August 25, 2019, 0:59


Microsoft WARNS US Crackdown on China’s Huawei Could Backfire

Microsoft WARNS US Crackdown on China’s Huawei Could Backfire

Earlier this month, a report by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation issued a warning that a clampdown on US tech exports would put as much as $56 billion in export revenue and 74,000 jobs at risk over the next five years.

In a written submission to the Department of Commerce, US technology giant Microsoft has cautioned that Washington-proposed restrictions targeting Chinese companies risk having the country thrown out of international research collaborations and “could thwart US interests,” reports Bloomberg.

In the wake of the US crackdown on Huawei Technologies Co, Microsoft was asked to suspend supplies of its Windows operating system for many of the Chinese company’s devices.

Bob O’Donnell of the Technalysis Research consultancy said that any ban would impact Microsoft.

“Any version of Windows comes from Microsoft since there is no open-source version.”

GE also came out with a cautionary statement, that said:

“Artificial intelligence is a very broad concept, defined too broadly export controls could sweep up things like medical imaging where algorithms are being used to scan for diseases and in toys.”

CEO of Washington-based security software company Omelas, Evanna Hu, told Bloomberg:

“The more that we continually conflate economic warfare with national security interests, then we start to look at everything as national security. “When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

Last week the US Department of Commerce put Huawei Technologies and nearly 70 of its affiliates on a blacklist, banning them from buying equipment from US partners without a government go-ahead.

The move prompted several US corporations, including Google and Microsoft as well as major semiconductor makers such as Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx and Broadcom, to sever their ties with Huawei.

US intelligence agencies have previously accused Huawei of putting “backdoor” access in its devices at the behest of the Chinese government, which allegedly enables Beijing to spy on users.

However, Beijing and Huawei have both vehemently denied the allegations.

One of the main reasons that the US government hit Huawei is its 5G technology that boasts the ability to support a plethora of cutting-edge technologies in almost every industry.

By cutting off the Chinese tech giant — a leading supplier of 5G infrastructure globally — the US will only slow the expansion of 5G, a Bloomberg report says.

READ MORE: Huawei CEO Sure US Crackdown Not ‘Powerful Enough’ for Everyone to Follow

The crackdown on Huawei came as fallout from the US-China trade war, which has raged unabated for months.

Industries across the US, ranging from footwear companies to tech giants, are urging US President Donald Trump’s administration to put a damper on certain restrictions and end the raging trade war with China.

On 21 May, 173 shoe companies signed an open letter addressed to Trump, subsequently posting it on the Footwear Distribution and Retailers of America’s website. Hot on their heels, tech companies Microsoft, General Electric Co.(GE), and Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc expressed their concerns over the export controls Washington is mulling.

The rattled companies argue that fomenting economic warfare with China could impede them from competing in lucrative markets and incapacitate the US’ innovative drive as American companies are so inextricably involved in the global technology supply chain.

Earlier this month, a report by researchers at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation warned that a clampdown on US tech exports would put as much as $56 billion in exports and 74,000 jobs at risk over five years.

The Trump administration continues to play hardball, as it hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on 10 May, threatening tariffs of up to 25 per cent on an additional list of Chinese imports worth about $300 bln.

Despite the offensive targeting Huawei and retaliatory higher tariffs announced by Beijing, trade negotiations between the two countries haven’t been abandoned entirely.

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