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ARM memo tells staff to stop working with Huawei (bbc.com)
250 points by yitchelle on May 22, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 240 comments

This could be a really great thing in the long run. I'm really hoping this will promote open hardware and software in the future. Huawei is most likely to start relying on open source tech, since they're under so much scrutiny that's the best way to show they're being above board. Using open software and hardware would also show that same thing couldn't happen with their stack in the future. If they're smart, they'll partner up with some companies in EU to make it an international effort.

US is basically terrified of losing control of mobile networks when 5G ends up being implemented by a Chinese company. They're also clearly doing the exact thing they're accusing China of themselves here. I think that this is going to backfire spectacularly in the long run.

There is one critical difference between America and China here. American companies have for the most part not been engaging in wholesale state sponsored theft of Chinese IP. Whatever you may think of the wisdom of a trade war, no one can really argue that China hasn't given the US all the ammunition it needed to give political cover to engaged in one.

When you're advanced enough, there is no need for you do to IP. Maybe the risk is not worth it or there is nothing to gain from it. It's the same argument with the open markets. When you're already a developed economy, open markets benefit you since you have the best products, your production facilities are in place and you can offer both quantity, quality and reasonable prices. But when you are a developing nation, protections are needed for key sectors.

US did both of these things. That is, closed markets and protectionism and IP theft. It doesn't matter that, oh, "this was a long time ago, it doesn't count". It does. Advantages add up year after year, century after century. I'm not even trying to defend China, but instead, trying to be clear and honest about how these things work in the real world, regardless of sentiments and your favorite team.

I just did a quick lookup, you can do the same. I'm sure there are more examples out there.

In 1787, American agent Andrew Mitchell was intercepted by British authorities as he was trying to smuggle new technology out of the UK. His trunk was seized after being loaded on board a ship. Inside the trunk were models and drawings of one Britain's great industrial machines. Mitchell himself was able to escape and sought refuge in Denmark. But his mission marks the start of a sustained US campaign to steal technology from the world's hi-tech superpower of the day. [1]

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

Also found some history here: https://www.reddit.com/r/geopolitics/comments/9yfn35/ip_thef...

Edit: Question: In the post they talk about the Japanese taking photos of products. I'm not sure if I'm understanding what happened correctly, but if I am, shouldn't we make a distinction between just clever inference/reverse engineering (which is legal and done all the time) and outright IP theft/industrial espionage? I see IP theft/industrial espionage as being about stealing information not legally available to you, but reverse engineering and imitating a product are about trying to figure out how something works that you legally already have access to, and inferring things based on that. I feel like if a country has done the former, we shouldn't compare it to one that does the latter (currently apparently China)?

Information Feudalism (Drahos & Braithwaite) has lots more on this subject. After both world wars there was a lot of .. forced technology transfer from Germany.

Not only technology per se, but without critical Nazi Germany people like Von Braun, US wouldn't send anybody to the moon in 60s.

Or all the knowledge happily taken and used from Mendelesque cruel inhuman 'research' done in concentration camps. AFAIK no researcher was morally above and simply refused to work with those data.

> Or all the knowledge happily taken and used from Mendelesque cruel inhuman 'research' done in concentration camps. AFAIK no researcher was morally above and simply refused to work with those data.

So I've had cause to research this one in the past.

"All the knowledge"--most of the Nazi concentration camp research was absolute garbage. Turns out junk-science sadists create junk-science results and it is generally accepted that the overwhelming bulk Nazi concentration camp research was useless or near-useless as actual scientific research. I am unaware of any value being derived from the Josef Mengele work that you seem to be referring to--Gregor MenDel died sixty years before World War II, but please correct me if you're referring to someone else.

Some research from the Nazi concentration camp experiments is occasionally referred to, low-pressure/high-altitude research out of Dachau being arguably, as I understand it, the most valuable. (The other common cite, Rascher's freezing tests, were on nonrepresentative subjects and indicate that the moderate freezing that is safely and ethically studied is amplified, but does not step change, when freezing becomes extreme.) Where this data is used, it does not generally form the main body of research and mostly confirms what is known from other sources.

"Happily"--in the (rare) cases where Nazi findings are used, it's used with reluctance. There are evolving and hardening ethical codes around the use of this data as well, particularly from the 1980s onward; today, the use of any of this data must be explicitly detailed and the method of its collection is universally condemned.

Most troublingly for the pursuit of truth and some kind of decency, this argument typically is used as an ahistorical tu quoque, as is being done in this case. It's not a particularly good argument, though--even were it more than if-you-squint-and-pick-and-choose true.

>today, the use of any of this data must be explicitly detailed

Do you have any examples of papers which source such data? I'm curious to read the justification of it.

The most common example is the Dachau hypothermia experiments.


And the allies post WW2 effectively created VW and helped Germany rebuild

VW dates from 1937.

I said "effectively" and no Beatles where built until post world war 2

About 300 were built prior to WW2. Small batches but the design was mostly finished, production was halted because of WW2 and then the Beetle (not Beatle, that's a kind of musician ;)) platform was repurposed to become the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_K%C3%BCbelwagen of which 50K+ were made.

John, Paul, George and Ringo were mostly conceived in the early 40’s

And once China starts making discoveries of their own, they'll guard anything they discover. It's naive to imagine that they'll share their IP.

As they did with gunpowder, china-clay, silkworms, tea and even Panda's.

I think only Panda's out of that small list have their IP still protected and the rest got industrial-theft treatment over the centuries. Though in fairness - they do share Panda's.

Byzantines robbed the silkworms in possibly one of the oldest written records of corporate espionage?

I believe so, even if wiki disagree's https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_espionage#Origins

They don't share pandas at all - the pandas are 'rented out' to zoos around the world and subject to intense negotiation and strict contracts. Any baby pandas born on foreign soil still belong to China. So, no, they don't 'share' pandas at all.


Yes, a loose connection but as China does treat them as if they are IP and with as much (if not more so) control - I include them. For example - if a country was to clone Panda's without China's consent, the level of outrage and response would be very comparable had some high-level IP had been stolen.

But as an isolated example - I'll agree it is a weak one, but worth including for how it is treated as IP by the country.

I think he was just pointing out that it's Pandas, not Panda's.

My bad, I've clearly mentally added an exclamation mark in my mind and ran with that.

They have already started making discoveries and advances and probably will get into IP enforcement like the US in the next decade or so.

Yes, and Britain had full sovereignty to defend itself. If the British chose not to, it’s because they valued trade with the US over the cost of IP. The US may choose the opposite with China.

Well, that was immediately after the UK had lost the war of independence, so their options may have been rather limited.

Yes, one example was the power loom which was out of their control once it arrived in the USA:

“The Spies Who Launched America’s Industrial Revolution” https://www.history.com/news/industrial-revolution-spies-eur...

“Among those sniffing out innovations across the Atlantic was Harvard graduate and Boston merchant, Francis Cabot Lowell. As the War of 1812 raged on, Lowell set sail from Great Britain in possession of the enemy’s most precious commercial secret. He carried with him pirated plans for Edmund Cartwright’s power loom, which had made Great Britain the world’s leading industrial power.

Halfway across the Atlantic, a British frigate intercepted Lowell’s ship. Although the British double-searched his luggage and detained him for days, Lowell knew they would never find any evidence of espionage for he had hidden the plans in the one place they would never find them—inside his photographic mind. Unable to find any sign of spy craft, the British allowed Lowell to return to Boston, where he used Cartwright’s design to help propel the Industrial Revolution in the United States.”

By this logic, one could justify chattel slavery in a modern country with an agrarian economy because that was US practice in 1787.

Yes, because saying that every rapidly developing country does IP theft as a way to speed up development, including the U.S., is exactly comparable.

But if you do want to run with something as ridiculous, the U.S. holds the largest prison population on the planet and effectively forces them to do labor at a criminal hourly rate, you could say that's not as far from slavery as many would like to think.

Don't overlook that all those criminals didn't become criminals involuntarily, like the slaves did.

Sure, am not suggesting it's exactly the same, not even close. But the treatment they get in prison, the fact that minorities are locked up at an alarming rate for drug possession, (not even distribution), the fact that they're used effectively as a slave labor force in many places, (laughable daily pay).

Just because somebody's a criminal does not mean they're no longer human and arguably many of these locked up are there for crimes that we're starting to realize perhaps shouldn't be criminalized in the first place.

That is a terrible article to base an argument on. You come off more as anti-american than open minded.

Also let's not forget about Operation Paperclip. You can toss the moral high ground out of the door.

"Operation Paperclip was a secret program of the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) largely carried out by Special Agents of Army CIC, in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians, such as Wernher von Braun and his V-2 rocket team, were taken from Germany to America for U.S. government employment, primarily between 1945 and 1959. Many were former members, and some were former leaders, of the Nazi Party" [1]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paperclip

The only unethical part of that was exempting them from war crimes trials; although I think that was only really relevant to those directly ordering the use of forced labour in the V2 programme. The rest were treated as some combination of prisoner of war, asylum seeker, and defector. They didn't exactly want to remain in Germany to be captured by the Soviets.

And von Brun was arrested for complaining about the treatment of the labourers I belive.


Huh? No, I'm trying not to be a hypocrite.

Which part is misinformation?

You're confusing two very different things:

1 - Stealing technology from one country and using it within your own country to increase your competitiveness.

2 - Stealing technology from one country and using it to build a competitive advantage for your firms in that first country (or any other country not your own).

The first, depending one which treaties your country is a part of, may not even be considered stealing. The second clearly is.

Maybe, but then historically - did China start stealing western IP or did the west? Silkworms, tea, pottery, gunpowder.... many things that got invented in China and in effect stolen by the west.

So you could argue that the west gave China ammunition in the past to go down this route.

Either way - the whole aspect of one country stealing another's secrets in regard to trade and product has a very long history.

What the consumers (the ones affected) really need to be seeing though is a smoking gun. Whilst we are not talking WMD's here, we are talking about the same level of proof being bestowed upon the joe-public. That - does need to change and equally such evidence need to be credible with more than a grain of truth about it.

Sure we have all read and heard and kinda-know what's going on and has gone on, but the public need to be told in a way that is clear cut and removes all doubt.

The west's stealing of silkworm (ca. 552) is a very interesting story. You can read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smuggling_of_silkworm_eggs_int...

Yes and many a well-done documentary telling the story. Though the story of how tea was smuggled out is one I've only recently become aware of and equally as fascinating.


Nobody is going to care about this in the long run, and it's pretty clear that China has already moved past US capabilities with tech like 5G. This will only spur more investment in domestic technology. China has a far better education system, a lot more people, and a government that's able to do long term planning. I expect them to leapfrog US within a decade or so.

I doubt it. Chinese system only works when they are playing catch up. There is no incentive for being a pioneer in a culture where IP is not protected. The system doesn't work when they need to push above everyone else.

>There is no incentive for being a pioneer in a culture where IP is not protected.

China has a different IP culture with some striking similarities to open source culture. Knowledge and expertise is shared through trusted peer networks (guanxi) for mutual benefit. I share what I know with you, on the expectation that you'll share what you know with me. Being particularly smart or innovative has real but intangible value, because it elevates your status within that peer network. Likewise, if you have a reputation as a parasite then you'll quickly find yourself being marginalised.

This culture powers a very rapid cycle of iterative improvement. You can't rest on your laurels, you can't milk one innovation for the duration of a patent, you can't use an IP portfolio to block new entrants to the market. You have to keep innovating to stay relevant, you have to build and maintain a reputation for quality and value with every product, otherwise someone will eat your lunch.

If Western companies can't get past the stereotype of Chinese companies as lazy copycats, they have no long-term future. Shenzhen is full of smart, motivated people who are moving up the value chain at an alarming pace with innovative products and an innovative way of doing business.


> There is no incentive for being a pioneer in a culture where IP is not protected.

And yet mobile payments are integrated into Chinese e-commerce with the frictionlessness that Apple Pay and the others can only dream of.

Who defines what "pioneer" is? Is SV not "pioneering" because the vast majority of its companies are trying to be Salesforce and not Uber?

Given the sorry technological state of mobile payments, such as their reliance on QR to authenticate, it’s more likely that quick adoption resulted from having no legacy POS solution and not superior innovation.

Unclear how QR has meaningfully less friction than NFC solutions.

QR is fast, reliable and incredibly cheap to implement. It scans at a distance, with no significant chance of unintended transactions or MITM attacks. If I'm a roadside snack vendor and want to accept mobile payments, I don't need to buy some sort of NFC widget, I just need to print out a QR code and stick it on my cart. I can send 100rmb to a friend in a couple of seconds, without worrying whether their phone is NFC-enabled.

QR payment exemplifies the sort of innovation that is powering China's growth and that American companies profoundly fail to understand. It isn't sexy, but it works well enough to become ubiquitous. America is just barely catching up with a two generation old payment technology (chip & pin), while China have leapfrogged them with a worse-is-better solution.

"with no significant chance of unintended transactions or MITM attacks"

I have worked with anti-fraud teams at Alibaba and other unnamed large Chinese firms. This is extremely far from the truth, and shoulder surfing QR scanning scams have been in the national news in China many times. NFC tags are cheap and already being proposed for scooters, etc.

QR proliferation is again enabled mostly by the fact that there is no incumbency advantage, not because they're better innovations. Even you admit they aren't, and you don't seem to fully understand how bad QR is as a payment media. Imagine Square's uptake in American SMBs and then mentally map that almost every Chinese retailer is or recently was an SMB. That's simply what's happening.

I don't harbor the notion that the US is particularly advanced, especially in standardized infrastructure, but pointing to QR as an example of Chinese innovation is not convincing.

I knew the man who was on the team that came with idea of using QR for payment. Their pretty much one and only point was to circumvent Apple's blockade of existing payment mechanisms.

And yes, Japanese mail order magazines came with idea of "offline Internet shopping" back in nineties, in era of flatbed scanners

I thank him for keeping me gainfully employed for many months.

you failed to understand because you didn't pay attention to the context

Would you please stop posting uncivil and/or unsubstantive comments to HN? You've done it quite a bit already, and we're trying for better than that here:


Technology adoption is always easier when there aren't legacy systems.

Just see how long it's taking the US do adopt card chips & PINs while other countries that got their automated banking systems later are almost fully converted.

Mobile payments seem way easier to adopt in China and African countries because what existed before was so bad.

Payments are a cultural problem, not a technology problem. There is absolutely nothing technological that prevents more sophisticated payments systems from being rolled out in the US, except that people don't want to use them.

This is a poor example. You would have been better off going with high-speed rail, although even that is mostly a cultural problem - the cost is not in trains, but land displacement.

> And yet mobile payments are integrated into Chinese e-commerce with the frictionlessness that Apple Pay and the others can only dream of.

That’s not a technology problem, that’s a political problem.

It's not a lack of incentives to innovate. Authoritarian management styles are IMHO a hindrance to innovation. There is a balance needed of course, but I think they're quite far from that.

Their "management style" is far from being authoritarian.

Chinese are extremely flexible and in China today you can innovate and just try about anything you want.

Of course there are red lines that are quite obvious, but beyond that it's actually often freer than in the West.

The Chinese system and culture are complex and cannot be brushed in black and white.

They've already pushed above US in fab tech and manufacturing. I'd bet that IP is well-protected within China, probably just by different means (e.g. closely-guarded secrets rather than patents.) There are many examples of Chinese bazillionaires who pioneered successful companies; their education system is superior to the US and they work harder.

We've gotten lazy.. I think we have this coming to us.

somebody's been drinking propaganda Kool-Aid

which part is propaganda?

>There is no incentive for being a pioneer in a culture where IP is not protected.

This is demonstrably false https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGJ5cZnoodY

You are confused by the "propaganda" you posted. Like I wrote in other thread, if the innovation comes at low cost, it might make sense to have no barrier to IP. Innovations in Shenzhen are low cost. It's vastly different from Samsung developing a new semiconductor manufacturing process.

It depends on cost of going first vs second. If it’s 5 years of R&D for the whole company it won’t be worth it.

If it’s low enough to be recouped while other players are trying to catch up, then IP or not companies will innovate.

In Korea, Japan, and many similar tech powerhouses, the link was two ways. With maturing technology and a desire to guard it, they developed better policy for protecting IP rights.

The incentive will be that key suppliers like ARM are forbidden from doing business with them.

I tend to agree with you. I think you are saying that long term it is not a good idea to force economic adversaries to produce their own home grown tech. I have what is probably a bad analogy: it is like we are physically stronger now but we force economic adversaries to go work out at the gym and get in shape.


> Edit: Why don’t you ask the millions in the re-education camps how advanced China’s education system is?

Would asking the millions in US prisions help us understand how innovative the US is?

What I find interesting is Xi was sent to a re-education camp as a teen and now he is the most powerful person in China.

Are we talking about the same China here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGJ5cZnoodY

> Chinese culture does not place the same value on pioneering as the US.

That's clearly not true and is visible everywhere in China.

> is also incapable of tolerating diversity, dissent, and free thought.

That's not true.

Chinese culture tolerates diversity and uniqueness much more than Japanese culture, for example.

Discussions would gain in value if people commented on what they have at least a modicum of knowledge about and were open to learn others' cultures.


Chinese culture is as capable of tolerating diversity as any other - take a look at Taiwan. Same sex marriage legalized last week.

The political institutions in mainland China, on the other hand, are motivated by nationalist tendencies to foment hatred to Other.

Aaaand they definitely jail people just for religious group membership so they discriminatory as fuck.

Eh, I don't think most people think of Taiwan when they say "Chinese culture", especially in the US. The mainland and Taiwan are far enough diverged that they should be considered two fairly distant clades.

Taiwan is 100% Chinese culture.

If people don't think of Taiwan when they say "Chinese culture" perhaps it's simply because they don't actually know about the topic.

I should clarify, this is fair. When I say "Chinese culture," I mean in the Epic sense - five thousand years of Chinese heritage and cultural tradition, mushed together from all the provinces and colonies. It's not a very well defined thing, so your comment is quite fair. It includes things like the use of the Han writing system, a similar linguistic heritage, certain medical beliefs, a smorgasbord of culinary traditions, a flavor of bureaucracy, etc.

With this in mind, the PRC has slowly been eroding many aspects of this "traditional" Chinese culture, such as the high respect paid towards intellectuals, teachers, and philosophers (through the use of reeducation camps and propaganda). Meanwhile, Taiwan starts to discover new things about the natures of traditional Chinese culture, like its compatibility with quite liberal concepts (same-sex marriage, as an example).

Many Taiwanese people will say their cultural identity aligns with the thousands of years of Chinese history, while rejecting the last 60 years or so of change on the mainland.

Nowadays someone might say "Chinese culture" and be taken to mean things like "tendency towards tyrannical capitalism masked as communism" or "tendency to imprison people for thought-crimes," so I appreciate you bringing this up.

You seem to forget that China has like 50+ minorities that are encouraged to rise up in society, with preferred employment in the regions they are from or better chance to get at top universities. That some Uyghur have been trying to create domestic terrorism and that the central government response is blunt that is true, but the same can be said of how a lot of members of the Muslim community are treated in the West, especially in places like Gitmo. As for pioneering, just by seeing what happened with digital payments, I think you are in for a surprise. The worst thing one can do in general is think that you are so superior that no other people can overcome you. China suffered greatly from having such delusions in the past and so will the US if they don't get any wiser.

Perhaps there are a lot of upset Uyghurs because the Chinese government keeps throwing their people into internment camps and surveilling Uyghur people wholesale?

>Uyghurs in Xinjiang suffer under a "fully-fledged police state" with extensive controls and restrictions upon their religious, cultural and social life. In Xinjiang, the Chinese government has expanded police surveillance to watch for signs of "religious extremism" that include owning books about Uyghurs, growing a beard, having a prayer rug, or quitting smoking or drinking. The government had also installed cameras in the homes of private citizens.


I wouldn’t say the US is absolutely superior in any way, if anything I’d place the progressive EU countries at the top of that list. There seems to be something rotting at the core of the US too. Just different. And while the US has its own atrocious human rights violations, so does China. And an Orwellian one-party government. We should not be defending totalitarian regimes of any kind.

And nice try trying to whitewash genocide and concentration camps, but I personally am steadfastly against fascism, for what it’s worth. You do you though.

Until now. The US seems to think Huawei poses a national security threat. Huawei seems to have won on 5G, to the point where UK is considering buying Huawei 5G equipment despite tons of pressure. Therefore, stealing the IP would be a national security priority. I'd bet dollars to donuts the NSA is trying to steal Huawei's 5G IP right now, though it'll be hard since they can't easily tap within China (no fiber links in friendly waters) and CIA's humint presence got rolled up when China hacked their network.

They don't need to steal. They can just do the same they did to ZTE, they managed to install a person or two into their board of directors as part of the settlement of the dispute.

I think it wouldn't be so unreasonable to assume someone in the US government IC has Huawei's IP already.

Looking at it the other way: America has state sponsored restriction of free use of knowledge. IP law is considered important by America (and it has imposed this everywhere), but it is not straightforwardly a good thing (and I think most people would argue that copyright protection periods are currently too long)

Oh look! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON#Examples_of_industrial...

And no one can argue that the west including the US has given the rest of the world enough ammunition to feel a bit mistreated in the last centuries of exploitation.

I am wondering if the huge IP theft is mostly propaganda similar to the one US uses before it starts a war or changes some government in other country.

As an IP lawyer who has been involved in several cases involving Chinese appropriation of trade secrets and/or patents ... it’s real. Smart companies don’t even try any more, just accept that if they do any business with any Chinese nationals, their secrets will be exfiltrated. And if you patent something, it will be used in China and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s just an accepted cost of doing business these days because IP enforcement in China is still nonexistent. The courts are so corrupt and openly biased against any outsiders. The rule of law is not valued, plain and simple.

Can you give a good example similar to what you experienced? The issue is that we read daily about ridiculous patents.

I have noticed that the “reader mode” feature in UC Browser, the most popular browser in China, directly lifted the JavaScript from a similar feature in an American company’s product. Internal bug references, and all.

Interesting, the reader mode has many open source implementations. But I am sure you can find similar cases in ot6her countries, I was wondering some important case/example like China stealing Windows code and making their own not some small company there pirated some software, that happens in other places too.

UC Browser is developed by Alibaba, one of China’s biggest companies. It’s easy to spot instances of stolen JavaScript because it’s injected into the page. Who knows what else they’ve stolen. This is not an open source implementation we’re talking about.

There are rumors that much of Huawei’s network stack was stolen from Cisco and Juniper through government-mandated partnerships.

> There are rumors that much of Huawei’s network stack was stolen from Cisco and Juniper

These rumors may make the U.S. feel good, but the reality is that Huawei has 5G tech that Cisco/Juniper do not. In fact, the U.S. does not even have 5G tech at the level the EU does, so maybe you just simply got out R&D'd?

I was talking about backbone routing hardware. Wireless technology is a non-sequitur, and I’m not an expert so cannot comment. Ultimately, the parent was asking for example of “large” examples of IP theft, and this should surely count.

I can attempt to respond to some of your 5G comments. My outsider perspective is that many countries have the resources to develop this technology, and my guess is differences in timing are dominated by capital efficiency questions and not talent. Differences in cost probably come down to policy and subsidy regimes — and free appropriation of IP is only one of many kinds of subsidies a government can provide domestic firms.

It depends.

The most well-known and common form of "IP theft" is cheaply made Chinese knock-offs that are forgeries. That's trademark infringement. It's not that big of a problem.

What is an actual problematic form of "IP theft" is China appropriating trade-secrets.

The bulk of "IP theft" that is used to fuel the current war of words seems to be patent infringement. Patent infringement sounds problematic, but really isn't. Even though China can produce devices that infringe, they can't sell those goods back to areas of the world where patent enforcement isn't as lax. They can sell them in China and that's a large market, but:

- companies buying cheaply produced local copies weren't likely to buy the real thing in the first place.

- Local copies are of inferior quality. By the time the local copies approach the quality of the original, they will be priced in the same ballpark as the original (and the original will be on the next generation).

So yes, there is "IP theft" going on, but once again the term "IP" is being thrown around to obfuscate matters to support a political end and reality is quite a bit more complex but not as threatening as it's made out to be.

A lot of this takes the form of a Western company contracting a Chinese manufacturer to make some goods for it. The company pays for research and development, specialist tooling and such. They contract the factory to make 10,000 widgets. They then find thousands of the exact same widgets on the market in China. The factory just makes more and sells them directly.

Is this illegal in China? If yes is there an example of someone trying to get justice for this?

That ignores the advancing production capabilities and the vast grey market that moves goods into the US. That and the complacency of Amazon produce a situation where high quality knock offs can be made in China and find their way into the US market quite easily. Note: I’m speaking not of trademark infringement but patent infringement. It’s really no different. Patent infringement is problematic.

And instead of blocking the import of those fake products or the ones that infringe some IP (hopefully after you prove that) the US is blocking Huawei because of security concerns and instead of trying to find if there are backdoors in Huawei products, discussing how can we detect this backdoors, compare this backdoors with the ones in US products we are trying to switch the narative to the cheap Chinese products that are imported by US companies into US.

My view is that IP is fundamentally a terrible idea and should be abolished. All it does is help incumbent companies and prevents competition.

The initial idea had some merit but the implementation is terrible and most countries had no choice and had to implement the US copyright and related laws.

This is a naive thinking. Advances in software industry are purely intellectual so it doesn't involve heavy cost, which is why open source idea can work and be argued that it promotes innovation. Say you are a pharmaceutical company developing a new drug, investing billions of dollars. If there is no IP, why do it? You need to wake up to reality.

You could pay researchers with money from taxes, then you will get more research into important problems and less into rich people concerns like baldness and beauty creams.

Mathematicians,physicists also do a lot of research and they do not ask you to pay them to use their findings.

You seem to confuse between basic science and applied science. What you are saying is government should direct resources to every research. Basically saying that planned economy is better off than market economy. I wouldn't say market economy is a complete solution but time and again it has been proven to work better than planned economy. And also, why do you look down on applications? They are what actually make people's life better.

>What you are saying is government should direct resources to every research

Yea, this sounds like an awesome idea. Let's do it.

What I do not like is the idea that medical research is directed into what makes more money, I would be ok if this happens with beauty products but not with critical medicine.

Say you find a cure for X, how will you price it as a company? You put some variables into an equation and attempt to get the maximum profit not the maximum health for the society. This could mean letting poor people to die or suffer without a cure.

> Mathematicians,physicists also do a lot of research and they do not ask you to pay them to use their findings.

What? of course they do. The moment a physical reaction or process is applied to industry, you can bet someone will file a patent.

At engineering school, it is common for professors, students, etc, to patent technology they invent. Colleges have entire departments.

... which is an unfortunate example of privatization of a public good. The public pays for research, and an individual captures the profits.

Not all research is publicly funded. Historically speaking, most of it was not, until relatively recently. I don't disagree that publicly funded research should be public, but I think applying that universally to say that all patents are evil is rather strong and leaves no room for private investment.

"Relatively recently" here means pre-WWII. Basic research has been heavily reliant on government funding for decades. Before that, basic research was on a much smaller scale.

Central economic planning doesn't have an especially good track record. While one could certainly argue that market economies put a lot of resources into things that aren't important or good for the world, they've done better over the past 100 years at not having people starving to death.

The historical example is not such a clear because there are other variables like wars that caused large destruction and countries that lost the war had to pay damages.

What I am thinking is this, the smart people that want to become scientists do not do it to make money for some company, they do it for passion and help people in the case of people that learned to become doctors and research medical treatments. You need a system that finds this smart people when they graduate and place them in research institution paid by the public. You can have private companies research other stuff but don't put all the core research into private companies that are motivated of making profit. You have for example the military founded by tons of money that some of them go into research, my suggestion is have health research similarly prioritized as the military. You could even pay private research institution but when you pay for research all the results get put in the public domain.

That's big news to major American companies like Amazon and Walmart that have completely embraced central planning.

We may not be talking about the same thing. I'm referring to:


Companies don't develop new drugs, they have no incentives to invest into research when it's vastly more profitable to just increase the price of old drugs, patent drugs someone else developed, pay doctors to promote their drugs, etc. Most of the actual medical research is funded by taxes.

Please read into the drug development process and clinical trials. You might be rather surprised.

This is far too big an issue to get into in this very limited forum, but suffice it to say the question is not as cut and dry as you appear to think:


It really is. Hoarding knowledge is harmful to humanity as a whole. Period.

That's just utter nonsense https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGJ5cZnoodY

I think it's a fine idea, but qualifying for protection and the exclusivity terms are maybe out of touch with reality.

Software patents in particular shouldn't get 20 years. That made sense in general in the 19th century; it's an eternity today for software. Similarly, the extra exclusivity opportunities drugmakers have (mashups, etc) may be too friendly now.

It's quite mixed and complicated. US government/media exaggerated and distort the situation or the nature of the problem intentionally or unintentionally that mislead Western public. A lot of Chinese admit that there are problems due to many factors. Things are already improved significantly compared to 20 years ago. But the progress will follow it's own pace, not external pressure.

> American companies have for the most part not been engaging in wholesale state sponsored theft of Chinese IP.

That's because the Chinese don't have IP worth stealing. But there have been quite a few documented cases of the US stealing IP from European countries that they thought was worth stealing...

> American companies have for the most part not been engaging in wholesale state sponsored theft of Chinese IP.

But they were in theft of European IP when the U.S. was at a similar developmental level than China is now.

There is no wholesale theft. Theft is getting something against their will or them not knowing.

China offered foreign corporations to open factories in China, under the condition that's it's done with a local partner. Western companies put IP, funds and many other assets in the joint venture, willingly.

This is the same as American corporations selling tanks and planes to Israel. Now look right now and you have Israeli companies producing latest-gen weapons, with a large portion integrating American design and IP. Where is the outrage?

If you are thinking about groups of hackers hacking into networks and stealing plans and designs, we're more at the stage of McCarthyism hysteria or anti-japanese sentiments in the 80-90s. So far, what's more obvious is state-sponsored Russian hackers, and a bit behind Israeli hackers.

Now at the individual level or at corporation level, it is true there are cases of theft. For example, there are blatant copies of the Mercedes G-Wagon, many other cars and products. Chinese will get a copy of your product and will find a way to sell you a copy for 1/3rd the price. There is no wholesale state sponsored theft, and a large percentage of Chinese companies actually follow the law.

I think people must be very careful currently. You're just being a mouthpiece for Steve Bannon and Trump by writing "wholesale state sponsored theft"

In before "America stole from the British so it's OK" comments! Ah, no, look, I'm three hours late. _А у вас негров линчуют_

It’s not OK, but it shows this is natural. Like Japan stealing IP in the 80s and South Korea in the 90s.

> They're also clearly doing the exact thing they're accusing China of themselves here.

Indeed, it's widely known that Cisco/Juniper is pretty much in bed with the US intelligence, and so is Microsoft.

It is also not very smart to antagonize a world power that you also need for a lot of critical components, including lots of modern fabs.

> It is also not very smart to antagonize a world power that you also need for a lot of critical components, including lots of modern fabs.

That requires the ability to think and plan long term, which many recent US presidencies have lacked.

The electoral cycle has shifted presidential incentives towards the short-termism that quarterly financial reports have for publicly traded companies. It's about looking good in the short term, by any means necessary.

Electoral cycles have existed for millennia. The difference between back then until ~ 1980 (mind ya I wasn't born then, I'm referring to history books here) with the advent of Thatcherism was that politicians and entrepreneurs/companies alike had a sense of honor. Which means that regents, no matter if kingdoms or democratic governments, wanted to create a positive, long lasting image in history and companies actually respected their workers and paid them fair wages (and even if only so that their workers could afford the products). That resulted ultimately in the formation of the European Union and in what we Germans call "Soziale Marktwirtschaft".

Beginning with Thatcher and exploding after the UdSSR fall came neoliberalism: ruthless privatisations everywhere (telcos, railways, postal services to name the most horrid examples which more often than not turned into shitshows), the total gutting of social security networks (anything from unemployment insurance over healthcare to social/affordable housing), and the lowest of the low being pitted against each other to totally implode wages while the top level enjoyed ever more and more payouts. Many a company employed their own cleaning and building maintenance staff - now it's all outsourced to the cheapest bidder.

No wonder this has also reflected back into politics...

> Huawei is most likely to start relying on open source tech, since they're under so much scrutiny that's the best way to show they're being above board.

Most of the Shenzhen ecosystem is based on open-source ideas and tech, and China has seen an enormous level of innovation by doing so. Why should they partner / share with EU economies who are trying to regulate them out of existence?

Partnering up with EU helps legitimize them outside China, and opens up a huge market. If they're already partnering up to do 5G deployment in EU, it makes sense to continue creating closer ties.

As a consumer, I want to be able to access Huawei and OnePlus tech - I don't care frankly if they are 'legitimised' in the eyes of politicians who may only want to protect national industries.

If OnePlus make a smartphone that is £300 cheaper than an iPhone XR and offers roughly the same functionality, shouldn't I be able to buy it independent of what politicians think?

I'd also add it will probably put some pressure on the United States to legitimize them again as well

> "US is basically terrified of losing control of mobile networks when 5G ends up being implemented by a Chinese company."

US companies don't control the mobile network device business now and won't after this. The largest beneficiaries of this are European.

> Huawei is most likely to start relying on open source tech

If only. So far they've been very much the opposite, even in comparison to other CN companies! Which is one key reason why this whole kerfuffle is going to be so much of a problem for them. In theory, they would have plenty to gain by retooling towards open solutions - but everything so far implies that they won't!

Possible, but they're in a completely different situation now where their credibility is under threat. Before they were just another phone company, now they have to prove that their technology is above board.

They were never just another phone company. Their ties to the Chinese government were never a secret.

If the US government partnered with a US company founded by former Defense Department people to build a product called Freedom Fone using mostly open source software, would you trust it?

Strange then that Huawei wanted to sell itself to Motorola.

I believe that's as likely as Foxconn actually fulfilling their end of the deal in Wisconsin.

A lot of open source American tech has roots in NSA and other agencies. Signal and Tor are good examples, yet people seem to trust them.

The operations of a company with size and might of Huawei in China is nothing like the operations of big European or American companies. The Chinese government is very involved. They have offices in the company. Do you think Signal has a government representative on site all the time?

Large American corps spend a lot on lobbying. Its not really different. Also I seem to remember that the CIA's investment company was one of the early investors in Google.

It's entirely different because the direction of control is in the opposite direction. There's nothing comparable at Google to the Communist Party's role in managament decisions at companies like Huawei.

> The Chinese government is very involved. They have offices in the company. Source? that's quite bizarre to believe.

This optimistic hand waving is all OK - but starting in 90 days, when the US embargo kicks in, WHAT architecture will Huawei chips (Kirin?) use, when will they be designed and production ready and who will want Huawei phones with brand spaning new architecture instead of relying on decades mature ARM chips?

I don't think EU will trust Huawei at all. Recently my country Netherlands has found backdoors in Huawei equipments https://www.reuters.com/article/us-netherlands-huawei-tech/d... . and the biggest telecom in my country just banned huawei in its 5G network. I am sure this will prompt more countries to reject Huawei, especially if one of the bigger countries like Italy, France, or Spain rejects them.

I'm yet to see any concrete details of those "backdoors" they found in the Huawei equipment. I'm not saying there aren't any. But no concrete evidence of them surfaced yet. So far it's just some bullshit from the press that has zero knowledge of technology.

Why would they tell the public the backdoors they found? I wouldn’t even tell Huawei because then you’re telling them the ones you didn’t find. I’d just stop buying.

> Recently my country Netherlands has found backdoors

That's not what that article says at all.

Meanwhile: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/evidence-of-backdoors-i...

Come to think of it, I believe I might have found a couple of "back doors" in Win 10. Shall I call my EU parliament representative now about trade sanctions against MS, or shall I wait till Monday? Decisions, decisions..

Hopefully, it will not only boost RISC-V adoption, but also the FOSS EDA[1][2][3] tools, FPGA[4][5] and ASIC[6][7][8] design tools, various high-level languages, and toolkits to work with hardware designs. You can also follow my idea[9] and initiative to create low-level hardware IR instead of al tools parsing or producing Verilog/VHDL. Apparently, both are a pretty bad fit for chip design, thus many high-level languages[10] were created.

[1] KiCAD http://kicad-pcb.org/

[2] Qucs https://github.com/Qucs/qucs

[3] gEDA http://www.geda-project.org/

[4] Yosys https://github.com/YosysHQ/yosys

[5] SymbiFlow https://symbiflow.github.io

[6] The OpenROAD https://theopenroadproject.org

[7] The OpenROAD https://github.com/The-OpenROAD-Project

[8] Chisel3 https://github.com/freechipsproject/chisel3

[9] https://github.com/SymbiFlow/ideas/issues/19

[10] https://github.com/drom/awesome-hdl

I see a lot of people dreaming about Huawei needing to pivot to open source technology, but the overwhelmingly likely outcome here is that the trade dispute gets (partially) resolved to the extent that Huawei can operate as usual again.

Dreaming of Huawei backed RISC V SoCs is a pipe dream anyway, at least for mobile processors. For a mobile SoC you need a GPU as well. There are no viable open source GPU architectures, and all vendors are US-based (Vivante, Broadcom (?), AMD, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Intel, only the first three ever do licensing deals) or UK based (ARM (Mali), PowerVR).

Vivante was a US company in name only (engineering in China) and after acquisition in China (by Verisilicon, whose founder and CEO is the brother of the founder and CEO of Vivante), it's not even a US company in name.

Also, other US companies with GPUs besides the first 3 in your list are are open to licensing if the fees are big enough. I can't give more details than that though.

>Also, other US companies with GPUs besides the first 3 in your list are are open to licensing if the fees are big enough.

This is a news story about a UK company being prohibited from dealing with Huawei due to its products containing "US origin technology". So I'm assuming that US GPU companies would also be prohibited from licensing to Huawei due to their IP's "US origin".

Note that Imagination Technologies (a company behind PowerVR) made an explicit statement that they are not affected by US ban because they have no US origin technology. Read Bloomberg report here:


Ah, so PowerVR seems to be still a viable path even if this does not get overturned, and if Huawei can magically move to MIPS or RISC V in a reasonable timeframe.

PowerVR is now owned by Canyon Bridge, which is backed by China.

The rhetoric is pretty strong around Huwaei. What sort of PR exchange do you see that resolves this, with them continuing to use ARM with a blessing from Google, the oval office, etc?

Not PR, but actually money and lobbying. Maybe promise a factory in some key cities and states.

ARM's now owned by Softbank (Japanese), so it's not even British anymore

It's a pipe dream but now there is a reason for it to happen. Previously the Chinese could just strike a deal with western businesses now they are forced to rely on their own competence.

It's a pretty bold move by ARM to stop working with Huawei even if it does believe that it's affected by the American ban. It seems like it's very likely to damage their image in the eyes of other non-western technology firms who could end up on America's radar. Won't a lot of execs be scratching their heads thinking, "what if we're next to be cut off in this trade war?"

If it is subject to the ban, it would be a pretty bold move to ignore it and carry on in violation of US law. Not an easy position to be in.

Yeah like US rules the world and US laws should apply to everyone! Then don't be surprised if the rest of the world prefer Chinese because as of today the last imperialistic power is the USA. By the way nobody outside of the US voted for your smart president.

I really hoped that nobody outside of the US (except for US citizens) voted for our president because that would have been illegal, as voting in US presidential elections in limited to US citizens.

Immigrants (in the US) are not allowed to vote in presidential elections either...

Well, as Patton knew, the rules are set by power first and negotiation second. Negotiation failed, power is kicking in.

US laws should not apply to everyone, but in practice they do, sort of. The most prominent example is internet services censoring nipples due to US stupidity.

US laws apply to everyone because US laws are extraterritorial in nature: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extraterritorial_jurisdiction

The EU is trying to assert extraterritorial jurisdiction as well with the GDPR and its like. If all countries start doing this sort of thing with any degree of success, international and online business as we know it won't be possible.

No it doesn't. It only applies if you operate within the EU, and if you do business with (the data of) EU citizens. I'm not sure what else you can reasonably expect there.

It's actually not clear that GDPR only affects EU citizens:

> Here’s the issue: the law uses the term “data subject” but doesn’t define the term. Some may assume that data subjects are EU citizens, but that analysis seems to exclude the explicit language of the law and practical considerations. There’s tourism, travel, residencies, students abroad, and much more to consider. Because GDPR uses inconsistent qualifiers when referring to data subjects and informal descriptions of who a data subject is, the public has been left with varying interpretations and significant challenges. [1]

In some interpretations, a US citizen who is traveling in the EU and orders something from a US company would be considered a data subject, and the company they ordered from would need to comply with the GDPR.

So how would that be enforced? Either through treaties or by requiring non-EU companies to establish a representative entity in an EU member state. [2]

[1] https://kirkpatrickprice.com/blog/what-is-gdpr-personal-data...

[2] https://politics.stackexchange.com/a/30513

If you run a website that allows arbitrary visitors to enter data, some of them will be from the EU. Some of them will also be from... let's say Iran.

Should everyone who runs a website open to the public have to know the laws of Iran and obey those intended to apply to their website? Should websites have to attempt to block access to visitors from countries whose laws they either don't know or don't want to comply with? Both of those approaches break the internet as we know it.

EU residents, not EU citizens. An EU citizen resident outside the EU falls outside GDPR, while a non-EU citizen resident in EU falls within.

Nobody censored nipples because of US laws. US laws allow nipples on the internet, and the US is one of the largest sources of such images...

Softbank is trying to merge T-Mobile with the Sprint in the US. Pretty easy to put "some" pressure on a said company by the US government.

If it does or does not believe it is affected by the ban, it's bankers will tell it that it is yes involved.

Just wow. Is ARM doing its share of anticipatory obedience?

China is not going to keep still. My expectation is that they will support Huawei (and other chinese companies) in a big way to establish alternatives to ARM, Android, Windows (?) and other technologies missheld from them.

Copyright is being used similar to DRM. Companies will take notice. This promises to be good for Open Source, perhaps also Open Hardware.

> He said it would greatly affect the firm's ability to develop its own chips, many of which are currently built with ARM’s underlying technology, for which it pays a licence.

Maybe China could just change its laws to void ARM's patents. Then Huawei wouldn't need to worry about licensing.

Extreme, I know. But China will very likely, at some point, need to counter this somehow.

Edit: I wonder if China could afford a trade boycott against the US. Also, doesn't it own tons of US bonds? What if it had a fire sale on them? How would that affect the US?

> I wonder if China could afford a trade boycott against the US. Also, doesn't it own tons of US bonds? What if it had a fire sale on them? How would that affect the US?

Most people overestimate this. Of the $22T US Debt, only $6T is held by all foreign accounts combined, $1T of which is held by China. The majority of US Debt is held domestically.


Indeed, the bond market is liquid and deep. If China wanted to dump the Treasuries they own, the US could easily opt to buy them back to prop the price up as a method of last resort, which would likely not have a huge impact.

It would probably hurt them in the long term if anything - weakening the dollar makes their export-driven economy more expensive, ultimately stifling growth.

OK, that's good news.

But hey, I live in the US. Most everything in big-box stores is made in China. I can't quite imagine how China could just cut off exports to the US. But maybe they have a slush fund. And I certainly can't imagine how the US could function without stuff from China. Who could fill the gap?

I was in the US during the 70s oil boycott. Gas lines. Oil too expensive to stay warm in the winter. It sucked.

If I read it correctly the patents aren't the main problem, more that no one from ARM is allowed to work with Huawei anymore. No support with problems, no influence on the design of future ARM products, no custom modifications. These things are probably as valuable - or even more - than the licensed tech itself.

Maybe so. But there are ways to get support off-the-record, if you're willing to pay enough.

A company needs to worry about licensing in every country it intends to sell its products...

How long would it take Huawei (or a bunch of Chinese companies) to develop MIPS or RISC-V based phones? Too long to run out of cash (given that their sales for the foreseeable future just cratered) - or doable?

I'd guess on the order of 5 years. Taking silicon from idea to mass production is something that takes a long time and this isn't something that Huawei has done before.

EDIT: Apparently Huawei has been developing their own ARM cores via architectural liscence so they might be able to hack together a poor solution in less time than that by sticking with ARM in the short term and they might be able to get a decent MIPS SoC (for pre-existing Android compatibility) working in less time than 5 years.

Not just developing. They did a tapeout.

I think Huawei can fund RISC-V phone development from their telecommunication equipment business. Their revenue is roughly split half and half between telecom and smartphone.

yep, I expect their basestations use ARM extensively too.

Still, I wonder what the timeline would be for a production ready RISC-V chipset. They might be out of business before it's ready

The CPU is however also only one part of the puzzle, and they need all the peripherals (and especially: Modems!) too.

Huawei has their own modem.

The article says ARM doesn’t manufacture the chips but licenses out the tech. Does Huawei manufacture it? Is there any reason for Huawei to not just take their last known tech spec and start producing and developing it in house?

HiSilicon (fully owned subsidary of Huawei) designs SoC and TSMC manufactures it.

There are probably some important limitations in the license granted to HiSilicon. They may not be able to do everything they want. Also they may not be able to keep up with the designs as developed by ARM.

The thing US dont understand at this point is that companies outside of US are willing to exchange IPs with Chinese, which means that companies that are not dependent on US technologies will benefit greatly from this ban. Too impulsive decision by the US but they are too focused to be not outrun. Well only the time will tell

That seems like a pretty big deal. I wonder if they have a response to that (like the "spare tyres in the safe" [0]). Would be cool if future phones from Huawei ran on China produced MIPS chips

[0] https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/huaweis-chip-arm...

Well RISC v5 is open source.

I think you mean RISC-V (V being the Roman numeral for 5).

The MIPS ISA is now also open source, as of Q1 2019[0].

[0] https://www.mips.com/mipsopen/

Note that this is MIPS Release 6, which is incompatible with existing MIPS ISA. For example, Debian is planning to create an entirely new port, mipsr6, in addition to mips.

Now I'm wondering what will happens to ESP8266/ESP32. ESP8266 is a Wi-Fi SoC which was extremely popular in hobbyist world, and its successor, ESP32, is widely accepted in industry too. Will it have any impact on companies that use ESP such as Particle [1] and Arduino?

[1]: https://www.particle.io/

These are not made by Huawei and do not use ARM cores.

They are made by Espressif and use Tensilica cores.

Tensilica is a US company, owned by Cadence. I don't know of any ties between Espressif and Huawei.

I don't think so. Espressif is not Huawei.

But it's a Chinese SoC company. I'm wondering if the fight between US and China will widen to any SoC companies in the long term.

Probably not, you can only escalate this trade war so many times before it becomes unsustainable by one or both parties.

China will probably retaliate by banning a major US tech company, maybe Apple? Keep doing this a couple of times and pressure/lobbying/economic damage will force a resolution.

If China bans iPhones I'm 100% positive they'll just be smuggled in.

Sure, but I am also 100% positive it will hurt Apple revenue a LOT.

What about Motorola Mobility? Their main focus is on consumer electronics (mostly smartphones) but it is also a Chinese owned company. Is the main concern with Huawei the telecom and networking equipment?

Yes, I think it is mostly about Huawei, not about Chinese companies in general.

ARM management are shooting themseves in the head here, this will divert Huawei funds to Risc-V instead. Time to dump ARM shares.

ARM is no longer publicly listed, it is a private subsidiary of Soft Bank group.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arm_Holdings

Well, you can still find a PE broker yourself

I'm afraid this theory fails the reality test. If it was that easy, and that certain Huawei would succeed and surpass ARM, they would have done it already and wouldn't need to be forced into it.

There are a lot of things that could happen but there is no reason for them to happen. Provide the reason and they will happen.

So what is going to happen with the Hisilicon[1] chips? Do they still get to keep using all the licenses they already agreed to? What will they do when they next cortex implementation comes out? Copy it?

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HiSilicon

HiSilicon already developed their own ARM64 core (not Cortex) in Kunpeng 920, although it is a server chip and not a mobile chip. I think HiSilicon is entirely capable of developing (not copying) their own core.

The thing about ARM is that they more or less act like they own the ISA itself, and have a huge patent portfolio. There's an expectation that a company have an "architecture license" to make their own ARM-compatible core from scratch (unless it's an obsolete version of the ISA, e.g. Amber [1]). So while you're right that Cortex per se isn't relevant, there's still a question of whether HiSilicon will legally be able to sell any new ARM-compatible core they design.

[1] https://opencores.org/projects/amber

ARM licensed cores under 3 legal entities. UK's parent company, ARM China in mainland, and ARM China in Hongkong.

Under all 3, jurisdiction the ARM is screwed if Huawei will begin claiming their contractual obligations from them. Maybe UK courts will give them some special treatment.

This looks more like a global chess match than anything else.

This looks like the USA is afraid of China's might, so what else should it do than to fight it's rise and development with all means possible (like it's already doing in the Middle East [1]). Or did you actually think this is all about "democracy", "free markets", "dictators" and the like? When the battle gets rough, big guns show up.


Or maybe this is retaliation for the billions Chinese companies have made off stolen American IP. Ever thought of that? To imply this is pure protectionism is over simplifying it.

Or maybe IP theft is retaliation for the opium wars.

It's silly to look at a centuries long geopolitical struggle for hegemony through the lens of fair play as though it's just a game among friends.

In which case this move against huawei is "just business".

It's their problem now to figure out how to develop top tier hardware and software without stealing it from American companies and rebranding it.

I thought the problem was that they had developed something better than what the US currently has, their 5G implementation, and that's what has the US worried.

I always thought that it was about 5G being a significant chunk of future telecom infrastructure (which impacts national defense) and they don't want to buy it from Chinese companies.

This goes beyond protectionism. It's more like mercantilism.


As a Chinese, I am hoping our government will invest more money in high-tech industries rather than real estate. It is a chance for China to escape the middle income trap.

To all the people thinking geopolitics, please just remember that ARM is owned by Softbank now. For this kind of decisions, this is a Japanese company.

For this case, the relevant information is that ARM has a design center at San Jose. The news is, in a sense, unsurprising.

ARM has design centers in the USA so this doesn’t surprise me.

As a Chinese and arm employee here, the ban makes me feel shame on the original motivation of creating the joint venture between local govement and arm, which is trying to help local companies like Huawei to work around the exactly ban like this.

Arm China really does a bad job. Besides, its empolyee turn over rate also rise to about more than 40% from 5% since the creation of Arm China due to the bad management:(

This is interesting I was listening to onw of the War on the rocks podcasts and their commentary was that the commerce department has to produce in < 150 days the details of what this will mean.

Everyone seems to be jumping the gun here "working towards the president maybe"

I bet this will backfire. ARM isn't exactly known for building fast CPUs, therefore there is a lot of room for a slightly worse but cheaper competitor that designs the SoCs in China from start to finish.

Maybe a boost for RISCV.

As if RISC-V needed any PR.

I wonder if this all makes Huawei grumble and feel the costs of the kind of government they work under. I wonder if it has any effect towards more liberalism in China.

Hopefully not too off topic: I am in the USA and I have always wondered how long we could hold on to having the world’s reserve currency. I have to wonder if even some of our close allies take pause in my government’s ability to economically attack commercial competitors like Huawei, and in the past the ‘axis of evil’ oil producing countries that had announced their willingness to sell oil in currencies other than the US dollar.

I am concerned this is going to eventually backfire on us.

> I am in the USA and I have always wondered how long we could hold on to having the world’s reserve currency.

until the US cannot maintain superior millitary power.

> I am concerned this is going to eventually backfire on us.

it certainly will, the same way any collapsing superpower "backfires". The brunt of it will be felt by the citizens, while the rich and powerful would have an "out".

I am pretty sure trying to face China on that front will have quite a different outcome than securing oil sources in Middle East countries, sadly for the whole planet.

Being the reserve currency is not relevant to the industrial trade war underway. The US's power here is in its consumer market and its ability to impact other nations by threatening them with secondary boycotts.

EU companies have no reason not to trade with Iran under the JCPOA, but US law says that any company that does cannot trade with the US. That's not the currency controlling, it's the trade.

There may be legitimate security concerns about 5G and its ability to be penetrated. On that basis, doesn't that mean that the design of 5G is inherently flawed?

That is the issue.

It will and is. Every time the US attempts to control what can be purchased with dollars, it advances the process of turning the USD into a kind of Chuck E. Cheese token.


USA has a secret judiciary system and gag order. From a European point of view, this is quite close from totalitarianism.

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