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The Trump administration is set to issue a two-week extension of a license allowing U.S. companies to continue doing business with China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, two sources familiar with the deliberations said. The extension of around two weeks is far shorter than the prior 90-day extension and a longer extension is in the works but has not yet been finalized due to regulatory hurdles, said one source who was briefed on the matter. After adding Huawei to an economic blacklist in May citing national security concerns, the U.S. Commerce Department has allowed it to purchase some American-made goods in a move aimed at minimizing disruption for its customers, many of which operate networks in rural America. The extension will be announced on Monday when the earlier reprieve is set to expire, the sources said, declining to be identified as the extension has not been publicly announced. A spokesman for Huawei, the world’s biggest maker of telecom network equipment, said the company does not comment on rumors and speculation. The Commerce Department declined to comment. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Fox Business Network on Friday that some rural carriers need the temporary licenses and are dependent on Huawei for 3G and 4G networks. “There are enough problems with telephone service in the rural communities - we don’t want to knock them out. So, one of the main purposes of the temporary general licenses is to let those rural guys continue to operate,” Ross said. Continue reading on OUR FORUM.

Taiwan has suspended sales of three Huawei smartphone models that listed it as "Taiwan, China" for timezones and contacts -- a designation the self-ruled, democratic island bristles at. Starting Thursday, sales of Huawei's P30, P30 Pro and Nova 5T models will be banned until the Chinese tech giant tweaks their operating system, Taiwan's National Communications Commission (NCC) said. How Taiwan is described is a hugely sensitive political issue. Beijing considers Taiwan as part of its territory awaiting reunification, by force if necessary, even though the two sides have been governed separately for the last seven decades. "The labeling in these phones does not reflect the facts and has even hurt the dignity of our country," the NCC said in a statement, adding that the commission had "taken strict measures to maintain national dignity". It also threatened to permanently ban the sales of the three phones if Huawei refuses to change the wording. Local distributor Xunwei Technologies said it was communicating with Huawei over the issue. Beijing has been ramping up diplomatic and economic pressure on Taiwan since President Tsai Ing-wen was elected in 2016 because her party refuses to recognize that the island is part of "one China". The pressure is building as Taiwan heads towards elections in January, with Tsai seeking to defeat an opponent who favors much warmer ties with China. Huawei, the world's number two smartphone producer, has previously come under fire in mainland China for the opposite offense -- not labeling the cities of Taipei, Hong Kong, and Macau as part of China in some Chinese-language settings. International brands have routinely found themselves bowing to Beijing's stance on Taiwan, a much smaller market compared to the lucrative mainland. Learn more by visiting OUR FORUM.

Despite the Chinese tech giant being put on a US entity list, barring it from doing business with American companies, Huawei’s business continues to thrive. The firm's third-quarter revenues increased by 24.4 percent compared to 2018 and phone sales jumped too. Kevin Ho, president of Huawei’s smartphone division has said that the technology needed to run the company’s mobile operating system Harmony is ready, but it lacks an ecosystem, Technode reported. Speaking at TechCrunch Shenzhen 2019, Ho allegedly said that the company is working with software developers as it needs to perfect its OS by building applications for it. Harmony, which was unveiled this August, is expected to become an alternative to Google’s Android system, which Huawei used before it was placed on a US trade blacklist prohibiting the world’s second largest cellphone producer from using services and working with US companies. In an interview with business insider, Huawei’s Senior VP Vincent Pang said the company would decide in the next seven to nine months whether it will move forward with bringing Harmony OS to its phones. In October, the Financial Times reported, citing unnamed Huawei officials, that it could take years before the company develops alternatives to Google’s services.

Tech censorship is nothing new, but a recent spate of permanent bans from the WhatsApp messaging service has users the world over spooked. Here’s your guide to keeping your nose clean and avoiding a ban.
In February, WhatsApp announced how it intended to fight spam and abuse without the need to invade users' privacy. One of its methods involved scanning unencrypted group content and metadata (group date creation, group subject, group description, etc..) as well as the rate of messaging to identify potential scammers and other assorted bad actors.
What’s at stake. Some 1.5 billion people use WhatsApp around the world. The company removes over two million spam accounts per month, 75 percent of which are automatically removed by the app's machine learning algorithm. A whopping 20 percent of these fake accounts are caught at registration. The company prides itself on protecting users’ privacy, though with varying degrees of success, as recent scandals have shown.

For roughly six months now, the world’s No.1 telecom equipment vendor and No. 2 phone manufacturer has been cut off from the US market, while Washington has been lobbying its allies to reject the firm’s 5G technology over allegations of espionage.
Chinese telecom giant Huawei will grant a mammoth bonus to its employees for their efforts in resisting US pressure, Asian media reports. According to an internal memo seen by the Nikkei Asian Review, the company, which employs over 190,000 workers worldwide, will double staff salaries in October as “a special dedication award.” An additional bonus would reportedly be distributed to all employees with a performance rating higher than C, who haven’t been reported for information security violations. The South China Morning Post clarifies, citing Huawei employees who spoke on condition of anonymity, that the double salary will be allocated to the employee bank accounts on Friday, 15 November, just days after China’s Black Friday-style shopping holiday known as Singles Day.
The separate cash bonus is said to be worth a whopping 2 billion yuan, or $285 million, according to the South China Morning Post, it will be shared among people working in R&D, especially at Huawei’s chip-making subsidiary HiSilicon and the developers of Huawei’s in-house operating systems.

A Wall Street regulator is opening a probe into Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s credit card practices after a viral tweet from a tech entrepreneur alleged gender discrimination in the new Apple Card’s algorithms when determining credit limits. A series of posts from David Heinemeier Hansson starting Thursday railed against the Apple Card for giving him 20 times the credit limit that his wife got. The tweets, many of which contain profanity, immediately gained traction online, even attracting comments from Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Hansson didn’t disclose any specific income-related information for either of them but said they filed joint tax returns and that his wife has a better credit score than he does. “The department will be conducting an investigation to determine whether New York law was violated and ensure all consumers are treated equally regardless of sex,” said a spokesman for Linda Lacewell, the superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services. “Any algorithm, that intentionally or not results in discriminatory treatment of women or any other protected class of people violates New York law.” “Our credit decisions are based on a customer’s creditworthiness and not on factors like gender, race, age, sexual orientation or any other basis prohibited by law,” said Goldman spokesman Andrew Williams. Hansson said Goldman’s response doesn’t explain what happened after he started airing his issues on social media. “As soon as this became a PR issue, they immediately bumped up her credit limit without asking for any additional documentation,” he said in an interview. “My belief isn’t there was some nefarious person wanting to discriminate. But that doesn’t matter. How do you know there isn’t an issue with the machine-learning algo when no one can explain how this decision was made?” More details can be found on OUR FORUM.

 

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