By Wen Sheng (Global Times, 25 May 2019) – Ever since we entered the new century, mankind has benefited greatly from the internet and broadband. Sea changes are taking place in the way of our jobs, our learning, our interaction and our entertainment, thanks to the speed of invincible but ubiquitous internet linkages powered by the previous 2G and 3G, now 4G, and the impending and much faster 5G.
Behind each step of the increasingly speedier connections are the efforts and co-operations of our scientists, engineers and technology companies scattered all around the world.
Among the big corporate names of the information and communication technology (ICT) industry are Apple, Google, Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm, Intel, Microsoft, ARM, Ericsson, NXP and Huawei, MTK, TSMC and ZTE. It is their close collaboration as a team, and diligent research and development as individuals, which have made networks faster and our lives easier and better.
On the cusp of the 4G to 5G global upgrade, the US government led by President Donald Trump launched a protectionist trade war, and has increasingly focused its firepower on China – probably because of China’s rapid economic growth endangering US prominence, or China’s swift response to fight back with tit-for-tat tariffs, or both.
As Huawei, with 185,000 top-caliber scientists and engineers, has become the global leader in 5G equipment and devices, helping many US allies roll out 5G networks and winning a growing market share all over the world, the Trump administration has considered Huawei an eyesore, in its desperate attempt to stifle the noted high-tech company, also a pearl of the crown of Chinese technology, to death.
According to US media reports in the past few days, the US government has long planned to clamp down on Huawei, and prior to Trump’s executive order to cut off American supplies to Huawei, he even presided over a cabinet meeting on how to tackle the high-tech company.
It has become crystal clear the suffocating gauntlet thrown on the head of Huawei by the Trump administration and supported by other China hardliners in Washington is well choreographed, venomous in nature and retrogressive and darkening in human technology history. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized that the US clampdown on Huawei is nothing but “a typical bullying act.”
Now, a slew of US high-tech companies, including Google, Intel and Qualcomm, said they would cut off their supplies and services to Huawei. And, to the chagrin of most Chinese people, ARM, owned by Japanese Softbank, which provides the basic design architecture for nearly all of the world’s semiconductor makers, said lately that it will also have to stop cooperation with Huawei.
Some claim that Google’s ending Android system services to Huawei is annoying, but Huawei claims it is working on its own smartphone operating system, called “HongMeng” OS, intensively, and the efforts may make up for the absence of android. But ARM’s move to stop Huawei services could create the biggest and even insurmountable trouble for Huawei, and bedevil the company’s future high-end chips’ designing and producing ability.
So, the Trump administration’s launching of an aggressive embargo on Huawei is malicious enough to strangle the world’s 5G leader, which has always done and will continue to use its high-tech innovations to bring good changes, and ease the lives of billions of people on this planet.
At a press conference lasting more than two hours at the headquarters of Huawei in Shenzhen on Tuesday, 75-year-old Ren Zhengfei, founder of the tech company, said that he would very much like to continue to cooperate with all industry partners, and together they will work out the best technologies for all the people on earth. He also said if Huawei cannot get access to US supplies, the company will do all it can to survive and expand.
The touching moment of the press conference came when asked by a reporter what his biggest regret was over the past 70-odd years. Ren, with winkles on his face, murmured that he had spent little time with his children and does not know how to get along with them. But he did not say that his oldest daughter is still fighting for her freedom in Canada.
It is time for all of the world’s technology lovers, and ordinary folks with conscience and benevolence, to stand up, and speak out with a loud “NO” to Trump and his neo-conservatives.
The author is an editor with the Global Times. [email protected]