Jan 18, 2019 04:47 PM

Friday Tech Briefing: Germany Looks to Ban Huawei From 5G

1. Germany Looks to Ban Huawei From 5G

Germany is moving to prevent Huawei from supplying its 5G mobile phone network, joining a growing number of countries blocking the Chinese telecom giant over espionage fears, the Financial Times reports.

A statement from the German economics ministry said the safety of products offered by telecoms suppliers was “highly relevant” to the security of its future 5G network. The government would be “guided” by such concerns in its buildout of the network.

Huawei is facing closer scrutiny by foreign governments related to its global initiative to roll out the 5G technology. Several countries, including Australia and New Zealand, have banned Huawei from their 5G network upgrades. Germany’s announcement came after the U.S. actively lobbied Berlin to ban Huawei on national security grounds. (Financial Times)

2. Huawei Founder Speaks Out Again

Ren Zhengfei, Huawei’s normally media-shy founder, gave a second interview this week to address continued concerns about the company’s recent troubles.

“We don't see too much of a problem,” Ren said Thursday to a group of reporters at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen. “The outside world is worried about me, but you see, I am happy every day. I sleep and eat as usual.”

Ren said Huawei still has business allies in the U.S. He vowed to increase investment in network security, and predicted that the worldwide rollout of next-generation wireless technology will be slow.

Ren said Huawei will follow legal procedures to deal with the case of the company’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Vancouver last month. Meng is also Ren’s daughter. (Caixin)

3. State Broadcaster Probed Over Advertising Campaign

A high-profile advertising campaign launched by China Central Television (CCTV), the state broadcaster, is under investigation by the country’s market watchdog for allegedly violating advertising laws and misleading consumers.

The State Administration of Market Regulation has ordered its Beijing bureau to investigate CCTV’s National Brand Program following consumer complaints, the agency said Thursday in a statement published on its website. In a separate statement, the market regulation administration said using the phrase “national brand” in advertisements misleads customers while hurting fair competition.

The National Brand Program was launched by CCTV in 2016 to heavily promote about two dozen Chinese brands each year. The program has also become a major source of CCTV’s advertising revenue. (Caixin)

4. China is Top Producer of AI Papers, But Researchers Are ‘Isolated’

China has become the world’s top producer of papers on artificial intelligence (AI), but Chinese researchers remain poorly integrated into international academic circles, according to a report analyzing global AI research trends.

China published 24% of the world’s new papers on AI from 2013 to 2017, compared to the 17% published by U.S. researchers, according to research and analysis firm Elsevier. But China’s researchers lag behind in terms of citation rates and interaction between academia and business.

Elsevier said Chinese researchers’ “relative isolation” stemmed partly from a language barrier and low participation in international conferences and organizations, which are concentrated in Europe and the U.S. (Caixin)

5. CCTV Unit Sues App for Unauthorized World Cup Broadcasting

A unit of CCTV is suing Chinese app Jike for allegedly broadcasting World Cup content illegally.

The subsidiary of CCTV — which was the exclusive 2018 World Cup broadcasting partner on the Chinese mainland — argued that Jike provided unauthorized on-demand content involving 52 matches last summer, according to a Beijing court notice released Wednesday.

CCTV is demanding 5 million yuan ($740,000) in compensation from Jike’s parent company Shanghai Ruoyou Network Technology. (Caixin)

Compiled by Qian Tong and Hou Qijiang

Contact editor Teng Jing Xuan (

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