Archive for ‘New Zealand’

02/04/2019

China, New Zealand agree to deepen comprehensive strategic partnership

CHINA-BEIJING-XI JINPING-NEW ZEALAND-JACINDA ARDERN-MEETING (CN)

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, April 1, 2019. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping met with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Beijing Monday. They agreed to continuously enrich the China-New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership based on the principles of mutual trust and mutual benefit.

During their meeting at the Great Hall of the People, Xi first expressed sincere condolences to New Zealand for the deadly shootings in Christchurch two weeks ago, saying that Ardern’s visit to China at a moment that her country was facing a special important agenda showed the great importance she and the New Zealand government attached to bilateral ties.

China has always viewed New Zealand as a sincere friend and partner, Xi said, adding that China-New Zealand ties, established 47 years ago, had always been at the forefront among relationships between China and Western countries.

He called on both countries to continue to deepen the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership based on the principles of mutual trust and mutual benefit.

China stands ready to work with New Zealand to maintain the bilateral ties as a “front-runner” in relations between China and Western countries, Xi said.

Under the new circumstances, the two countries need to further deepen mutual understanding and trust and respect each other’s core interests and major concerns in the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and seeking common grounds while reserving differences, he said.

Xi called on both sides to expand substantial cooperation.

China will support capable enterprises to invest in New Zealand, while New Zealand needs to provide a fair, just and unbiased business environment for Chinese enterprises, he said.

He also called for the speeding up of negotiations on the upgrade of the bilateral free trade agreement.

China welcomes New Zealand to participate in the Belt and Road construction, Xi said, encouraging both countries to enhance cooperation in international affairs, jointly strive for an open world economy and uphold multilateralism and multilateral trading.

China attaches importance to climate change and is willing to work with New Zealand to promote the sustainable development of Pacific island countries, the president said.

He also encouraged both countries to enhance exchanges in areas including education, culture, youth and science and technology, and to host a successful China-New Zealand Year of Tourism in 2019.

Ardern thanked Xi for extending condolences over the deadly shooting incident, and expressed condolences for the loss of life in a chemical plant blast in Jiangsu Province in late March.

Noting the long history of friendship between New Zealand and China, Ardern said her country attached great importance to ties with China and was proud that the country led in many areas in developing ties with China.

Ardern said she agreed with Xi’s comments on the relations between the two countries, and looked forward to strengthening the New Zealand-China comprehensive strategic partnership and deepening bilateral economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges after this visit.

She reiterated New Zealand’s adherence to the one-China policy.

New Zealand pursues an independent foreign policy and firmly supports multilateralism and free trade, Ardern said, adding that the country had long supported the Belt and Road Initiative and participated in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

She said New Zealand would send a high-level delegation to the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held later this month in Beijing.

New Zealand is ready to enhance cooperation and coordination with China on major international issues including climate change, the prime minister said.

Ardern arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a two-day visit to China. This is her first official visit to China since becoming New Zealand’s prime minister in October 2017.

Source: China Daily

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31/03/2019

2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism kicks off

NEW ZEALAND-WELLINGTON-CHINA-YEAR OF TOURISM

China’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Luo Shugang addresses the opening ceremony of the 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism in Wellington, New Zealand, on March 30, 2019. The 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism was launched here Saturday with an aim to strengthen economic and cultural ties between the two countries. (Xinhua/Guo Lei)

WELLINGTON, March 30 (Xinhua) — The 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism was launched here Saturday with an aim to strengthen economic and cultural ties between the two countries.

An official ceremony was held at Wellington’s Te Papa Tongawera, Museum of New Zealand, and attended by high-level officials and hundreds of representatives from the tourism industry in both countries.

China’s Minister of Culture and Tourism Luo Shugang read the welcoming message by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for the opening ceremony.

“Tourism is an important area of our cooperation and a driving force for our peoples’ mutual understanding and friendly ties. Chinese tourists are attracted by scenic beauty and cultural diversity of New Zealand, and visitors from New Zealand marvel at China’s natural wonders and rich heritage as an ancient civilization,” Li said in the message.

“Last year, around 600,000 visits were exchanged between the two countries. China remains the second largest overseas tourist market of New Zealand,” Li said.

“The China-New Zealand Year of Tourism presents an opportunity for our two countries to enhance tourism cooperation through people-to-people contact. More people-to-people contact between China and New Zealand will increase our mutual knowledge and awareness, which are central to more popular support for our bilateral relations and cooperation,” the Chinese premier said.

New Zealand Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis read the welcoming message by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern for the opening ceremony.

Ardern said “Tourism is a crucial strand in our bilateral relationship, and is a particularly important driver of economic growth. There was an 8.8 percent increase in Chinese holidaymakers to New Zealand from 2017 to 2018, and China is New Zealand’s second-largest tourism market. The number of New Zealanders visiting China has also reached a new high.”

“The recent Christchurch terrorist attacks brought into sharp relief the importance of building interactions and understanding across peoples, cultures and borders. Initiatives during the Year of Tourism reflect China and New Zealand’s shared commitment to doing just that,” Ardern said.

Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand Wu Xi said “New Zealand is a natural extension of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. During Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s visit to New Zealand in 2017, the two sides signed Belt and Road cooperation documents. The connection between facilities and people’s hearts is an important part of the Belt and Road Initiative.”

Wu said “Sino-New Zealand’s Belt and Road cooperation will not only help to enhance New Zealand’s tourism infrastructure, but also further strengthen New Zealand’s advantage as an ideal tourist destination for Chinese tourists and attract more Chinese tourists.”

Richard Davies, manager of tourism policy at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, said the Year of Tourism gives New Zealand an opportunity to showcase the things that makes it a world class destination.

Tourism New Zealand General Manager — New Zealand & Government Relations, Rebecca Ingram said “Tourism New Zealand’s focus is on ensuring New Zealand remains a desirable destination and top of mind as an option for Chinese travelers.”

“China is New Zealand’s most valuable visitor market. With the highest daily spend of all our visitors and a highly seasonal profile, our Chinese visitors help to spread the benefits of tourism throughout the year.”

During the 2019 China-New Zealand Year of Tourism, New Zealand’s tourism sector and beyond is encouraged to think about what they can do to get their China business ready.

Source: Xinhua

16/03/2019

Chinese leaders send messages of condolence to New Zealand over shooting incidents

BEIJING, March 15 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolence to New Zealand Governor-General Patsy Reddy on Friday over the deadly shooting incidents earlier Friday in New Zealand’s Christchurch City.

In his message, Xi said he was shocked to learn about the serious shooting incidents which have caused heavy casualties.

On behalf of the Chinese government, the Chinese people and in his own name, Xi expressed deep sympathy with and sincere condolences to the New Zealand government and the New Zealand people, while expressing grief for the victims and wishing the injured an early recovery.

Also on Friday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sent a message of condolence to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, expressing grief for the victims while extending sincere sympathies to the injured and the bereaved families.

Source: Xinhua

10/03/2019

China launches new communication satellite

#CHINA-XICHANG-CHINASAT 6C SATELLITE-LAUNCHING(CN)

The “ChinaSat 6C” satellite is launched by a Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, March 10, 2019. It will provide high-quality radio and TV transmission services. (Xinhua/Guo Wenbin)

XICHANG, March 10 (Xinhua) — China Sunday sent a new communication satellite into orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

The “ChinaSat 6C” satellite was launched at 0:28 a.m. Beijing Time by a Long March-3B carrier rocket. It will provide high-quality radio and TV transmission services.

The satellite has been sent to the geostationary orbit, and can cover China, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific island countries.

The satellite was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology, and will be operated by the China Satellite Communications Co., Ltd.

The launch marks the 300th mission of the Long March carrier rocket series developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

Source: Xinhua

10/03/2019

China’s wealthy families are turning to long holidays abroad as their efforts emigrate overseas are halted

  • Foreign lifestyle experiences are becoming more popular as citizens seek to escape pollution, food and medicine safety worries and authoritarian government controls
  • Citizens encountering more barriers to their dreams of travelling abroad, with severe limits on moving money overseas and restrictions on visiting foreign countries
Thailand, including the likes of Chiang Mai, the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand are popular destinations for Chinese families. Photo: Shutteratock
Thailand, including the likes of Chiang Mai, the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand are popular destinations for Chinese families. Photo: Shutteratock

Xu Zhangle and her husband and their two children are a typical middle-class couple from Shenzhen, and along with 60 other Chinese families, they are going on an extended holiday to Thailand in July, where they hope to enjoy an immigrant-like life experience.

The family have paid a travel agent around 50,000 yuan (US$7,473) for the stay in Chiang Mai in the mountainous north of the country, including transport, a three-week summer camp for their daughters at a local international school, rent for a serviced apartment and daily expenses.

Zhangle loves Chiang Mai’s relaxed lifestyle and easy atmosphere and wants to live as a local for a month or even longer, instead of having to rush through a short-term holiday.

“It would not be just [tourist] travelling but rather a life away from the mainland.” she said.

Recently, upper middle-class citizens have increased their efforts to safeguard their wealth and achieve more freedom by spending more time abroad.

They have invested considerable amounts of money in overseas properties and applied for long-stay visas, although many of their attempts have ended in failure.

Chinese citizens are encountering more barriers to their dreams of travelling abroad, with severe limits on moving money overseas and restrictions on visiting foreign countries.

Still, growing anxieties about air pollution, food and medicine safety and an increasingly authoritarian political climate are pushing middle class families to look for new ways to circumvent the obstacles so they can live outside China.

Among the options, there is growing demand for sojourns abroad of a month or more, to enjoy a foreign lifestyle for a brief period to make up for the fact that their emigration dreams may have stalled.

“I think this is becoming a trend. Chinese middle-class families are facing increasing difficulties to emigrate and own homes overseas. On the other hand, they still yearn for more freedom, for a better quality of life than what is found in first-tier cities in China.

They are eager to seek alternatives to give themselves and their children a global lifestyle,” said Cai Mingdong, founder of Zhejiang Newway, an online tour and education operator in Ningbo, south of Shanghai.

“First, the availability of multiple-entry tourist visas and the sharp drop in air ticket prices have made it convenient and practical to stay abroad for from a few weeks to up to three months each year.”

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Now, many well-to-do Chinese middle class families can get a tourist visa for five or even 10 years that allows them to stay in a number of countries — including the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other Asian countries — for up to six months at a time.

“In 2011, a round-trip air ticket from Shanghai to New Zealand cost 14,000 yuan (US$2,000), but now is about 4,000 (US$598),” added Cai.

This opens up the possibility for many middle-class families who are not eligible to emigrate, to live abroad for short periods of time.

Many wealthy Chinese middle class families can get a tourist visa for five or even 10 years that allows them to stay in several countries including the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other Asian countries, for up to six months at a time. Photo: AP
Many wealthy Chinese middle class families can get a tourist visa for five or even 10 years that allows them to stay in several countries including the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and other Asian countries, for up to six months at a time. Photo: AP

Chinese tourists made more than 140 million trips outside the country in 2018, a 13.5 per cent increase from the previous year, spending an estimated US$120 billion, according to the China Tourism Academy, an official research institute under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

“In [the Thai cities of] Bangkok and Chiang Mai, there are more and more Chinese who stay there to experience the local lifestyle, which is different from theirs in China. The life there is very different from that in China,” said Owen Zhu, who now lives in the Bangkok condo he bought last year.

“The freedom, culture and community are diversified. The quality of air, food and services are much higher than in first-tier cities in China, but the prices are more affordable.

“In Bangkok, in many international apartment complexes where foreigners live, the monthly rent for a one-bedroom [apartment] is about 2,000 (US$298) to 3,000 yuan.”

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A one-bedroom apartment in Shenzhen in southern China is twice as expensive, with rents continuing to rise rapidly.

There are global goods, and it is easy to socialise with different people from around the world,” Zhu added

“Many Chinese people around me, really, come to Thailand to live for a while and go back to China, but then come back again after a few months.”

Both Cai and Zhu said they discovered the new phenomenon among China’s middle class and decided it was a business opportunity.

Growing anxieties about air pollution, food and medicine safety and an increasingly authoritarian political climate are pushing middle class families to look for new ways to circumvent the obstacles so they can live outside China. Photo: AP
Growing anxieties about air pollution, food and medicine safety and an increasingly authoritarian political climate are pushing middle class families to look for new ways to circumvent the obstacles so they can live outside China. Photo: AP

Zhu is in the process of registering a company in Bangkok and plans to build an online platform to service the needs of Chinese citizens living abroad who do not own property or have immigration status, especially members of the LGBT community.

Cai said dozens of Chinese families in the Yangtze River Delta had paid him to send their children to schools in New Zealand or Europe for around three or four weeks in the middle of the school year, while the parents rent villas in the area, with New Zealand and Toronto in Canada among the most popular destinations.

Last year, Zheng Feng, a single mother and freelance writer from Beijing, rented a small villa in Australia for a month for them, a friend and their children to escape Beijing’s pollution and experience life overseas.

“To be honest, I don’t have enough money to invest in a property or a green card in Australia. But it’s very affordable for me and my son to pay about 30,000 yuan (US$4,484) to live abroad for one or two months.” Zheng said.

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Zheng will join the Xu family in Chiang Mai later this year and she is also planning a similar trip to England next year.

Zheng’s friend, Alice Yu, invested in an American EB-5 investor visa a few years ago, and plans to make one or two month-long trips abroad each year until her family is finally able to move to the United States.

Demand for the EB-5 investor visa in China seems to be waning given heightened uncertainty about the future of the programme and US immigration law in general under US President Donald Trump.

Approval for the visa can now take up to 10 years, resulting in a huge backlog that has further dampened interest and led to a significant dip in investment inflows into the US from foreign individuals.

A one-bedroom apartment in Bangkok can cost around bout 2,000 (US$298) to 3,000 yuan a month. Photo: AFP
A one-bedroom apartment in Bangkok can cost around bout 2,000 (US$298) to 3,000 yuan a month. Photo: AFP

“Maybe it will soon become standard for a real Chinese middle-class family to have the time and money to enjoy a long stay at a countryside villa overseas,” said Yu.

“Regardless of whether we can get a long-term visa for the United States, I want my children grow up in a global lifestyle and with more freedom than just growing up on the mainland. So do all wealthy and middle class Chinese families, I think.”

Karen Gao’s son started studying at an international school in Chiang Mai in June, at the cost of about 70,000 yuan (US$10,462) a year, after she quit her job as a public relations manager in Shenzhen and moved to Thailand on a tourist visa.

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“A few months each year for good air, good food and no censorship and internet control, but cheaper living costs compared to Beijing, it sounds like a really good deal to go,” said Gao, who has now been offered a guardian visa to accompany her son, who has already been given a student visa.

“In Shenzhen, I wasn’t able to get him into school because I had no [local] residence permit.

“It would be the best choice for us because we feel so uncertain and worried about investing and living in the mainland.”

Last year, Gao, like thousands of other private investors mostly middle class people living in first-tier cities, suffered significant losses when their investments in hotels and inns in Dali, Yunnan province, were demolished amid the local government’s campaign to curb pollution and improve the environment around Lake Erhai.

“We were robbed by the officials without proper compensation,” Gao said.

Source: SCMP

19/02/2019

The US cannot crush us, says Huawei founder

The founder of Huawei has said there is “no way the US can crush” the company, in an exclusive interview with the BBC.

Ren Zhengfei described the arrest of his daughter Meng Wanzhou, the company’s chief financial officer, as politically motivated.

The US is pursuing criminal charges against Huawei and Ms Meng, including money laundering, bank fraud and stealing trade secrets.

Huawei denies any wrongdoing.

Mr Ren spoke to the BBC’s Karishma Vaswani in his first international broadcast interview since Ms Meng was arrested – and dismissed the pressure from the US.

“There’s no way the US can crush us,” he said. “The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit.”

However, he acknowledged that the potential loss of custom could have a significant impact.

What else did Mr Ren say about the US?

Last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned the country’s allies against using Huawei technology, saying it would make it more difficult for Washington to “partner alongside them”.

Australia, New Zealand, and the US have already banned or blocked Huawei from supplying equipment for their future 5G mobile broadband networks, while Canada is reviewing whether the company’s products present a serious security threat.

Mr Ren warned that “the world cannot leave us because we are more advanced”.

“If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine. And if the North goes dark, there is still the South. America doesn’t represent the world. America only represents a portion of the world.”

What did Mr Ren say about investment in the UK?

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has decided that any risk posed by using Huawei technology in UK telecoms projects can be managed.

Many of the UK’s mobile companies, including Vodafone, EE and Three, are working with Huawei to develop their 5G networks.

They are awaiting a government review, due in March or April, that will decide whether they can use Huawei technology.

Commenting on the possibility of a UK ban, Mr Ren said Huawei “won’t withdraw our investment because of this. We will continue to invest in the UK.

“We still trust in the UK, and we hope that the UK will trust us even more.

“We will invest even more in the UK. Because if the US doesn’t trust us, then we will shift our investment from the US to the UK on an even bigger scale.”

Huawei boothImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionHuawei has denied that it poses any risk to the UK or any other country

What does Mr Ren think about his daughter’s arrest?

Mr Ren’s daughter Meng Wanzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer, was arrested on 1 December in Vancouver at the request of the US, and is expected to be the subject of a formal extradition request.

In total, 23 charges are levelled against Huawei and Ms Weng. The charges are split across two indictments by the US Department of Justice.

The first covers claims Huawei hid business links to Iran – which is subject to US trade sanctions. The second includes the charge of attempted theft of trade secrets.

Mr Ren was clear in his opposition to the US accusations.

“Firstly, I object to what the US has done. This kind of politically motivated act is not acceptable.

“The US likes to sanction others, whenever there’s an issue, they’ll use such combative methods.

“We object to this. But now that we’ve gone down this path, we’ll let the courts settle it.”

Meng Wanzhou, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd"s chief financial officer (CFO), is seen in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters December 6, 2018.Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionMeng Wanzhou was arrested in Vancouver last December

What did Mr Ren say about Chinese government spying?

Huawei, which is China’s largest private company, has been under scrutiny for its links to the Chinese government – with the US and others expressing concern its technology could be used by China’s security services to spy.

Under Chinese law, firms are compelled to “support, co-operate with and collaborate in national intelligence work”.

But Mr Ren said that allowing spying was a risk he wouldn’t take.

“The Chinese government has already clearly said that it won’t install any backdoors. And we won’t install backdoors either.

“We’re not going to risk the disgust of our country and of our customers all over the world, because of something like this.

“Our company will never undertake any spying activities. If we have any such actions, then I’ll shut the company down.”

Presentational grey line

Is Huawei part of the Chinese state?

Analysis – Karishma Vaswani, BBC Asia business correspondent – Shenzhen

For a man known as reclusive and secretive, Ren Zhengfei seemed confident in the conviction that the business he’s built for the last 30 years can withstand the scrutiny from Western governments.

Mr Ren is right: the US makes up only a fraction of his overall business.

But where I saw his mood change was when I asked him about his links to the Chinese military and the government.

He refused to be drawn into a conversation, saying only that these were not facts, simply allegations.

Still, some signs of close links between Mr Ren and the government were revealed during the course of our interview.

He also confirmed that there is a Communist Party committee in Huawei, but he said this is what all companies – foreign or domestic – operating in China must have in order to abide by the law.

Source: The BBC

18/02/2019

Britain does not support total Huawei network ban – sources

(Reuters) – British security officials do not support a full ban of Huawei from national telecoms networks despite U.S. allegations the Chinese firm and its products could be used by Beijing for spying, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Huawei, the world’s biggest producer of telecoms equipment, faces intense scrutiny in the West over its relationship with the Chinese government and allegations of enabling state espionage, with the United States calling for its allies not to use its technology.

Although no evidence has been produced publicly and Huawei has denied the claims, the allegations have led several Western countries to restrict its access to their markets.

“We don’t favour a complete ban. It’s not that simple,” one of the sources told Reuters on Monday after a Financial Times report on Sunday said that Britain had decided it could mitigate the risks of using Huawei equipment in 5G networks.

The FT cited two sources familiar with what it said was a conclusion by the government’s National Cyber Security Council (NCSC), which last year said technical and supply-chain issues with Huawei’s equipment had exposed national telecom networks to new security risks. Huawei had no immediate comment.

Any decision to allow Huawei to participate in building next-generation 5G networks would be closely watched by other nations, because of Britain’s membership of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing group with the United States.

Britain is an important market for Huawei and last month Vodafone, the world’s second-largest mobile operator, said it was “pausing” the deployment of its equipment in core networks until Western governments give the Chinese firm full security clearance.

Other operators in Europe, including Britain’s BT and France’s Orange have already removed Huawei’s equipment or taken steps to limit its future use.

Two sources said the NCSC did not think it was necessary to completely bar Huawei from British networks, believing it could continue to manage any risks by testing the products at a special laboratory overseen by intelligence officials.

Both sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the position was consistent with public statements made by the NCSC and British officials.

 

“As was made clear in July’s HCSEC oversight board, the NCSC has concerns around Huawei’s engineering and security capabilities. We have set out the improvements we expect the company to make, an NCSC spokeswoman said on Monday.

CONFIDENCE MEASURES

People with knowledge of the matter said the next NCSC report on Huawei’s position in Britain will criticise its slow response to issues raised in last year’s report and detail tense relations with British officials.

The report, which is expected to be released in coming weeks, does not itself set government policy.

The results of a government review of British telecoms infrastructure is expected later in the year and will include recommendations on managing security risks, including in future 5G networks.

Fellow Five Eyes member Australia has banned Huawei from supplying 5G equipment, while New Zealand said on Monday it would make its own independent assessment of the risk of using Huawei equipment in 5G networks.

Huawei has set up security labs in Britain and Germany aimed at building confidence that its equipment does not contain “back doors” for Chinese intelligence services.

It has also offered to build a cyber-security centre in Poland, where authorities have arrested a Chinese Huawei employee along with an ex-Polish security official.

Source: Reuters

15/02/2019

Seizing on Huawei’s troubles, Samsung bets big on network gear

SEOUL (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics is pouring resources into its telecom network equipment business, aiming to capitalize on the security fears hobbling China’s Huawei, according to company officials and other industry executives.

Those efforts include moving high-performing managers and numerous employees to the network division from its handset unit, two Samsung sources said.
Potential customers are taking notice of Samsung’s efforts to reinvent itself as a top-tier supplier for 5G wireless networks and bridge a big gap with market leader Huawei and industry heavyweights Ericsson and Nokia.
French carrier Orange’s chief technology officer, Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, visited Japan last year and was impressed with the pace of 5G preparations using alternative equipment makers including Samsung, a company representative told Reuters.

Orange, which operates in 27 markets and counts Huawei as its top equipment supplier, will run its first French 5G tests with Samsung this year.

Underscoring the growing importance of the business, South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon visited Samsung’s network division in January. In a closed-door meeting during that visit, Samsung heir Jay Y. Lee asked for government help with recruiting high-level engineers.
Huawei is battling allegations by the United States and some other Western countries that its equipment could enable Chinese spying and should not be used in 5G networks, which will offer higher speeds and a host of new services.
Australia and New Zealand have joined the United States in effectively barring Huawei from 5G, and many other countries, especially in Europe, are considering a ban. Huawei denies that its gear presents any security risk.
Its woes have presented Samsung with a rare opportunity. Telecom firms would ordinarily stick with their 4G providers for 5G upgrades as they can use existing gear to minimize costs, but many firms may now be under political pressure to switch.

“We’re bolstering our network business to seize market opportunities arising at a time when Huawei is the subject of warnings about security,” said one of the Samsung sources.

The sources, who did not disclose specific figures for the employee moves, declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

Keen to seek new growth, particularly as sales of its mainstay chips and smartphones have begun to drop, Samsung plans to invest $22 billion in 5G mobile technology and other fields over three years. It declined to break down how much will go to 5G and the other areas – artificial intelligence, biopharma and automotive electronic parts.

“Samsung is focused on building trust with our partners and leading the global 5G markets, regardless of other companies,” it said in an emailed statement to Reuters.

Asked about Samsung’s big push into network equipment, Huawei said in a statement that it welcomed competition in the market.

INDIA OPPORTUNITY

In India, Samsung is now in talks with Reliance Jio to upgrade its network to 5G, looking to build on what has perhaps been its biggest network success – becoming the key supplier for the upstart carrier.

“We don’t think 5G is far away in India,” a Samsung official with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters. He declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Samsung’s clients include U.S. firms AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc and Sprint Corp and it has 5G network contracts with all three, though it was not clear how extensive those contracts are. It also sells to South Korean carriers and has partnered with Japanese mobile carriers to test its 5G equipment.

In many cases, Samsung supplies only small pieces of networks. According to market tracker Dell’Oro Group, the South Korean firm holds just 3 percent of the global telecom infrastructure market compared with 28 percent for Huawei.

Its network business made 870 billion won ($775 million) in operating profit last year, according to Eugene Investment & Securities. Filings show Nokia’s network business made about 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion) while Ericsson’s network operations made 19.4 billion Swedish crowns ($2.1 billion). Figures for Huawei were not available.

FINDING THE PEOPLE

One major hurdle for Samsung will be attracting talent amid a dearth of software engineers in South Korea.

“We need more software engineers and want to work with the government to find that talent,” Lee was quoted as saying by government officials at his meeting with the prime minister.

Samsung’s network business unit employs roughly 5,000 people, according to a government official in the southern city of Gumi where Samsung operates its manufacturing plants.

Kim Young-woo, an analyst at SK Securities, expects Samsung to hire 1,000-1,500 people for 5G network equipment this year. Samsung declined to comment on network employee levels and hiring plans.

But Samsung’s bet remains risky as the long-term nature of telecom network investment means change comes slowly.

Sweden’s Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia, which acquired the remnants of once-powerful network equipment companies Alcatel-Lucent and Nortel, have as yet seen little sales growth from Huawei’s problems, company executives said.

Both are in cost-cutting mode, even in the face of the 5G opportunity and the problems confronting their biggest rival.

Indeed, some network operators in Europe are warning that a Huawei ban – now under consideration in France, the UK, Germany and other countries – could push back deployment of 5G by as much as three years.

Others warn Samsung may struggle to develop a global sales and support organization.

“The way telcos purchase products and services from their suppliers demand a lot of time and resources, which is why Ericsson and Nokia have around 100,000 employees and Huawei almost twice as many,” said Bengt Nordstrom, CEO of telecom consultancy Northstream.

But Samsung is taking the long view. In December, it agreed to extend its Olympic partnership with the International Olympic Committee through to 2028 and expand its sponsorship to 5G technology.

The company did not want to leave its sponsorship spot open to Chinese rivals, a separate source with knowledge of the matter said.

“If Samsung dropped the top mobile sponsorship for the Olympic games beyond 2020, then who would have taken that spot? It would only have been China, Huawei.”

($1 = 1,122.8000 won)

Source: Reuters

07/12/2018

China Watchers Demand Action on Harassment of New Zealand Professor

Anne-Marie Brady, a professor at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand, said she had been harassed and intimidated for publishing research critical of the Chinese Communist Party.CreditCreditUniversity of Canterbury

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — More than 160 China experts from around the world have signed a letter urging New Zealand’s government to protect an academic who said she was the subject of harassment and intimidation for publishing research critical of the Chinese Communist Party.

The letter, published Thursday on the Czech website Sinopsis and signed by 169 scholars, researchers, journalists, commentators and human rights advocates, is the latest effort by scholars to ramp up pressure on Western governments to confront China’s political interference beyond its borders.

The New Zealand police and the country’s intelligence agency, along with Interpol, are investigating the case of Anne-Marie Brady, a professor at the University of Canterbury in the city of Christchurch. She said she had been subjected to a yearlong harassment campaign in which her home was burglarized, her office broken into twice and her car sabotaged.

Ms. Brady said the only items stolen from her home were electronic devices linked to her China scholarship, with the thief or thieves ignoring cash and newer electronics used by other family members.

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