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Huawei Dickers With US Pols Over Appearance at Security Hearing

Huawei Dickers With US Pols Over Appearance at Security Hearing

Today in international tech news: Facing suspicions over potential security threats, Chinese telecommunications company Huawei is negotiating terms to participate in a U.S. Congressional hearing. Also: Apple reduces its chip order from Samsung, while sales of Samsung's Galaxy S III hit 20 million.

By David Vranicar
09/07/12 8:11 AM PT

Huawei Technologies, the Chinese telecommunications company at the center of a US House Intelligence Committee investigation, said it is negotiating conditions in order to take part in a US Congressional hearing, according to Reuters.

The second-biggest telecommunications equipment maker in the world, Huawei is the focal point of the House investigation, which is looking at alleged security threats posed by Chinese telecoms looking to do business in the US. Huawei has been invited to speak at the Sept. 13 hearing and is hashing out the specs of the arrangement, according to a spokesman quoted by Reuters.

Suspicious Lawmakers

Huawei has operations in nearly 150 countries but has run into skepticism in the United States. Congress' concerns stem from suspicions that companies like Huawei -- along with ZTE, a Chinese telecom that will also participate in Congressional hearing -- could have ties to the Chinese government and, by extension, could collaborate with the Chinese government on espionage and other cyber-threats.

Huawei has increased its spending on Washington lobbyists four-fold in recent months as it prepares to defend itself.

Sticking with the "Western suspicion of Chinese technology" theme: A British scientist has raised concerns about China's plans to launch eight satellites into space to monitor nearby ocean activity, according to the BBC.

The scientist, John Walker of the University of Nottingham, said he suspected that the satellites were not for oceanic purposes but rather a means to gather military intelligence. Walker has in the past worked with the U.K.'s Royal Signal and Radar Establishment, a scientific body within the Ministry of Defense.

Apple Shrinks Chip Orders From Samsung

Apple has reduced the number of memory chips it wants from Samsung, its main supplier, for the new iPhone, according to Reuters.

This Apple order reduction isn't necessarily the result of the worldwide court battles -- Reuters reports that Apple had been cutting back on its Samsung shipments prior to the ruling in an effort to diversify its supply lines -- but it is nonetheless an evolution (or devolution) in the companies' relationship.

After Samsung was ordered to pay a US$1 billion fine to Apple for infringing on patents, Reuters published an article saying that the ruling wouldn't affect the chip deals between the two companies.

Galaxy Sales Out of This World

There is, however, some good news for Samsung: The company has sold more than 20 million units of its new Galaxy S III, according to AFP.

That 20 million is spread across the globe, including 6 million in Europe, 4.5 million in Asia, 4 million in North America. According to a statement quoted by AFP, sales of the S III have been three times faster than the S II and six times faster than the first version of the S series.

Samsung announced ambitious sales goals for the Galaxy S III in June, and this report would seem to back them up.

Korea Orders Release of Telecom Data

A court in the South Korean capital of Seoul has ordered the country's telecommunications watchdog to release data about how mobile carriers set their rates, according to The Korea Times.

The court, which is specifically interested in rate for second- and third-generation services between 2005 and 2011, is expected to put greater pressure on companies to lower mobile fees, according to The Korea Times.

Last year, the court handed down a verdict against the Korea Communications Commission after it failed to divulge data.

South Korea's three main telecom carriers cut rates last year but are reportedly facing pressure to do so again because of a rocky domestic economy.


Tech Trek is a blog that looks at tech news from around the world. David Vranicar is a freelance journalist. His ECT News Network archive, with links to articles and podcasts, is available here. You can email him at david.vranicar@newsroom.ectnews.com.



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