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China Summons Foreign Tech Firms For Peace Talks

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Following the US ban on selling equipment to Huawei Technologies, the world’s largest maker of telecoms network equipment, China called global technology companies for talks.

The companies included South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co Ltd., SK Hynix Inc., British Chip designer ARM, and US Computer maker Dell Technologies Inc.  The British chip maker, ARM has since ended its ties with the Chinese firm. Samsung and SK Hynix refused to respond to the invitation. Dell acted likewise. A spokesperson is yet to respond to the email requesting for a comment.

The blacklisting of Huawei technologies prohibits American firm from selling supplies to the Chinse firm, except it is licensed by the US government. Washington claims it took such a drastic decision to protect the country’s security, a blow which has escalated the trade war between China and the US.

Huawei has repeatedly denied claims of using the equipment for surveillance. It denounced all claims that it has ties with Beijing, the military or the security agency.  

In response to the blacklisting, China released its own list of unreliable foreign entities which would include American firms and hinted that it would limit supply of rare earth to the US. A spokesperson from Microsoft Corp told Reuters that the session with China went smoothly. The tone was reconciliatory. However, China made it known to the companies present that complying with the band from the US government would complicate issues in further years for participating companies.

China asked Microsoft not to bow to the wishes of the US if the company doesn’t fully understand the matter to avoid facing dire consequences.

The country is known to summon representatives of foreign companies to make its stance known about a subject matter.

Another representative informed Reuters that the tone as the meeting was “softer” than they had expected. China may have realised that self-sufficiency will take a long time and more than ever, they still need the American firms to supply them with equipment and license.

No mention of Huawei. No ultimatum. Just asked to stay in the country, contribute to the win-win negotiation. I think they realise they still need US tech and products for now; self-sufficiency will take a long time, and only after then they can kick us out,” the person told Reuters but declined to identify by a company, given the sensitivity of the issue.

The ban championed by President Trump has dealt Huawei Technologies a huge blow. Mobile operators in Japan and other allying countries halted the launch of Huawei mobile phones. Last week, Softbank announced that it opted for Nokia and Ericsson for its 5G network deployment over Huawei which was a vendor for its 4G network upgrade.

Huawei had called out the US to drop all illegal actions; after all, it has no proof to back it’s claims. The country’s argument on security threat is based on speculations and not facts.   

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