Huawei founder breaks media silence to deny cyber-security threat

Huawei Logo Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/BloombergHuawei’s media-shy company President, Ren Zhengfei, has broken decades of media silence to speak to the media in New Zealand, where the firm has brokered a deal to supply the country with hardware to build its 4G mobile network. However, the lucrative deal isn’t the most interesting point to come out of the conversation, as Ren chose to comment on the accusations Huawei’s equipment poses a security risk, due to the company’s alleged ties with the Chinese government.

He is quoted as saying, “Huawei has no connection to the cyber-security issues the US has encountered in the past, current and future.” In a strange admission of Huawei’s failure to gain traction in the U.S., he continued to say its hardware is, “Almost non-existent in networks currently running in the U.S. We have never sold any key equipment to major U.S. carriers, nor have we sold any equipment to any U.S. government agency.”

Ren was speaking through a translator, which did provide a slightly unfortunate answer to one sensitive question, as he responded, “No” when asked if he was confident Huawei hadn’t been approached by Chinese security agencies, or that staff would be in a position to refuse if they had. Huawei clarified that he had meant he was indeed confident his staff and the company would refuse any request of that nature. He assured New Zealand’s Communication’s Minister Amy Adams (no, not that one) Huawei equipment posed no threat to cyber-security.

Communist Party fears

Many of the fears surrounding Huawei come from the fact Ren was an engineer with the Communist People’s Liberation Army in the late 70s. Talking about his membership, Ren said, “At that time my personal belief was to work hard, dedicate myself or even sacrifice myself for the benefit of ‘the people.’ Joining the Communist Party was in line with that aspiration.” However, he puts this into context when he added that, “All exceptional people” were expected to join at this time.

The interview was closed to international press, and conducted by four New Zealand journalists. The discussion was wide-ranging, but Huawei’s growing presence in the country hasn’t pleased everyone, with one member of Parliament questioning the deal, saying the government, “Should be asking itself some questions about why, unlike Australia and the United States, it has accepted Huawei into New Zealand, when that in itself is regarded by two of the countries we work closely with as being a security risk.”

Ren’s denials come soon after Huawei decided it would no longer try to sell network equipment in America, with an executive vice president of the company quoted as saying, “We are not interested in the U.S. market anymore.” Subsequently, Huawei told the Beijing News the VP’s words were misinterpreted, and the U.S. was as important as any other international market, but then issued a statement saying the, “situation it faced in the U.S.” made it difficult for it to become a primary revenue source. Despite Ren’s assurances, and the lack of evidence, it’s unclear whether this will change in the near future.

Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Music

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.
Web

Shutdown makes dozens of .gov websites insecure due to expired TLS certificates

The US government shutdown is causing trouble in internet security. As the shutdown enters day 22, dozens of government websites have been rendered insecure or inaccessible due to expired transport layer security (TLS) certificates.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Norsemen’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Mobile

The LG G8 ThinQ may arrive at MWC 2019 with an on-screen speaker

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Mobile

Oppo could reveal a new smartphone with a 10x optical zoom

Cracking a solid zoom on smartphones has been a riddle many years in the solving. One company may have finally cracked it though: Oppo may be about to show off a phone with a 10x optical zoom.
Outdoors

Nike’s Adapt BB shoes let you tighten your laces with an iPhone

The new Nike Adapt BB shoe comes with smartphone connectivity that allows the user to tighten the laces using a smartphone while providing the ability to adjust tension throughout the game.
Wearables

How to switch TicHealth to Google Fit on the Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro

The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro are both much-loved and feature-packed watches, and they offer excellent fitness tracking. Recently, Mobvoi has switched out Google Fit for TicHealth, but you can switch them back. Here's how.
Mobile

If you're looking for a good laugh, here are 70 questions to ask Siri

Siri has come a long way since her first appearance on the iPhone 4S in 2011. We know she can make appointments and give directions, did you know she can make you laugh too? If you want proof, here are lots of funny questions to ask Siri.
Mobile

Benchmark results show Snapdragon 855 destroys previous-generation chip

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Mobile

AT&T jumps the gun with deliberately misleading 5GE launch

As excitement about 5G networks continues to build, AT&T jumps the gun with a ridiculous and deliberate attempt to deceive the public with 5G Evolution – a speed bump that’s based on improvements to 4G tech.
Mobile

Apple’s official iPhone XS battery case is finally here

Apple has been rumored to be working on a new iPhone battery case for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now, those new cases are finally here, offering seven hours of extra use for each iPhone and are available for $129.