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AT&T Businesses China Communications Government Politics

US Lawmakers Urge AT&T To Cut Commercial Ties With Huawei and Oppose China Mobile Citing National Security Concerns (reuters.com) 60

U.S. lawmakers are urging AT&T, the No. 2 wireless carrier, to cut commercial ties to Chinese phone maker Huawei Technologies and oppose plans by telecom operator China Mobile to enter the U.S. market because of national security concerns, two congressional aides told Reuters. From the report: The warning comes after the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump took a harder line on policies initiated by his predecessor Barack Obama on issues ranging from Beijing's role in restraining North Korea to Chinese efforts to acquire U.S. strategic industries. Earlier this month, AT&T was forced to scrap a plan to offer its customers Huawei handsets after some members of Congress lobbied against the idea with federal regulators, sources told Reuters. The U.S. government has also blocked a string of Chinese acquisitions over national security concerns, including Ant Financial's proposed purchase of U.S. money transfer company MoneyGram International.
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US Lawmakers Urge AT&T To Cut Commercial Ties With Huawei and Oppose China Mobile Citing National Security Concerns

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Doesn't China own most of American debt? How's that NOT a national security issue?
    • by magarity ( 164372 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @11:54AM (#55939331)

      The only thing you can do with federal debt instruments is sell them at a discount (take a loss) or not buy any more. Its not on-demand debt and the Treasury has a schedule when it pays out so who owns existing debt doesn't really matter in terms of security.
      The US's political inability to live within its means is a "national security" problem caused 100% by our congresscritters, not the Chinese or anyone else external.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Doesn't China own most of American debt? How's that NOT a national security issue?

      When you owe the bank a few thousand dollars and don't pay, you have a problem.

      When you owe the bank a few trillion dollars and don't pay, the BANK has a problem.

    • by bv728 ( 943505 )
      Assuming you mean Federal Debt, no. They're the largest single holder at about 19% of foreign held debt, which only makes up 47% of the total debt. It's worth keeping an eye on it, but they owe us about 0.85 cents for every $1 dollar we owe them - they can't play hardball with us unless they want us to screw them over.
    • by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @01:43PM (#55940255)

      Doesn't China own most of American debt? How's that NOT a national security issue?

      No, this is a myth. They only own about 5.5% of it and only 19% ($1.2 of $6.3 trillion) of the overall foreign-owned debt. To put it into perspective Japan also owns about 5.4%.

  • by banbeans ( 122547 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @11:57AM (#55939371)

    All the phones are made in China anyway so what is the difference whose name is on it?

    • This is what I've been saying for years. Why trust any of the chips, period? There's absolutely no way to audit them post-manufacture.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Just crack one open and see if it matches. You don't just add a feature without it taking up surface area.
        The only way to sneak something would be to replace something else.

        • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
          So AC is China running another line of US brand products and sneaking them into the USA with less encryption?
          The US consumer takes the US brand cell phone with them to their mil, gov work, contractor with mil job and all the US secrets flow out?
          A new phone that looks like the US brand but its very different on the inside?
    • There is manufacturing capacity outside of China
      (I might be wrong, but I think that Sony Mobile still has some manufacturing capability in Japan.
      India has significant manufacturing capability - used among other by Intex, if I'm not wrong.
      Samsung is obviously manufacturing partly in South Korea)

      Though to be honest most of these use chipsets - e.g. Qualcomm - with dubious ogranisation (Seriously ? The *modem* functionning as the SoC's Northbridge? If that doesn't smell like potential backdooring).
      So even if C

  • by ewhenn ( 647989 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @11:58AM (#55939381)
    So this basically translates to: "The Chinese are spying on American citizens?!? THAT'S OUR FUCKING JOB!"
  • This same CONgress/WH, allowed CHina to buy California Pass with massive amounts of rare earth and thorium.
    The GOP and this admin are at best schizophrenic.
  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @12:03PM (#55939427) Homepage
    This is the classic example of americans insisting they can have guns, and butter, at an equal rate. Schrodingers China has existed in this country for forty years now. Its simultaneously a valued and trusted trade partner in american consumer capitalism, and the scourge of modern capitalism in its communist defiance of the almighty dollar.

    Nikita Khrushchev once said: "Communism will dance on the grave of the capitalist and we will sell you the rope you use to hang yourself." These days China has become more of a capitalist dictatorship. It still goes through the party motions of communism and allegiance but the unions are meaningless banners and the equality is a dream long since dead by the sino soviet split. American recognizes this, but its political apparatus after decades of deregulation and acuiescence to powerful multinational businesses like AT&T --which owe no allegiance to a single nation anymore-- is toothless to do anything more than sternly plead with the company to alter its course of business.
    • by Megol ( 3135005 )

      Khrushchev said "We will bury you", that the USSR would survive longer. The rope thing was Stalin.

      This seems (together with other tendencies) to be another phase with USA only ideas A.K.A. isolationism. But one can't have the cookie while loudly chewing on it - reducing reliance of foreign powers will mean they reduce reliance on you. Taken to the extreme that could mean actual war but even in a much milder form the world may seem strange to us in a few decades, wonderfully strange for some and scaringly so

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Tuesday January 16, 2018 @12:06PM (#55939457)

    US national security in the IT space is shot to hell, and most of it is the NSA's fault, with Intel a close second. China just needs to stand back and watch...

    • US national security in the IT space is shot to hell, and most of it is the NSA's fault, with Intel a close second.

      Way too short-sighted there.

      1. Heartbleed was remotely exploitable. The Spectre vulnerabilities require local code or else a second exploit to allow remote execution. Heartbleed posed a far greater risk to internet as a whole.

      2. The NSA didn't create any of the vulnerabilities they exploited. The fault lies with the respective developers such as Cisco, Microsoft, etc. The NSA essentially provided a full disclosure with POC for those vulnerabilities, but all of those problems existed regardless.

      3. These zero

  • Gradually, the right winger "capitalist" republicans of the US are taking power from the states and the corporates and concentrating it under state control. Too bad they're still against welfare though.

  • Why is the federal government trying to tell companies who they can do business with?

    China is NOT a state sponsor of terror.

    The GOP needs to figure out if they believe in freedom or not.
  • No doubt AT&T is willing to fulfill the desires of lawmakers as long as lawmakers are willing to fulfill AT&T's desires.
  • other companies based in japan or south korea what are the chances that the chips in them are from china,
    reminds me of harley davidson bragging about being american made when over 35% of the bike was assembled from imported parts that come from china
    its a global economy, better get global or be left behind, dont blame me i did not make it that way, all the corporate elite and wallstreet did it is who to point the finger at

The solution of problems is the most characteristic and peculiar sort of voluntary thinking. -- William James