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The passive voice here is fascinating. Huawei did something! What did they do? They got accused.

Who is accusing them? AKHAN Semiconductor (and the FBI), a small company in Illinois whose primary product is these diamond-coated screens. Past their founder, the second person on their about page is their "Vice President of Government Affairs;" the third person listed on their about page is their "Global Security and Intelligence Advisor," a former senior CIA officer who joined the company in May.

If the roles were reversed - a small display-tech company in China that recently got a senior Party member and intelligence officer to join made accusations about America with the help of the Chinese national police organization, and Xinhua was reporting on it - I think we would be very skeptical!

We would be very skeptical because the Chinese government is very untrustworthy. If the BBC reported that a British tech company found out Samsung was spying on it, I doubt anyone (except maybe Samsung and the South Korean government) would dismiss the accusation out of hand.

I had a friend at Huawei about a year ago tell me how they had lawyers come in and prep them on the exact procedures they should follow in the event of an FBI raid. This was well before I heard anything in the news about China, Huawei, etc tensions.

Knowing this, I personally give quite a bit of weight to any accusation against the company. I have a hard time justifying in my mind that a company operating legitimately in the US would prep their employees on how to respond during an FBI raid.

Uber prepared their employees for this:

"At least two dozen times, the San Francisco headquarters locked down equipment in foreign offices to shield files from police raids."


Uber, the paragon of virtue when it comes to following the law.

Actually instructing employees how to interact with government officials is on its own a quite reasonable training. Unless they were instructed on destroying evidence, there is nothing wrong with that. I work at an American company, and we get annual trainings which also cover legal aspects. Most of them are of course just the standard trainings about proper legal and ethical behavior.

The friend referenced gave the strong impression that things did not appear above board. This was a late career individual and stated that they had never seen anything like it.

They didn't provide any details beyond that. It's possible that the individual had just never experienced any legal compliance training, but based on their role I certainly expect they had.

The Economist reported on the "techno-nationalism" driving fear of Huawei in their August 4, 2012 cover story. https://www.economist.com/leaders/2012/08/04/whos-afraid-of-... This has been a long time brewing, though there's been a significant uptick in recent months of worries about China, e.g., Bloomberg's October article where they made up lies about Supermicro.

It makes perfect sense to me that Huawei would prep its employees on how to deal with a raid, and being prepared for the police is not solely the action of the guilty. It tells us that Huawei is afraid of the FBI. It does not tell is that Huawei is afraid of the FBI because Huawei are bad guys.

Of course Adam Khan is is "willing to talk" per the article. They were dealt a second hand given recent events and their brush with Huawei, and will play it for all it's worth, starting with their interview in February. These guys, after 5 years of failing to find a single willing phone maker, are trying to pivot into US military sales. Anti-Huawei publicity is certainly good for them.

For comparison, Corning got Gorilla Glass onto multiple companies' phones within a year of announcement in 2008. I've said before that Corning is a juggernaut in glass with a longstanding reputation, but I still don't see how those partners could agree to just buy the glass without multiple rounds of testing, and even trying to break samples, given a major selling point is durability. Huawei can't have been the only phone maker to have received AKHAN glass for testing, and it would be interesting to know what the other companies did to it before turning them down.

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