistic that you could spend all your time working on crazy ideas and cost no one a minute of their time.


> Just by reading Chinese news reports and textbooks, you will find there are lots of Chinese nationalist stories about their hero technician / scientists steal western technologies. They are literally proud of it.

Citations please.

These reports universally proclaim the protagonists‘ self reliance and preservation.

These reports might well be cover up of the stealing, but your statement is to me plain ridiculous.

Applying common knowledge, if Chinese nationals really is blatant to praise stealing on public news outlets, why do you still think any foreign company can make any money?!


> Just by reading Chinese news reports and textbooks, you will find there are lots of Chinese nationalist stories about their hero technician / scientists steal western technologies. They are literally proud of it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Slater

> He memorized the designs of textile factory machinery as an apprentice to a pioneer in the British industry before migrating to the United States at the age of 21. He designed the first textile mills in the US and later went into business for himself, developing a family business with his sons.

Slater memorized these trade secrets, because any papers containing these designs would have been confiscated from him.

Consider also the brain drain, wherein educated professionals have, over the past few decades, been siphoned out of the developing world, attracted by higher remuneration in the West. This is not a dissimilar process, but it is operating in reverse.

yumraj 79 days ago [flagged]

I don't know who you are or what your agenda is, but any sane person would argue that citing something that happened in early 1800s does not make the same thing OK in 2019.


Please make your arguments on HN without making dark insinuations about agendas.

Also, please drop name-calling language like "any sane person".

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html


Agreed. Mea culpa!


Why not? China is ~200 years late in industrializing, mostly because of centuries of colonial plunder (And a few decades of communist misrule).

There's a very simple formula for getting your country caught up to the rest of the world. Steal as much as you can, until you pull yourself up to the level of your neighbours. Every developed nation has either done this, or piggy-backed off a bigger neighbour who has.

Just because we've already gone down this path, doesn't give us any moral high-ground for pulling the ladder up after us.

And it works, too. Look at the quality of life in China, compared to India... Or Vietnam.


> And it works, too. Look at the quality of life in China, compared to India... Or Vietnam.

Can't say for Vietnam as I don't know much, but quality of life in India is much much better than quality of life in China.

People in India have access to full Internet, have access to real Democracy, have freedom of speech, live free life, aren't afraid to speak their mind, minorities are not being thrown in concentration camps, Government has no control over their thoughts and so and so forth. Sure, they may not have as many life's luxuries, but I think most people will take a free-er life than a gilded prison.


> but quality of life in India is much much better than quality of life in China

Just no.

> People in India have access to full Internet

Internet penetration in India is 25% compared to China's 71%. I suspect most people would take censored internet over no internet[0].

> have access to real Democracy

I suspect this is one of those hierarchy of needs things. India. India has 21% of its population living on under $1.90 a day, where China has 0.7% the same. Perhaps they can eat their ballot papers?[1]

> have freedom of speech, live free life, aren't afraid to speak their mind

Really though? "[India] ranks poorly at 138th rank out of 180 listed countries in the Press Freedom Index 2018 released by Reporters Without Borders (RWB)". That's _terrible_ for a supposed Democracy, even if China is worse. At least their censorship is out in the open...[2]

> minorities are not being thrown in concentration camps

No, they're just being killed with mob violence instead[3][4]

> Sure, they may not have as many life's luxuries, but I think most people will take a free-er life than a gilded prison.

I think you've not met many hungry people.

[0] http://www.pewglobal.org/2018/06/19/social-media-use-continu...

[1] https://ourworldindata.org/extreme-poverty

[2] https://rsf.org/en/ranking/2018

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_violence_in_India#Mo...

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caste-related_violence_in_Indi...


Most people would take Full Internet. That is why almost all other countries have the full internet.


"Sure, they may not have as many life's luxuries, but I think most people will take a free-er life than a gilded prison."

I'd bet you have never starved in your life or found yourself sick without adequate medical help.


> most people will take a free-er life than a gilded prison

Maslow's hierarchy applies here. I won't start worrying about freedom of speech till I have food and stability. The fact that so many non-democratic countries transition to becoming democracies only after reaching some level of economic development (see Taiwan, South Korea) would imply that this is a trend in the world.


Ten years behind in life expectancy, five times behind in GDP, despite starting from a similar economic footing in 1948... Except China had to deal with five decades of communist misrule, three of which were under the leadership of, well, Mao Zedong.

This isn't a 'Oh, China enjoys a few more luxuries then India'. Today, there are three hundred million people in China that are living nearly-western lifestyles, whereas twenty years ago, there weren't any.

There's nearly an order of magnitude in the difference of development, between the two countries.

Don't get me wrong - India has made a lot of great achievements over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. But if you were to ask - which approach to trade brings prosperity - the winner is pretty clear.


>And it works, too. Look at the quality of life in China, compared to India... Or Vietnam.

You're basically saying crime pays if you can get away with it. Everybody knows this, the thing is that eventually you can't get away with it anymore, which is what China is learning now as their economy gets crushed by tariffs and the world unites against them


It's really simple. I and many others quite enjoy the peripheral benefits of living the world's #1 economy. We're #1 because of size and productivity per capita. If another country with a larger population matched us in productivity, they would be the #1 economy and would get benefits that I and many others living in the US enjoy. One of those benefits is generally spreading democratic ideals and promoting natural rights, such as free speech, private property, etc.

Any country whose values contradict those values threatens me if they become the most economically powerful country. With this in mind, it's imperative that we pull up the ladder behind us if we want to maintain the lead that protects our values.

If/When China gets the lead, you can be certain that they'll pull up the ladder behind them, leaving us in a position of dependency.

I don't care if some podunk country does this. I do care if a country the size of China does this because my life is better so long as I'm on the winning team.

A big difference between the US and China, is that any foreigner can move to the US to contribute to and enjoy the benefits of being #1. If China becomes #1, that option won't be available in practical terms, because China is essentially a homogenous ethnostate with an almost impossibly difficult path to naturalization for those that were not born there.


One of those benefits is generally spreading democratic ideals and promoting natural rights, such as free speech, private property, etc.

I think your view of the last 50 years of American intervention in other countries is not based in fact. The U.S. has consistently subverted democratic principles. We’ve done this in Central America, Iran in the 1950s, Haiti, South Vietnam, South Africa, Cambodia, etc. The U.S. government frequently promotes regimes that are antithetical to the promotion of natural rights and democratic ideals.

It’s fine to want the U.S. to be number 1 and to want to prevent China from becoming number 1 but one should not believe that the U.S. has been anything other than a self interested hegemon the last 50 years.


You seem to be unaware of the economic literature on trade. Without a doubt, trade barriers harm the public, regardless of which government initiated them (or reciprocates them).

The rest of your post recites the American Exceptionalist narrative, which a lot of people believe in like a religion (not saying you do).

But what evidence would it take to change your view? What if the main purpose of intelligence agencies was to conduct industrial espionage on behalf of US firms? What if government intervention in trade (forbidding private firms and individuals from free choice) was making the US worse off every year? What if China’s leaders are significantly more wise and judicious than our own? What if China’s people are actually more aligned with enlightenment values than most Americans?

The values you mention are found only in political speeches and propaganda messages. The US is the biggest state sponsor of terrorism worldwide, the biggest threat to peace, the biggest danger to our natural resources, and the most egregious violator of human rights in many many years.

Our leaders try to instill fear and skepticism about foreigners, but most Americans have much much more in common with the average Chinese person than we do with our own leaders.


I wasn't born in the US and I haven't lived my entire adult life in the US. The US, Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand all can claim exceptionalism in my book due to the high quality of life they've achieved for their people, whether you were born in these countries or moved to them.

I'm also not claiming the US is perfect. No country is. It's a lot better than many of the other 190 other options out there in many respects, but not all.

> most Americans have much much more in common with the average Chinese person than we do with our own leaders.

Completely agree. I'm not criticizing the average Chinese person and I agree that average Americans and average Chinese have a lot in common. My post wasn't about average people. It was about which leaders I trust more. I'm criticizing the leaders of China versus US leaders. I chose to live here because I trust these leaders the most, but I recognize they aren't perfect.

I wouldn't mind if the other countries I listed above become #1 because I generally trust the leaders of those countries as well. I don't think it's a controversial opinion by any stretch to look at some countries and think "Gee, I sure don't want them to have global power".


> any foreigner can move to the US to contribute to and enjoy the benefits of being #1

This is not true. There's, at a minimum, hundreds of millions of people who'd like to move here and can't.


I had no problem moving here. I've compared both countries and it's orders of magnitudes easier to move to the US and becoming a permanent resident or citizen in the US than China.


"Any country whose values contradict those values threatens me if they become the most economically powerful country. With this in mind, it's imperative that we pull up the ladder behind us if we want to maintain the lead that protects our values."

You are funny. Nobody in the rest of the world cares how you live and what values you have. At least until you begin spreading your way of live and values through bombing.


There wasn't a WTO and there weren't international trades laws, in the 1800s. Even then he wasn't working as an arm of the US government to deliberately steal IP to surpass the British empire technologically, which is what the Chinese are currently doing


> There wasn't a WTO and there weren't international trades laws, in the 1800s.

No, but what he was doing was still highly illegal.


Could you quote the relevant law from 18th century England that he broke?


These look like serious charges:

Defrauding four large banks into clearing transactions with Iran in violation of international sanctions.

Conspiracy to obstruct justice by moving employees out of the United States so they could not be called as witnesses before a grand jury in Brooklyn.

Conspiracy to defraud the United States by impairing, impeding, obstructing and defeating, through deceitful and dishonest means, the lawful governmental functions of an agency of the United States.

Money laundering conspiracy.

Conspiracy to steal trade secrets about robotics from a competitor, T-Mobile.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/28/us/politics/meng-wanzhou-...

If the charges are true, I hope Ms. Meng is extradited and prosecuted, and the company barred from operating in the US.

But if this is just a bargaining chip to be exchanged for a few worthless face-saving trade deal "wins" for this administration, it will be disgrace.


> But if this is just a bargaining chip to be exchanged for a few worthless face-saving trade deal "wins" for this administration, it will be disgrace.

The indictment spans more than a decade; this definitely predates the current administration.


From my link:

"President Trump had previously publicly toyed with the idea of granting Ms. Meng freedom if it would help secure a trade deal, much to the dismay of law enforcement officials."


President Trump has toyed with a lot of stupid ideas that are dead on arrival.


Some of his stupid ideas play out though, like becoming president.


The actual indictment: https://assets.bwbx.io/documents/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/rIz2tT7h... (PDF Warning)

Wire fraud is really serious. It looks like the government intends on going the full distance in this case.


It's notable that some of the evidence against Ms. Meng consists of "an electronic device that contained a file in unallocated space -- indicating that the file may have been deleted" (page 8 of the indictment).

Did authorities seize and image her devices at JFK?


I noticed that as well. I am super curious about how they obtained that information. I assume it will come out at trial, if it gets that far.


There’s a lot more that could be done here than barring them from operating in the US, which is an irrelevant market to them. Using it as a trade deal bargaining chip is actually the only way to get anything out of the situation without a major escalation.


The only "serious" charge is busting sanctions which again, only the US is re-imposing on Iran, and for political reasons and exactly for bargaining in things like this. Trumped up propaganda shit, as usual.


>But if this is just a bargaining chip to be exchanged for a few worthless face-saving trade deal "wins" for this administration, it will be disgrace

If letting one person off the hook can benefit all americans through better trade, how is that a disgrace?

China has apparently offered to balance the trade deficit with the US within 6 years

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-18/china-is-...

their economy is also tanking rapidly based on what their government can't cover up, the quarterly reports of US companies

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-28/nvidia-cu...

So by basically any measure the US is winning the trade war


>If letting one person off the hook can benefit all americans through better trade, how is that a disgrace?

it's a disgrace for the rule of law and an independent judiciary.


> it's a disgrace for the rule of law

Agreed

> an independent judiciary.

Not sure I agree, the US is pretty clear that the president has pardon power, that the executive gets to exercise prosecutorial discretion, and so on.


lol, our justice system has been a joke for a long time. James Clapper and John Brennan are walking free after violating every American's constitutional rights and then lying to congress about it. Meanwhile Edward Snowden is a wanted criminal around the world for exposing their rape of the US constitution and roger stone has his house raided by 29 FBI agents with CNN filming in the driveway for lying to congress.

There's a Navy veteran rotting in Jail right now for taking a picture of his sub on his last day because it was technically classified info. Hillary Clinton is enjoying life despite having hundreds of pieces of classified info on her server

There are two tiers of justice in our country, get used to it. At least in this case it would benefit the average american


Agreed, with a grain of salt.


> China has apparently offered to balance the trade deficit with the US within 6 years

They were promising the impossible. To fix US deficit, just stop printing money so much money, and shrink government expenses. How can China do that for US administration?


Speaking as a Canadian, this is already old news for us. There have been lively debates over on /r/canada, which went very one-sided (understandably) after China arrested two Canadians as leverage. [1]

As someone who likes to follow geopolitics, I can't help but wonder if the timing of this extradition request was strategic. When Meng was arrested, Canada was in the middle of NAFTA/USMCA re-negotiations and our Prime Minister was publicly musing about diversifying our trade partnerships, specifically focused on engaging with China. The automatic arrest of one of China's "royals" per our extradition treaty with the US was an extremely effective way of erasing our only major leverage on that negotiation.

IIRC the charge of bank fraud for business dealings in Iran was largely unrelated to Huawei's (sketchy) telco business. Kind of like how they got Al Capone on tax evasion.

[1] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/12/world/asia/michael-spavor...


Not true. USMCA was signed before the arrest. Approx USMCA was finalized on Nov 30 (negotiated in the months before that. Meng was arrested on Dec 1).

Citations: https://www.npr.org/2018/11/30/672150010/usmca-trump-signs-n...

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/05/tech/huawei-cfo-arrested-cana...


Can't argue with that. Thanks for correcting my fuzzy memory! In the same vein, this still removes the "we can always take our business over there" card that our PM was waving around.


It seems extremely unlikely that China would refuse to do business with Canada over one persons arrest. The way they need their economy to continue growing they can't turn down a major source of revenue like Canada.


This is the first release of the details of the US case. It's hard to see how a significant new release of information in the case could be "old news"?


If you read the story, the major event is the case against Huawei CFO Wanzhou Meng. She was arrested in Vancouver per a US extradition request back in December. Most of this new article is providing background on the charges against her and then talking generally about potential cyber risks of Made-in-China silicon.

Here's the Bloomberg article dated December 5th. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-05/huawei-cf...

That has since ballooned into a huge diplomatic crisis for Canada, which has had it's citizens arrested in China and subjected to sleep deprivation interrogation and who knows what else (can't find source. read somewhere). There are active calls for our national telco's to ban Huawei's tech in our 5G infrastructure. The latest round of controversy was when Telus, one of the three major cellular providers, publicly endorsed Huawei and confirmed it will be moving ahead with their hardware purchase.

So yes, for us it is old news.


As I said, this is the first release of the details of the charges.

I'm already familiar with the history of the case, I've been following it closely.


Nothing in the article is substantially new, as someone who's been following this story closely. Perhaps coverage of this story for you as (presumably) an American is lighter than it has been for us up here. That's okay, and I wasn't speaking for you when I meant "us Canadians." Sorry.


> Nothing in the article is substantially new, as someone who's been following this story closely.

The stuff on the filing of formal charges is new. The (literal) date-stamp on the indictment is from Thursday: https://assets.bwbx.io/documents/users/iqjWHBFdfxIU/rIz2tT7h...

Since there's some redaction (and the flurry of posts on this exact same topic), I'm guessing it took until today for them to be publicly released.

Another thing that's new (to me at least) is that they indicted Huawei itself, not just Mrs. Meng. A lot of the previous reporting that I read focused on her actions exclusively (probably due to extradition hearing).


My understanding (perhaps wrong) is that this was the first instance of the US issuing a formal charge. Previously, the executive was arrested and prevented from leaving Canada. The new development is that the US has specified what they are accusing this executive of, whereas previously that was not public.

The significance is that before they formally charge her, there is room for face saving maneuvers. For example the US could have agreed to press lesser charges as a result of a backroom deal with China. After this new development, that is not an option for the US.


The whole situation is somewhat baffling. It makes sense if US considers Huawei a major future competition to US interests ( not an unreasonable assumption ) given recent arrest in Poland[0]. The main difference there though was: no royals in that case though so Huawei just fired the guy.

[0]https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/11/tech/poland-huawei-exec-arres...


> There have been lively debates over on /r/canada, which went very one-sided (understandably) after China arrested two Canadians as leverage.

Which just shows how much this is not a rational debate, and never will be, when nationalism is involved.


Counter-thought: the pro-diversity trade position might've been an intentional diplomatic measure to pre-empt the blowback from the arrest. "We're pro-trade; it's the PRC/Chinese who goofed."


Counter-thoughts like these are always worth considering.


> The automatic arrest of one of China's "royals" per our extradition treaty with the US was an extremely effective way of erasing our only major leverage on that negotiation.

That's not the only leverage, the other one is PM's extradition veto, which they seem to be so quiet about.

If I were the chairman, I would've jumped out of the bed to fly to Canada and propose a trade pact the very moment Trump threw a tantrum at Canada, and EU.

Sealing off US trade access to their two biggest trade allies, that's priceless. Xi's passive, paralysed by fear, stance from the start has doubled the damage China took.


I wouldn't give our leaders that much credit.


On what planet is the idea of making a robot with a mechanical finger to press phones to test them a trade secret .... (as a phone developer) it's so blooming obvious I've spent hours of meeting discussing exactly this

It's only a trade secret if you think the entire rest of the world is stupid


It's not the idea, its the specific technology.

took measurements of parts of the robot and, in one instance, stole a piece of the robot


But why would anyone need to do that, you build one of these by starting with a cheap 3d printer and removing the print head, it's not a hard thing to make


Why waste resources developing a solution when you can steal a solution that already exists?


I think the quality team will laugh at me for the rest of my life if I ever suggested using an open loop and nonsynced axis system to do testing...


This is related to a 2014 civil case. You can find more detail on https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/05/19/huawei_spied_us_jur...

This is a crimial follow-up to that case.

shard972 79 days ago [flagged]

Well go tell the Chinese they don't actually need to steal any trade secrets or any of this, they can just make it themselves.

I'm sure they will reward you handsomely for basically saving their relationship with western countries and saving so much time and effort.


Please don't post unsubstantive comments to HN, and especially please don't post in the flamewar style. Double especially not for nationalistic battle.

https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html

Edit: it looks like you've unfortunately posted a ton of unsubstantive and uncivil comments. If you keep doing that we will ban you, so could you please re-read the guidelines and fix that? You might also find these links helpful for getting an idea of the spirit of this site:

https://news.ycombinator.com/newswelcome.html

https://news.ycombinator.com/hackernews.html

http://www.paulgraham.com/hackernews.html

http://www.paulgraham.com/trolls.html


And the OP wasn't a troll? Or is the bar for intelligent discourse in HN at "Nobody honestly knows why china engadges in IP theft when they could just build it themselves."

Ill edit my comment to be nicer i guess.

Edit: Can't edit the post anymore, oh well people get it anyway, it got 7 up votes, IP theft actually benefits the person that acquires it and ill be willing to debate that anytime.


I'm doubtful that the OP was trolling. It doesn't really matter, though. Each of us needs to abide by the site guidelines even if others aren't or don't seem to. That's the only way to prevent the bar from slipping further.

Edit: while I have you, can you please not post unsubstantive comments like https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19032367 either? That's more bar slippage and we're hoping to avoid it.


And the robot was probably made in China to begin with!


Hmm I'm surprised you think it's an easy task since you're part of the industry. I've designed the actuators to do these sort of testing and I agree that this part is pretty straightforward since it's usually pneumatic for the response time. However, the instrumentation and processing side is never straightforward, especially in production. I'm guessing the trade secret is probably some sort of measurement device or some special pressure balance system on the actuators.


It is well known in the optical networking space that Huawei stolen the entirety of Nortel's DWDM proprietary data and research, and used it to build their own dwdm platform product line.


I wonder what Nortel's management and Canada's national security did to prevent that from happenning.


To commenters in this thread explaining that this is unfair (since almost all countries including US did it at some point of time), the main issue is that USA is powerful enough to do something about it. They can rally up support from their allies and keep Chinese companies from gaining any international adoption. Look at how they got Meng from Huawei arrested - it was almost unreal. This is how the world works today.


> Look at how they got Meng from Huawei arrested

Via a Canadian American extradition warrant that has existed for a loooong time before the arrest, and in such a way that Meng is protected from extradition if an independent Canadian judge doesn't think the case bears weight?

Not quite sure how this is considered overreach. There's a reason that criminals fleeing to places without extradition treaties with the US is a thing.


Not an overreach but a testament to how strong US' global standing is. I bet only US could have pulled this off. No other country, despite what crimes Huawei conducted against them could have done this.


> No other country, despite what crimes Huawei conducted against them could have done this

This isn't the first person Canada has extradited. Italy, China, Netherlands and Mozambique all make an appearance in the list of people worthy enough to also have Wikipedia pages[0].

European countries regularly refuse to extradite people to the US if they think they're at risk from the death penalty there.

America may be large and powerful, but a country asking one of its closest allies to extradite someone isn't an example of that.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:People_extradited_fro...


And yet China is making a big deal about it, saying they are unfairly treated, No Chinese should ever be extradited. US and Western Nation coming to harm again.

If that is how the act when they are considering themselves the underdog or developing countries, imagine what they will do when they are full evolved.

Note: Of course US and many other countries aren't Sane either. But the tone used by the Chinese have never been so strong. It is as if they were back to Tsing Dynasty.


Sounds like they’ve just started to realise — like the Russians — what a geopolitical risk it is when the real power brokers in a country have large chunks of their assets in Western countries, seizable by governments. Can’t be a decent strongman if you can’t protect your people.


I believe even Lichtenstein could issue a red notice. Not sure it has much to do with the power of the US.


From my understanding, technically not a red notice, as they're used when there's no extradition treaty.


I am not sure if the phrase "They can rally up support from their allies" is not quite accurate, more like arm twisting (like when we bullied our allies to not join One Belt One Road and even our staunchest allies like Israel and South Korea jumped on board with the OBOR).

However, I agree with you, the arrest of Meng did seem unreal.

I consider myself to be very patriotic and I want my country (USA) to do whatever it takes to be truly competitive: more money for education, tax credits for primary research, etc., etc. But I don't like the thing with Huawei because it seems like we are fighting an economic fight with bullying - and not what will help us long term which is building tech excellance.


Not an American but I'm not convinced America is in the wrong here. It's reasonable to complain and act when someone is cherry-picking rules. US companies can't compete on price but can on research. When that is stolen, you fight back with whatever you have available to you. Complaints to WTO, economic force, arrests (where warranted).

I also understand the Chinese perspective. People and countries have stolen tech forever. The US has during development. Long game means steal it now and take a few knocks. People will forget soon enough but you'll have changed economic trajectory permanently.


The issue isn't really who is in the wrong, the issue is that China and America have different standards for determining what wrong means both formally and informally.

It is one thing to impose American standards on places like Pakistan with the Osama assassination, since they can't really fight back in a meaningful way. It is a big deal to assert something like that against China, who is effectively a military and economic equal of America. If Chinese leadership decides the business with Meng it is a political act, the ramifications could be quite far reaching.


I'll pile on and mention that right and wrong are poorly suited for geopolitical analysis in general, it's generally understood that relationships are shaped by power and strategic alliances over principles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realism_(international_relatio...


Regardless of the countries in question, most of the time it feels like "if we do it, it is right. if you do, it isn't" is what is happening. In other words, "we are always right, you are right when it suits us and not when it doesn't"

How often do countries admit they were wrong? Especially powerful nations like the U.S or China?


This just sums up the behavior of both countries.


the quantity matters, and it's very clear that China did it a lot more. Also, Meng got arrested because we are in a state of law and she broke the law, not because some despot chose to


Are you sure? The NSA runs a global surveillance program, monitoring/copying most of the internet traffic, and industrial espionage (against all non-US states & companies, allies or not) is a stated goal of this program.

I don't know how well-funded the chinese IP theft program is, but I doubt it's much larger.


Some proven cases of economic espionage by the NSA: (and these were even against allies)

https://www.economist.com/europe/2015/06/27/i-spy-you-spy

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-nsa-scandal-economic-espio...


> we are in a state of law

Laws are selectively applied all the time, juries can nullify written laws, prosecutors can make plea deals, cities can choose to not enforce federal laws, and a whole bunch of anti-terrorism laws can be used to hold people in quasi-legal detention centers. What the heck is a state of law?


Technically, she got arrested because the UZS is of the opinion that she broke one of their laws. I'd wager she'd get released because Trump has suggested that the move is (or could be used for) political leverage (whether that's true or not), or because Canada doesn't have the same laws and so we might not extradite.


China needs to take down its firewall or be shut out from the international markets. Blocking foreign web traffic in the age of digital commerce is blatant protectionism and WTO rules should be updated to prohibit such practice.


I am really concerned about the rapid development of the Huawei case. Sure Huawei has issues, but which corporation doesn’t. If you are an US exec, I would limit travel to China as one can risk being arrested for frivolous reasons.


Regarding "rapid development:" As far as I can tell, they have been building this case for years. As for announcing the charges when they did, they sort of had to under the U.S.-Canada extradition treaty or Meng would have been released (I believe they had until January 30). Canada will not hold people indefinitely just because the U.S. asks nicely.


If Apple execs conducted espionage on behalf of the US Government, they should be targeted. The concern is, they don't, but they will still be targeted.


So far the only major international espionage scandal that was proven (unless you consider Snowden a liar) was the NSA scandal, which showed how American companies were involved in an international scheme (willingly or not, it doesn’t matter) to spy on both allied nations and enemy countries. Nothing like that has ever emerged about China.


That’s because it isn’t a story. People are routinely arrested in China for things they share on the very-much-not-encrypted WeChat. Anything that goes through any chinese tech company can be assumed to be have been read and processed by the government.


So, how is this comparable to what I wrote? We are talking about China spying on foreign nations through the products sold by a national company.

Has it been proven that America did that? YES, unless you choose to dismiss Snowden's revelations.

Has China ever done that? NO, or at least it has never emerged.

These are the facts.

Is China a repressive regime controlling the digital comms of its citizens? sure thing, but what has this to do with what we were discussing above?

Basic logic, damn, basic logic.


US intelligence has embedded themselves in virtually all major players in Silicon Valley. They'd be stupid not to.


What about NSA backdoors built into all US Corporations platforms?


Article implies the part about stealing tech from TMobile is well documented and already resolved in court...

It feels weird to me that this wasn’t a bigger deal?


you already know how it is with the US Gov: free markets are great unless we lose, in which case free markets go out the window and we start going after your relatives. hopefully China will not drop to that level, but we've already seen the nationalists arresting Canadian citizens. let's just hope Tim Cook doesn't have any relatives travelling to China.


That's the sad truth. No principles, just abusing the power of being superpower.


Does anyone remember if HP was punished for allowing a reseller to send millions of dollars of computers to Iran? I also saw HP logos on the monitors during footage of a North Korean missile test.


"HP today announced a resolution of a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation of potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

HP will pay approximately $108 million to these two U.S. government agencies. HP also has agreed to undertake certain compliance, reporting and cooperation obligations."

https://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-news/press-release.html?id=1624...


And no HP exec was arrested.


Banks trade with sanctioned countries and only get slapped with large fines. No bank officer has been arrested in trades with Iran or any other sanctioned country.


Remember that the laws these supposedly insidious foreigners are accused of breaking are in the same moral category as the ones your beloved hacker heroes rail against. Is this a China vs US dispute, or a war by capital against people, with one of the weapons being a magical spell that turns knowledge into property that they can own and profit from?


To be honest, this case has everything to do with Huawei's background (state connected, state supported). Possible not fair competition and fear of espionage dooms Huawei whatever the case details are. BTW companies steal. All in the game.


Blah blah blah, Trump has eyes set on bringing down China's leading industries for his decoupling doctrine, so anything goes. The specifics don't even matter. If you're a rat chasing specific charges you're already missing the forest for the trees.


No doubt Huawei did this. And no doubt Trump will wipe their slate clean for a trade deal. So it sucks for Canada.

US has sanctions on Iran, not China so getting around them is not considered a crime for them. Of course they will steal any technology them deem essential for their business.

Bank fraud is probably lying to banks about doing business with Iran, not cheating them of money.


It's conspiracy to commit bank fraud if you lie to a US bank to get them to clear US dollar transactions in violation of sanctions.

Banks pay astronomical fines for evading sanctions.

Infographic -> https://www.refinitiv.com/content/dam/gl/en/documents/infogr...

And it's conspiracy to defraud the United States if you obstruct or defeat an agency of the US government.

Also money laundering, wire fraud, stealing trade secrets, etc.


Like I said, they do not consider it a crime. Lying to the banks was means to an end--doing business with Iran. Like if you deal drugs, you will also evade taxes.


I don't think it's a crime to real-time tweet or blog about protests or police activities.

But it is a crime in China, so I know I could be arrested and prosecuted if I do that there.

Doesn't matter if it's just a "means to an end", Ms. Meng knew she was committing crimes in the US.


> Like if you deal drugs, you will also evade taxes.

Not necessarily. You could choose to pay taxes on that income to the IRS. The IRS provides a way to report illegal income and pay taxes on it.

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p17

> Illegal activities. Income from illegal activities, such as money from dealing illegal drugs, must be included in your income on Form 1040, line 21, or on Schedule C or Schedule C-EZ (Form 1040) if from your self-employment activity.

Does anyone pay taxes on income from illegal drugs? Probably not "street dealers", but I would suspect people who earn income from marijuana businesses that are legal in some states but illegal federally probably do pay tax on that income.

Furthermore, IRS tax returns are confidential. The IRS is generally prohibited from tipping off police about reported illegal income, though there are various loopholes: https://money.cnn.com/2013/02/28/news/economy/illegal-income...


I get it, but let's see: don't declare it and you may get a pass. Declare it and you're certainly going to jail for longer than tax evasion.


> Declare it and you're certainly going to jail for longer than tax evasion.

The lines you include it in are general income lines, no explanation of the income is expected or required. It's not like there is a separate line item for illegal activities. So, no, you aren't certainly going to jail if you report it.


So IRS is just gonna accept that you made $241,000 and just that dealing drugs? Tax return is step one, if red flags are raised, it's audit time with explanations, witnesses, ledgers etc. If you got caught or want to leave the profession, it's another thing, come clean. No doubt in my mind that agencies talk to each other, formally or informally.


> So IRS is just gonna accept that you made $241,000 and just that dealing drugs

No, they are going to accept that you made $241,000 in regular income from sources that do not provide W-2s, 1099s, etc. The “dealing drugs” part is not part of the filing.

> Tax return is step one, if red flags are raised, it's audit time with explanations, witnesses, ledgers etc.

Red flags are more likely to be raised by living beyond the means suggested by your reported income as by reporting income with no apparent source; IRS audits and investigations are looking for evidence of concealed income or other evasion of tax liability, not satisfying curiosity about the sources of reported income otherwise, and the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination applies.

It's true that laundering money so that you can avoid both reported income with no apparent source and living beyond the means of your reported income is a common technique (though still technically usually tax evasion, since it usually involves concealing some part of the gross income which is expended in the scheme, and that income is taxable and you cannot deduct illegal expenses against illegal income, so the cost of laundering is not deductible.)

> No doubt in my mind that agencies talk to each other, formally or informally.

Well, they certainly coordinate in the direction that gets criminals who conceal the details of their other crimes well enough to complicate prosecution but evade taxation busted for the tax offenses. The direction you are concerned about is less evident, though.


Ask Capone how that worked for him.


Well, he got sick but for average Capone it beats doing 20 to life for other stuff.

Edit: are you really suggested that people like John Gotti and El Chapo declare income from criminal activities and detail how they made that once audited?

Stop engaging in criminal activities, I get as advice, but confess to the feds, I don't.


>Edit: are you really suggested that people like John Gotti and El Chapo declare income from criminal activities and detail how they made that once audited

No, I'm suggesting one of the examples used in your premise is wrong. The legality of income has nothing to do with paying your taxes from the IRS's perspective.


I totally understand. BUT if I am going to kill a person, illegal possession of a weapon is the least of my worries. Drug dealers are in that line of business. If you want to stay doing that, declaring income is not smart. That was my point.


>Like if you deal drugs, you will also evade taxes

And if they IRS finds out they are coming after you. They don't care that the money was made illegally.

Besides, these sanctions we're passed by the UN, not the US, and China is a voting member.


It boggles my mind why the Chinese choose to take on nefarious endeavors when they are already ahead.


It's not like they started after they got ahead. Nefarious tactics are a large part of how they got ahead.


Ask Uber how hard it is to change the culture once you're on top.


They’ve been ahead for awhile now, at least a decade in some areas. This is akin to the Warriors getting caught cheating every other game.


Not sure if they’re ahead in any area exactly. Do you have specifics?


Consumer drone technology. :-)


Indeed. And to answer my own question: Landing on the dark side of the moon.


I have to be honest — the allegations made here do not surprise me. The days of corporate espionage seem alive and well, and China’s image in the United States is taking a significant hit.

It isn’t fair to the honest, hard-working Chinese nationals who want to build a life outside their homeland.


But is it fair to the Americans who lost jobs, manufacturing, future, because of the 20 years of "technology transfer" by China?


You are blaming the wrong people there. Anyone with half a brain would realize moving manufacturing into a high population country would create competitiors who now know the fundamentals of your business. And who can do the math to figure out they can claim the market taking advantage of the cheap labor and expensive markets.

But Wall Street has a frothing hatred of people who think beyond the next fiscal quarter. Just look at the sheer Tesla short ratio long after it was clear they were viable.


Ask the American companies and the richly retired CEO's who banged on China's door in the 80's demanding to outsource there.


It's ok, those people will be replaced soon.


Since when was China's image in the United States ever great? It's one racist yellow peril after another since the 1800's.

The undertone to all of this handwringing has always been the racist assumption that the Chinese cannot possibly be capable of succeeding in a fair competition, and therefore there must be fraud involved. All said and done, people always find evidence of what they insist on believing in the first place.


In a Data Structures class a few years ago, during a review for our upcoming exam, the professor had to abruptly leave the room... I forget why. While they were gone, a Chinese student runs up to the podium and grabs the papers the professor was reading from and takes it back to their large friend group. When the professor returned, they didn't have their notes (I think it was a previous year exam). Feeling uncomfortable, the professor was unable to get the thief to confess, and class was over.

About one day before the exam, a friend of mine said he was offered the texts and it had circulated to pretty much anyone who wanted it.


What the fuck is the relevance of this story? We're just sharing tales of Chinese people misbehaving now? People in here need to do some serious soul-searching about their attitude toward 1.3 billion people. The transparent racism that pops up on every thread about China stealing trade secrets is embarrassing.


Excuse me? I'm not being racist, the friend of mine in the story was also a Chinese guy. From what I understand, at my University there was a pretty strong culture among Chinese students to share code and homeworks. I even remember my old teacher telling me they caught a Chinese grad student who ran a business outsourcing undergrad CS homework to code-shops back in China. I don't see how this is racist, it's just observation.

I'm not sure how you're confused about relevance either.


Relevance? TFA is about an executive arrested because her firm is accused of selling telecom equipment to Iran. TFA also mentions that the firm is also accused of copying the design of a product-testing robot. Your charming anecdote is about some student stealing class notes from a professor. What links the executive and the student? They're both Chinese!

That is racist. You probably don't see that, but only because your racism makes you less rational.


I'm sorry that my paltry life only offers anecdotes from college cheating instead of multinational corporate espionage, please forgive me. /s But to make an accusation of racism based on sharing a true story is very naive. In fact, you calling me out and saying that I'm "less" is more bigoted than anything I've said. You're literally claiming superiority over me, and all I've done is told a true story.


The choice of what to communicate in a public forum is, itself, a form of communication. This is obvious to everyone with a working social sense. People don't just tell random anecdotes apropos of nothing. Here, you're telling the anecdote because you wanted to establish that there is a culture of dishonesty among Chinese people, isn't that right?


Establishing the culture of dishonesty among the entire Chinese population isn't even remotely my job or prerogative, but if I have stories of systemic cheating within some of the Chinese culture at my University, then that seems reasonably apropos. I suppose you think I should just pretend like my experiences didn't happen, and not mention it to anyone? I never said the Chinese people as a whole are one way or another, and I'm taking offense to these unwarranted accusations.


You're easily offended, but not because anything unfair has been written about you. Your experience is important to you but not to this thread.

If you had tried to enlighten a discussion of e.g. an African-American executive at a tech firm with a similarly bizarre anecdote, you would have gotten far more complaints. The excuse you've given here, "I just haven't known many black people!", wouldn't count for much either.


You walking back the obvious implications of your anecdote makes it even worse. Now it's not even some wider Chinese cultural trait linking the students and the executive, just their ethnicity. Stop digging.

Nobody is asking you to pretend your experiences didn't happen. However, people usually only include details in a story if they are relevant. Here, you're including (and emphasizing, by virtue of where you posted the story) the detail that the students are Chinese, which by implication is relevant to your story.

It's fine to have these sorts of biases against other ethnicities early in your life. I did. Honestly, it would be a miracle if you didn't, because overwhelming messaging in media and society (by stories such as yours) tells us these biases are justified and important. Nobody is born with fully-developed political opinions. Just take this opportunity to recognize a bias in yourself and move beyond it.


Then what? They waved their red book and ate some roasted dog? Jeez, this is the most racist thing I’ve ever read on hacker news.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: