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Hong Kong dispute could be the final nail in the coffin for Huawei in the UK

China has vowed to punish the UK for trying to help Hong Kong citizens. Well, two can play at that game.

The technology business and politics are increasingly overlapping, and nowhere is that more apparent than with Huawei. However much the Chinese vendor tries to insist it has no direct ties to the Chinese state, the increasingly domineering behaviour of its government makes that hard to believe.

The imposition of a new law on the semi-autonomous region of Hong Kong, which would allow China to extradite and punish any HK residents who do things it disapproves of, is the latest such act. While the persecution of the Uighurs has elicited little international condemnation, the Chinese Communist Party’s desire to impose its will on HK’s 7.5 million residents does seem to have got the world’s attention.

As its former colonial power, the UK has a special interest in the welfare of Hong Kong and its citizens, which was supposed to be protected by the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. This new law is viewed as being in breach of that declaration and, in addition to the usual diplomatic huffing and puffing, the UK has offered a path to citizenship to three million HK residents in response.

If there’s one thing authoritarians hate it’s having their bullying challenged and the CCP has reacted to the UK’s offer by making a bunch of vague threats of retaliation. Since China seems to have a taste for political kidnapping these days, those threats should be taken seriously. There will be plenty of UK citizens in Hong Kong for it to persecute, but if our government were to give an inch in the face of such tactics, that would surely just embolden the CCP further.

This escalation of diplomatic tensions between the UK and China coincides with an ongoing review of Huawei’s involvement in the UK’s 5G networks. Earlier this week Prime Minister Johnson appeared to signal a hardening of his government’s stance on the matter and its hard to imagine being directly threatened by the Chinese government has done anything other than accelerate that process.

Huawei can’t help being a Chinese company, but the actions of its government are making it increasingly hard to believe the vendor couldn’t be forced to cooperate with the Chinese state if called upon to do so. Huawei presumably has nothing to do with the HK situation, but the sins of the government are increasingly being paid for by its companies. Johnson will find it very hard to resist imposing greater restrictions on Huawei, if only to make a political point.


32 comments

  1. Avatar Jerome 03/07/2020 @ 5:25 am

    Dirty white supermacy. Those youngster in honkong got the no. 2 freedom in asia after Singapore. Those
    Student leader started violent umbrella mmovement just want to show off so someday they become hero. What choice does china goverment have, no country in the world can tolerate those kind of chos. Those white country mainly usa and prompel include japan just want to subtoge china. History will remember those dirty thoughts including this author. Brois yelson is a good man and british has much better concience than evil trump government, unfortunately , boris yelson will fall into this trap without knowing how hard china sacrified for british. Pampal and steve bannon this two bad guy just subtoge and subtoge china and kill trump presidency and eventualy will seriously hurt british too because of face and ignorance.

    • Avatar ladakhchina 03/07/2020 @ 9:45 am

      china number 1! foreigners is dirt on china boot! India also dirt! lick our boots! china have 100% human right and we stop virus very good. all china people happy and uighur people in camps to know how good chinese people is. they learn chinese language because they in china. han chinese nation race superior to all race! look how we build africa now because local cannot

      • Avatar rishi 03/07/2020 @ 6:02 pm

        History has no mercy for thinkers like you. I remember the last man with superior race was Hitler!!
        Choose your words carefully, because we do believe in karma. Sometimes people do eat their own foot. Oops sorry you can eat anything. I know. May Budhha bless you with wisdom. How come, he was Indian too. Hey that part was very funny.

      • Avatar MBK 03/07/2020 @ 8:15 pm

        You are number 1 copycats! You are not free, you are being controlled, shiu.
        Plus, u just sell low quality material to Africa and some fake Chinese company’s didn’t finish the job!

      • Avatar Name 03/07/2020 @ 10:10 pm

        This comment perfectly shows the racism that is rife in China

        • Avatar Andy Tiller 21/07/2020 @ 2:12 pm

          Actually probably not. ladakhchina pops up all over this site with extreme racist comments. I strongly suspect he is a bot designed by someone with the malicious intent to make us all believe the Chinese are dangerous extremists. I’m sure most intelligent readers of Telecoms.com will realize that many of the comments here are not reliable, but thought I should point it out, just in case.

          • Avatar Dr David Wong 25/07/2020 @ 1:38 pm

            Live in Mainland China for at least five years, learn how to read and write Chinese. Look at Weibo social media posts and listen to people’s conversations around you. Until then, I’m afraid it’s impossible for you to come to an accurate judgement. Having Chinese colleagues or having visited China a few times isn’t enough. You need to know the language. You’ll find that on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, it is full of racist, Han Chinese nationalistic posts such as the ones above. Xi Jinping’s policies promote Han Chinese superiority ahead of other ethnic groups on the Mainland and, indeed, promote Han superiority over other races more generally. Actually, this mentality is also in other East Asian societies like Japan and South Korea, but even worse in Mainland China. So, please, get out of your Chinese colleague bubble and learn the language. You’ll find out the real situation soon enough.

      • Avatar Drew 04/07/2020 @ 3:00 am

        @ladakhchina. Mate I have friends n family there in HK. I can tell U that you have no idea what CCP has done. People. Your own people are getting killed for the normal right to protest and protect the diplomatic process they had before the last year’s of CCP committing sins against there own. Your blind open your eyes 👀

    • Avatar Down w c 03/07/2020 @ 11:44 am

      Written like a true China man

    • Avatar Ritchie Baxter 03/07/2020 @ 12:47 pm

      So the young people of Hong-Kong decided to make trouble for no reason? Just to be heros? And how can they be heros if there is nothing to be a hero off? Your contradicting your self. This is a stupid comment. Your head is in the dirt my friend. They are protesting for freedom obviously.
      Stay out of Hong-Kong and there will be no trouble. Don’t be so nieve.
      Your government is controlling your mind. China is the same as North Korea in this sense. Most of China Internet is censored by your government. This is more control. Open your eyes and take a look at the world without your censorship. You will see a worldwide you have never seen before. Use a vpn though or you will be punished.

      • Avatar Uyyu 03/07/2020 @ 5:26 pm

        Brain wahaed or not

        At least we Chinese can breath

        Can you breath?

        LoL

        • Avatar P Kristiansen 06/07/2020 @ 9:52 am

          Uyyu. “Lol.” Really? Someone is killed because of the colour of their skin and that’s what you say? Shows the PRC’s racist attitudes very clearly.

          The PRC is stuck in the 15th century when it comes to human and animal rights.Even if there is just one terrible killing in the West as a result of the authorities, it is highly publicised and there are mass protests. And rightly so. In the PRC, millions of Uighur Muslims are in compulsory so-called re-education camps, many women forcibly sterilised and even killed just because of the colour of their skin and race. Yet Chinese state media praise this racist, outdated and disgusting policy. Disgraceful.

      • Avatar Allan 03/07/2020 @ 8:04 pm

        Again another pompous view from western myopic eyes. Do not be a hypocrite and shout in the name democracy. HK was snatched from the evil British after the opium war( how bad and low can the British be for being drug pedlars). For 150 years HK had never tasted democracy , even the governor was appointed and so were the top admin people, what all the crap. Now after handling back to China the British and the west shouted for democracy, shouting how bad is the security law. All these bullshit about freedom and brain washed , you tell me which country has no National security laws? You go to these so called freedom loving countries and sabotage their security, go and break their security in the guise of freedom .
        If the system is different from your aloof western ideas and create havoc with improvement in life, you can shave into your as.hole.

    • Avatar P Kristiansen 03/07/2020 @ 3:26 pm

      There is nothing wrong with China or the Chinese people. It is the CCP that’s the problem. Not because it’s ‘communist,’ it clearly isn’t ideologically speaking. It’s a thuggish regime that imposes a law when in reality it is a promulgation saying people should be locked up if they’re against the CCP. I hope one day, HKers can live in the home they cherish with the freedoms they were promised. Also hope there is more attention to the atrocities committed against the Uighurs. Surely the world has learned from the genocides committed by the Nazis, as well as those in Rwanda and Bosnia?

      In the meantime, dependence on the PRC surely has to be diminished. Huawei shouldn’t be allowed in Western 5G networks. Also Hikvision’s activities in the UK and around the world need to be closely scrutinised or even shelved altogether. Their CCTV cameras are shockingly used in Tescos whilst they are also used for surveillance against Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang. It is also 40% owned by the CCP itself which in Mainland Chinese terms may as well be 100%. Strongly worded statements from foreign ministers are nice, but real economic action such as this against the CCP is needed.

      China is a great country and so are the Chinese people. We only need to look at Tsai Ying Wen’s commendable leadership in Taiwan to realise what the PRC could aspire to be in the future.

    • Avatar MBK 03/07/2020 @ 8:10 pm

      Dont say bullshit! Chinese are copycats %”*@#

  2. Avatar Benson Royston 03/07/2020 @ 8:57 am

    Why is America and Britain so concerned about the new security law in Hong Kong when all the other countries do not see any other problems with it. America, Britain, Australia should be more concerned about the human rights issue in America where the black minority are consistently being ill treated by the white majority. This the place you concerned people should be looking for

    • Avatar ladakhchina 03/07/2020 @ 10:06 am

      agree!this law is china birthday present to the hongkong.hongkong so happy now.maybe also die penalty for people against the china there?uighur muslim love the china!west and japan say we put them in camp and kill them or make them work but they all wrong.china right about everything and all country need respect the china.foreign country need say thank you to the china for us help them with virus too becuase we stop it so quick.so ungrateful!

      • Avatar Bob 04/07/2020 @ 1:39 am

        Go to school and learn English before you try writing in English, maybe you used a translator app to get this chinglish

  3. Avatar Darren 03/07/2020 @ 11:46 am

    Ungrateful, all China did was help stop a disease, rhat originated in there country in the first place, in disgusting markets where cats and dogs and bats and killed in front of people, I think these people that have left comments either work for China communist party, or are dilusional, one day you will all see the Chinese government as the sick twisted authoritarian state it is, don’t believe what your government tell you, cuz it’s all lies, we don’t have a problem with Chinese people, it’s the tin pot dictator no one likes, and don’t pretend u help Africa cuz you care, you do it for resources, and there back up if war breaks out, and the way China acts that will cum sooner than later

  4. Avatar Joseph Kulutu 03/07/2020 @ 11:55 am

    I am really not a fan of politics because of all the dirty tricks and sacrifices the people endure but after reading this article I think I must say that I find it funny when a country is told how to manage its own people and its own national security. They are protests and there is no genocide happening as far as I know. China is in its full right to impose whatever rules, processes, policies and laws it sees fit to protect itself. The issue here is that HK has enjoyed for far too long the western culture and has forgotten their own (respect the authority). I call that becoming a bunch of spoiled little brats. I use a Huawei smartphone and I love it a lot. I really do not care whether they collect my info or not anyway. And the western world needs to stop hiding behind those treaties they have signed years ago and who knows whether they were not under duress and that today they are all called for a review and amendment to fit the current contexts. HK just stop it already. You belong to China and must comply accordingly.

    • Avatar Ritchie Baxter 03/07/2020 @ 12:59 pm

      Hiding behind a treaty or not. A treaty should be honoured even if it is a mask for some other form of finical gain. Hong-Kong people of no different to you or I and if you was taken back to the a time with no Internet, cars and modern life as we know it, I’m sure you also would become a spoiled brat. Life as you know it, taken away quickly just like Hong-Kong people.

      • Avatar Myk 03/07/2020 @ 7:17 pm

        Pls note the main reason hong kong was ceded to britain for such a long time was because of the lost of the chinese in the opium.war. Which opium trade was promulgated by the western allies which they profited. And not to mention the tons of chinese golds and artifacts and treasures that were taken from 19th century china.

        So in clear conscience can you say the treaty was right and should be abided?? You have a very sick sense of righteousness. It was the strong oppressing the weak. Did america and europe not have a slave trade of its own and subjued human rights? Did anyone interfere in their sick meaning of human rights then? Going back to hongkong after so many years of being the gateway of chinese goods to the western world.. Dont tell me the english government did not get any royalties out of this?? Why are they so involved when initially they stole the region from the rightful owners? Because they have some profits to lose

        Let us look at ourselves in the mirror. He who is without sin… Let him cast the first stone.

  5. Avatar Dave 03/07/2020 @ 12:31 pm

    The above posts are either an attempt at being ironically funny and as a caricature of what I assume would be some Chinaman’s take on all of this, or is actually the work of an actual China sympathiser troll (who has an appalling grasp of English grammar to boot)! Oh, and just to set the fact straight, China’s appalling Human Rights abuses are dramatically worse than the so called instances of systematic and institutional racism that blacks apparently face in the West. I’d harbour a guess that they are still treated far better by us than any Chinese citizen is treated by its own government, and anybody who cannot see that BLM and the like have been hijacked by Cultural Marxists keen on pushing their agenda throughout Western society, is quite clearly blinkered. This is an apples and oranges kind of comparison. China with its foreign diplomacy (or lack thereof), is acting like a bratty child throwing it’s toys at anybody who calls it out for its ill behaviour. Temper tantrums galore!

  6. Avatar Billy 03/07/2020 @ 2:53 pm

    Any Chinese company could be forced to cooperate with the Chinese government. Why then continue to pick on Huawei? There are a ton of these Chinese cell phone companies, and they all could be corrupted in theory.

  7. Avatar Mike 03/07/2020 @ 5:48 pm

    The case of saving those Englishmen working in HK conglomerates as Managing Director, CEO, CFO, Judges and the British workers had made HK as their new home to escape from the cost of living and lack of job opportunities in UK. After all UK had left EU and cross border employment is getting more difficult these days. This batch of people will be coming to HK to seek employment soon. That’s why UK is so hard up of HK because the PM will encourage UK corporates to hire British while HKgers will have less chance in the territory corporate world. And these stupid youngsters of HK know nothing of her plot against HKgers. There’re screwing their own ass.

  8. Avatar Solomon 03/07/2020 @ 7:09 pm

    Former Colonial power, but Britain is behaving like Hong Kong is its colony.
    This is a city, part of China, After pushing drugs and forcefully selling opium to Chinese people, in this 21st century, you think your government can bully the Chinese?

  9. Avatar Jerome 03/07/2020 @ 11:01 pm

    Dave mindset is just like Pompal or Steve banan or trump or fox news who just want to demonize China. Those people do not really care about honkong people, they just want to make China in a choas. However Boris Johnson do care about HK people but he may be influenced by USA bad guys to make a bad judgement. Forget about Japan Able, Australia pm they are just watch dog of trump. Dave apparently want to do the same thing from one fact he claim even BLM has been better treated than Chinese people. That is a big lie. I admit Chinese citizen degree of freedom is less than western which I do not know it’s good or bad. However that BLM is ten times worse , and he is lying and try to mislead people. Also I gave my comment on HK situation and he started to demonize me as a Chinese opinion.

    • Avatar ladakhchina 04/07/2020 @ 1:24 pm

      yes!maybe usa can learn from the china.china uighur muslim problem the same to your blm problem.in china we have the special learning camp for the uighur muslim so they love china more and respect our high superior chinese nation race and learn chinese language.usa can do same so no more blm problem!

  10. Avatar Rommel Butando 04/07/2020 @ 1:18 am

    china steals tecnologies, pirates, grab lands and territories. they are good at that… their weakness is food supply. better not sell them rice, corn, meat.. they cant feed their populatiin by themselves…

  11. Avatar Teo A 04/07/2020 @ 2:41 am

    Communist Chinese people are so controlled by their government like puppets! It is a pity. They have no rights as humans to express themselves.

  12. Avatar Ken C. 04/07/2020 @ 7:20 am

    I totally agree with Joseph Kulutu:
    The western countries like America and UK should mine their own business and let China looks after his own people, security and country. These western countries always like to dictate and tell other countries how to behave and run their countries.
    The horrendous damages to properties and the grave violence, (e.g., bashing of elderly innocent people who just happens to have a different views to theirs) that have been committed by all these so called (by USA, UK etc) freedom fighting youngster, are just inexcusable. Most of them are just a bunch of thugs and hooligans.
    They are considered to be very lucky and fortunate compares to the a lot more forceful treatments that peaceful protesters had been dealt with by police in the so called democratic capital of the world, USA.
    Unfortunately, history is not taught in a lot of western countries which will otherwise tells how countries like USA and UK had in the part colonised and exploited the people and the countries they colonised. HK is one good example of how UK strong arm twisting and bullying a very weak China after the Opium War into conceiving HK to British rule.

  13. Avatar King ben 05/07/2020 @ 2:13 pm

    Communist party of china has brutalise his people for long they don’t even know what is it to be free . Now they’re here talking nonsense.

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