At a glance.
- US restricts investment in 31 companies tied to China's military.
- CISA gives elections high marks for security.
- Google as an anti-trust target.
- Reflections on Huawei's place in international markets.
US Executive Order restricts investment in companies tied to China’s military.
Axios reports that US President Trump issued an executive order yesterday banning American investment in thirty-one companies linked to Beijing’s People’s Liberation Army. The ban covers mutual funds containing the firms, and gives organizations and individuals until November of next year to sell their shares. Axios says the measure “has support on the Hill.” Director of Trade Peter Navarro explained that the order “establishes the principle that American capital shall not fund Chinese militarization” and bankrolling enterprises “that are building the missiles to sink our ships is…insanity.” China’s CGTN calls the move a “stunt,” arguing that the money on the table is “peanuts,” and President Trump seeks to entrench potential president Biden in a “paradigm of confrontation.”
CISA: election “was the most secure in American history.”
In a joint statement with election security partners, CISA reiterated yesterday, “There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised.” Their conviction stems from multiple certifications and checks of the technology used to cast, report, and count ballots. CISA added that all tight races have hardcopy backups, permitting manual recounts where needed to remedy inaccuracies. Officials are currently “reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result.”
Possible Biden AG pick says Google breakup should be “on the table.”
Senator Amy Klobuchar (Democrat of Minnesota), who could be the next US attorney general, expressed support for “structural remedies” to Google’s alleged monopolistic practices in a keynote speech, according to CNBC. She encouraged lawmakers to take initiative as well, since the justice system will “take a really long time” otherwise.
An essay in Le Monde Diplomatique contends the US war on Beijing tech may have the ironic effect of ushering in a new era of Chinese technological progress and autonomy. In response to US sanctions, China plans to “de-Americanize” key supply chains by 2025, develop a new OS, and restrict the export of proprietary AI developments.
In Le Monde Diplomatique’s telling, China’s economic ascendance, particularly in the realm of 5G, found the US “asleep at the wheel.” Huawei’s founder told China’s leader in the mid-90’s that telecommunications equipment was pivotal to national security. The rest of the world appears to be catching on only now, when Huawei has nearly 200 thousand employees, conducts business in one-hundred-seventy countries, leads the world in smartphone sales, maintains the largest portfolio of 5G patents, invests enormous sums in R&D, and has molded the course of 5G for a decade.
US officials (with the possible exception of the military-industrial complex, which has profited immensely off sales to the company) see Huawei as “the incarnation” of emblematic Chinese human rights violations and crooked business practices. Security experts fear secret backdoors in Huawei goods, touting the fluidity between Chinese business and intelligence. Snowden’s leak revealed another US concern: the ability to spy on international enemies who use Huawei products.
Le Monde Diplomatique speaks wistfully of a Huawei-like EU megacorp fashioned from the bones of Nokia and Ericsson and backed by “generous state aid,” acknowledging however that (alas) this eventuality is “unlikely.”