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  • Trump declares a national emergency.

  • It's been dubbed the 'Huawei ban'.

  • What does this mean for security?

  • And how will this affect Huawei's global ambitions?

  • Welcome back to China Uncensored.

  • I'm Chris Chappell.

  • Last week, US President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order

  • saying no way to Huawei.

  • Well technically, it doesn't actually say that.

  • What it does say is "Executive Order on Securing

  • the Information and Communications Technology

  • and Services Supply Chain."

  • But a title like that is totally un-tweetable.

  • So everyone's just calling it the 'Huawei ban.'

  • To be fair, Trump's executive order doesn't actually name Huawei.

  • But everyone knows who he's talking about.

  • It's like that time in college when the dining hall

  • took away all the waffle makers

  • because somebody kept breaking in at 2am

  • and stealing waffles.

  • Dave.

  • Anyway, Huawei is the world's largest provider of networking gear

  • and the world's number two smartphone vendor,

  • behind Samsung.

  • For years, congressional committees, the FBI, the NSA,

  • and others have flagged close ties between Huawei

  • and the Chinese Communist Party.

  • Last year, the US government banned...

  • the US government...

  • from using equipment made by Huawei

  • and the other big Chinese telecom company, ZTE.

  • That was over security concerns.

  • But the new executive order took that ban a big step further.

  • First, Trump declared a "national emergency."

  • And before you think,

  • Here Trump goes again,

  • declaring another national emergency,”

  • it's actually pretty common.

  • Obama declared 13 national emergencies.

  • George W. Bush declared 14,

  • and Clinton also declared 14.

  • So really, there are a lot more national emergencies

  • for President Trump to declare before his term is up.

  • He's probably got a list.

  • Anyway, here's how Trump's current national emergency works.

  • The Executive Order itself stops the use of IT goods and services

  • from all companies subject toforeign adversaries

  • that poseunacceptable risksto national security.

  • Then, the Commerce Department effectively labeled Huawei

  • as belonging to one of thoseforeign adversaries”—

  • i.e.

  • China

  • by putting Huawei and 72 of its affiliates

  • on the Commerce Department's “Entity List.”

  • The Entity List is a trade blacklist.

  • Anyone on it is barred from buying

  • parts and components from US companies

  • without getting the US government's approval first.

  • And that approval is no easy thing.

  • That's because the ban has a so-called

  • "policy of presumption of denial."

  • Meaning, it's a no unless there's a really,

  • really good reason to say yes.

  • And  "the U.S.

  • Government has determined that there is

  • reasonable cause to believe that Huawei

  • has been involved in activities contrary to the national security

  • or foreign policy interests of the United States."

  • So I'm guessing Huawei purchases are generally going to be a “no.”

  • "All the witnesses could you please raise your hand

  • if you'd use products or services from Huawei or ZTE?

  • None of you would.

  • You obviously lead intelligence services,

  • so that's something of a biased question.

  • Raise your hand if you would recommend that

  • private American citizens use Huawei

  • or ZTE products or services?

  • None of you again are raising your hand.

  • Thank you for that."

  • Senator Cotton raises an important point.

  • Or I assume he did because I was distracted

  • by the way that he kept mispronouncing Huawei.

  • It's Huawei, with an H, people.

  • It's not Wah-Wei.

  • Stop saying it like that!

  • Ahem.

  • Now if you're wondering what

  • the heads of US intelligence services know about Huawei

  • that the average person does not,

  • here's FBI Director Christopher Wray.

  • It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information,

  • and it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”

  • Simply put, officials are worried that Huawei

  • will help the Chinese regime spy on the US

  • or attack America's cyber infrastructure.

  • How might Huawei do that specifically?

  • One way isthat companies like Huawei

  • might sell products compromised by 'back doors'

  • that allow Chinese government hackers

  • access to data or surveillance."

  • Although frankly,

  • I'm more concerned that if we put all our technology

  • in the hands of equipment made in China,

  • one day it will simply stop working.

  • And when we try to reach customer service,

  • we keep getting redirected to the Chinese consulate.

  • And they don't even have our package!

  • Now, back in 2011 and 2012,

  • Vodaphone did find hidden backdoors in Huawei equipment.

  • And there have been other reports of Huawei backdoors.

  • But it's not clear whether Huawei

  • purposefully included these backdoors,

  • or whether they were accidental security flaws

  • resulting from bad design.

  • Either way is bad.

  • So is there smoking gun evidence that Huawei

  • is putting back doors into its technology,

  • designed to allow it to spy on users?

  • No.

  • But there's plenty of reason to believe

  • they would be motivated to.

  • Like Huawei's uncomfortably close links

  • to the armed wing of the Chinese Communist Party

  • the People's Liberation Army.

  • "Huawei is the PLA.

  • And if the senior executives of Huawei don't like me saying that,

  • then bring it.

  • You areand I would love to have discovery on this one

  • you are the People's Liberation Army."

  • I know what you're thinking.

  • Steve Bannon, he's probably just trying to rile people up

  • by mispronouncing Wah-Wey

  • and mentioning the PLA.

  • It turns out, no.

  • Bannon just doesn't know how to pronounce Huawei, either.

  • Also, the founder and CEO of Huawei, Ren Zhengfei,

  • was an engineer with the People's Liberation Army.

  • And last year for the 40th anniversary of China's

  • so-calledreform and opening-up,”

  • Ren Zhengfei was hailed one of 100 “excellent private entrepreneurs

  • whofirmly safeguard the leadership of the Chinese Communist party.”

  • So much for being a totally independent private company.

  • But the Trump administration's moves have already hamstrung Huawei.

  • For now, the Commerce Department's Entity List has had the biggest effect.

  • That's the one that prevents US companies from selling to Huawei.

  • According to Bloomberg,

  • top US tech companies have already begun to cut off

  • the supply of microchips and other technology to Huawei.

  • Chinese state-run media has gone on the defensive,

  • saying the Huawei ban is nothing

  • and we'll be totally fine without chips from American suppliers,

  • and really, who wants Made in America chips anyway?

  • Huawei's chip arm HiSilicon said last Friday

  • it's been prepared for the scenario

  • that it could be banned from purchasing U.S. chips and technology.

  • HiSilicon says it's been "vigorously investing

  • in self-developed technologies,

  • and is able to ensure a steady supply of most products

  • to make sure Huawei will be able to continue serving its customers."

  • Or, as HiSilicon president said in a letter cited by Straits Times,

  • now is the time for 'all the spare tyres in the safe' to become useful.”

  • Ok, firstly, who keeps tires in a safe?

  • Secondly, what does a microchip company do with tires, anyway?

  • I think what we really need is a ban on stupid metaphors.

  • Anyway, Huawei's CEO also insisted that Huawei

  • is totally ready for the ban

  • while also briefly noting thatthe company's annual revenue growth

  • may undershoot 20 percent.”

  • That's a lot to... “undershoot”.

  • It's like, if you're flying from New York to San Francisco,

  • and you undershoot by 20%,

  • you'll end up in Battle Mountain, Nevada.