Huawei Technologies Co (華為) will back Apple Inc as it contests a US court order requiring the unlocking of a San Bernardino shooting suspect’s iPhone, taking the side of the industry’s largest names in a clash over the balance between law enforcement and consumer privacy.
China’s largest smartphone maker joined Google Inc and other technology companies in supporting Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook, who last week vowed to fight a court order compelling the company to help the FBI break into the telephone used by one of the shooters in the California attack.
Consumer privacy is key for smartphone makers, Richard Yu, the chief executive officer of Huawei’s fast-growing consumer devices division, said on Sunday.
Huawei is one of the first major Asian technology companies to speak out on a debate that has galvanized an industry long resistant to government efforts to gain access to data in criminal cases.
Cook said that complying with the order would set a dangerous precedent, compromise a key security feature and possibly allow governments, criminals or other parties to access sensitive data in future.
The US government argues it is a one-time request that would aid an important investigation.
“It’s the top one, the most important thing to the consumer. We should really protect the consumer’s privacy and security,” said Yu, who was at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to unveil Huawei’s first laptop. “Personally, I support Apple’s, Tim Cook’s idea.”
Huawei showed off the laptop — which is powered by Microsoft Corp’s Windows 10 and comes with a detachable screen — to help fuel its rapid ascent in consumer devices. Now the world’s No. 3 smartphone maker, behind Samsung Electronics Co and Apple according to IDC, Huawei has aspirations of becoming the No. 1 brand in five years.
The Chinese company, which debuted its first device using Google’s Android in 2009 to complement its business of making networking equipment, shipped more than 100 million smartphones last year for the first time, after it focused on improving quality and moved into the less crowded premium segment.
Huawei received 70 percent of its consumer sales from abroad last year, Yu said.
“Five years ago, we were top 10, now we are top three. Within two to three years, we can be top two, within five years, we can be No. 1,” Yu said.
In China, “the whole market is saturated and there is a little bit of a slowdown, but our market share, Huawei’s market share, we are increasing,” Yu added.
As for the US, Yu said consumers there are opening up to a Chinese brand that has had its networking equipment criticized by US politicians, some of whom cited alleged ties to the Chinese government.
Huawei has denied those links.
“They will become more open. Our products sell worldwide, in over 170 countries, for many years,” Yu said. “For consumer electronic products, even better — because we’re learning the Android OS from Google, a US company.”
Dutch brewing company Heineken NV yesterday said that it has reached an agreement to acquire a subsidiary brewery of Taiwan’s Sanyo Whisbih Group (三洋維士比集團). Heineken is to assume majority ownership and management rights of the Long Chuan Zuan Co (龍泉鑽興業) brewery in Pingtung County’s Neipu Township (內埔), the Dutch company said. It would become the first multinational brewing company to operate brewery in Taiwan once the acquisition is completed. The deal has been approved by the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Investment Commission, but details of the financial transaction cannot be disclosed at this time, as terms of the settlement have not been completed,
LOOK WHO OWES: China’s exposure to Taiwanese banks was the second-largest, with Luxembourg third, followed by Hong Kong and Japan, the central bank said The US remained the largest debtor country to Taiwan’s banking sector for a 27th consecutive quarter in the first quarter of this year, with its exposure rising 8.3 percent from a quarter earlier on the back of an increase in US bonds, the central bank said on Friday. Data compiled by the central bank showed that outstanding international claims by Taiwanese banks on a direct risk basis to the US stood at US$125.38 billion as of the end of March. Department of Financial Inspection deputy head Pan Ya-hui (潘雅慧) said that the US Federal Reserve’s launch of a rate hike cycle in
GREEN CITY: The company is set to invest US$8 billion to make electric vehicles and batteries for a new city that would rely entirely on renewable energy sources Indonesia said that Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) is considering investing in the country’s new capital city, a move that would bolster the US$34 billion construction project. Hon Hai, which is known as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), is looking at setting up an electric bus system and an Internet of Things network at Nusantara, as Indonesia’s new capital is to be called, Indonesian Minister of Investment Bahlil Lahadalia said in a statement yesterday. Hon Hai chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) met with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Saturday to discuss the company’s plan to invest US$8 billion to build a manufacturing plant
WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARY: Costco Wholesale said it expected the purchase of the remaining 45 percent stake to add 1 to 1.5 percent to its earnings per share US-based Costco Wholesale Corp on Thursday said that it had purchased the remaining 45 percent stake in Costco President Taiwan Inc (台灣好市多) for US$1.05 billion, making the local company a fully-owned unit. “We estimate that the purchase would add about 1 to 1.5 percent to [our] earnings per share,” Costco said in a statement. Costco President Taiwan was established as a joint venture with Kaohsiung-based President Group (大統集團), which held a 45 percent stake. Since the first Costco store opened in Kaohsiung in 1997, 14 outlets have been set up in Taiwan, company data showed. PROFITABLE Three Costco stores in Taiwan — in Taipei’s Neihu