Dec 17, 2018 07:12 PM

Monday Tech Briefing: France Trains Sights on Huawei

1. Huawei Woes Multiply as France Risks Becoming Next Challenge

France is considering changing its “high-alert list,” which safeguards critical parts of its telecom networks, to tacitly target Huawei, Bloomberg News reports.

France is beginning to shut off parts of its telecom infrastructure to Huawei, as its companies start seeking suppliers to build 5G networks, Bloomberg learned from sources close to the French government.

The loss of market access in the eurozone’s second-largest economy would be yet another blow for Huawei after a string of bans and troubles, including the arrest of its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, accused by the U.S. of playing a role in sanctions violations against Iran. (Bloomberg)

2. T-Mobile Said to Near U.S. National Security Nod for Sprint Deal

T-Mobile US Inc. is poised to win U.S. national security approval for its takeover of Sprint Corp., despite concerns about ties between the two companies and China’s Huawei, Bloomberg reported.

Critics of the deal have raised concerns about how Huawei supplies Deutsche Telekom AG, which owns T-Mobile, and SoftBank Group Corp., the parent of Sprint. Huawei is suspected by U.S. officials of enabling espionage by Beijing.

Reuters reported earlier on the timing of the approval and said U.S. officials were pressuring Deutsche Telekom to stop using equipment made by Huawei. (Bloomberg)

3. Apple to Push Software Update in China as Qualcomm Case Threatens Sales Ban

Apple Inc, will push a software update for iPhone users in China in an attempt to address functions at the center of a dispute with Qualcomm. Earlier last week, Qualcomm said a Chinese court had ordered a ban on sales of some older iPhone models for violating two of its patents, Reuters reported.

The case, brought by Qualcomm, is part of a global patent dispute between the two U.S. companies, which includes dozens of lawsuits. It creates uncertainty for Apple in one of its biggest markets as falling demand for new iPhones drags down its share price. (Reuters)

4. Ofo Deposit Refund Policy Under Fire

Bike-sharing company Ofo has come under fire for prioritizing foreigners’ deposit refunds while failing to address a growing backlog of refund requests by Chinese users, Beijing Daily reported.

One Chinese user said on Weibo that after waiting for days for a refund, he had received his 199 yuan ($28.80) deposit only after assuming the identity of an American in an angry email written in English to Ofo. The post sparked outrage on the social media platform, with users accusing the company of being biased against Chinese users.

Ofo promises a refund within 15 working days if users choose to withdraw from the service. But it has struggled to make good on that promise amid recent reports of a cash crunch. (Beijing Daily, link in Chinese)

5. BMW Launches Online Ride-Hailing Service in Sichuan

BMW-owned car-sharing service ReachNow launched a ride-hailing service in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, on Friday, according to the Global Times.

The move makes BMW the first foreign enterprise given the green light for online ride-hailing operations in China.

China’s ride-hailing market is dominated by Didi Chuxing, which offers services to 550 million users worldwide, but a rising number of carmakers are making their way into the market. (Global Times)

6. China’s 360 Finance Makes Nasdaq Debut

360 Finance, a Chinese fintech company, listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market on Friday, the state-owned China Daily newspaper reported.

The company, trading under the ticker symbol “QFIN,” priced its initial public offering of 3,100,000 American depositary shares at a $16.5 per share, for a total offering of approximately $51.2 million.

360 Finance Inc. is a digital consumer finance platform and the financial partner of the 360 Group, connecting over 1 billion mobile devices. (China Daily)

Compiled by Hou Qijiang and Qian Tong

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