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Technology (202)

How 5G Can Help The Fight Against Coronavirus – Deloitte

5G can enhance the effectiveness of pandemic prevention and treatment, and drive the digital transformation of healthcare systems in response to major public emergencies, such as the current pandemic of COVID-19, a newly released Deloitte report suggests.

The white paper titled, “Combating COVID-19 with 5G: Opportunities to improve public health systems,” was produced in collaboration with Huawei. During the outbreak in China, telecommunications operators collaborated with Huawei to rapidly set up a specific 5G network dedicated to COVID-19 treatment hospitals.

The white paper analyses examples of COVID-19 control and treatment measures in China and identified challenges that face epidemic management in terms of monitoring, quarantine and treatment.

Amongst its findings, the whitepaper notes that the effectiveness of communication and data exchange has been essential in screening for infected individuals and controlling the outbreak. This by enabling thermal imaging, continuous remote monitoring and diagnoses during patient transfer.

The research also highlighted the need to build and upgrade public health emergency response mechanisms, through which governments are able to make right decisions promptly and allocate resources more effectively.

In this regard, 5G can also promote collaboration by enabling connectivity, maintaining effective communication among hospitals, and enable medical data and reference sharing between hospitals and scientific research institutions, especially “in the rapid increases in data volume and mounting demand for remote and HD-video based treatment” scenario.

In addition, the report indicates that the success of 5G applications in the public health domain could also inspire new business models in other sectors.

It finds as a result of 5G features such as high speed connection, high reliability and low latency, the healthcare system has benefited from improved response times, patient monitoring, data collection and analytics, remote collaboration and resource allocation. It also sets an example for digitalised, data driven and Cloud-based innovative major public emergency response platforms.

China's ZTE Facing Bribery Investigation Despite Pleading Guilty 3years Ago.

Authorities in the US are investigating Chinese telecom firm ZTE over bribery allegations, media reports quoting sources reveal.

The new investigations by US's Justice Department 'centers on possible bribes ZTE paid to foreign officials to gain advantages in its worldwide operations.'

Three years ago, ZTE 'pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea.'

According to NBC News, the fresh scrutiny on ZTE comes just after the end of the corporate probation period agreed to under the March 2017 plea agreement it struck with the Justice Department. "Under the agreement, ZTE agreed to a civil and criminal penalty and forfeiture of $1.19 billion,"

While ZTE's headquarters are in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, it runs a subsidiary in Richardson, Texas where it relies on U.S.-made materials for smartphones and computer networking gear.

Under the 2017 agreement with the Justice Department, ZTE agreed to implement and maintain a compliance and ethics program to detect violations of sanctions and export controls.

Implementing the programs did not give ZTE immunity for any past crimes the company had not disclosed to the U.S. government when the plea agreement was signed, the documents show.

ZTE's code of conduct bars employees from paying or accepting bribes in China or abroad, documents show. But news reports, documents and at least one lawsuit filed in recent years have accused ZTE of corruption in more than a dozen countries, including Algeria, Liberia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

In Kenya, for example, a document published by WikiLeaks in 2010 raises questions about how ZTE won a 2009 contract to install landline telephone monitoring equipment for the country's National Intelligence Service.

What appears to be a report from then-U.S. Ambassador Michael Ranneberger to the State Department states that ZTE received the contract after paying kickbacks to high-level officials of the National Intelligence Service (then known as the National Security Intelligence Service), including one who received $5,000 a month, which he used to pay medical bills.

In a statement, a representative of ZTE said ZTE is fully committed to meeting its legal and compliance obligations. "The top priority of the company's leadership team is making ZTE a trusted and reliable business partner in the global marketplace, and the company is proud of the enormous progress it has made. Beyond this, it would not be appropriate for ZTE to comment."

Huawei Applauded For Digital Innovation And Local Contribution

The Speaker of Parliament of Uganda Hon. Rebecca Kadaga,recently applauded Huawei for their efforts in improving ICT and Innovation in Uganda.  

The speaker who was the chief guest made these remarks at a donation ceremony that happened at Kamuli where Huawei handed over assorted equipment.

The donation was handed to Hon. Rebecca Kadaga by Mr. Liujiawei, Huawei Uganda’s Managing Director, in the presence of the LC1, LC5, and the area member of parliament among other leaders.

“On behalf of the government of Uganda, I continue to commend you Huawei for your great contribution to I.C.T and Innovation of this nation. We have indeed proved you as an industry leader because of your efficiency and timely implementation of the various projects and as a government we have a special relationship with you (Huawei).  We thank you for your corporate social responsibility initiative that you have exhibited today,” said Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, The Speaker of Parliament of Uganda

“I commend you for the Huawei ICT Academy that skills Ugandans and your intentions to take this program in Busoga University, I encourage you to keep going. I believe that this initiative is not only going to equip I.C.T skills but also create employment, innovation and general economic development,” she added.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Liujiawei, Huawei’s Managing Director expressed his deepest pleasure for the opportunity to give back to the people of Busoga.

“We hope to bring Uganda not only these specific materials, but also, more importantly, the development opportunities for the every Ugandan; Digital skills that bring capabilities and seize opportunities; the connectivity and a better life for the future,”Mr Liu Jiawei said

Huawei Set to Develop 2m ICT Professionals Over The Next Five Years

At the Industrial Digital Transformation Conference-Live, Huawei officially released the Huawei ICT Academy Program 2.0. Through this program, Huawei aims to develop 2 million ICT professionals and popularize digital skills over the next five years by collaborating with universities.

This is part of Huawei's digital inclusion initiative, TECH4ALL, which is intended to expand the benefits of digital technology to everyone, everywhere. Huawei will set up the Huawei ICT Academy Development Incentive Fund (ADIF), with a total investment of at least US$50 million over the next five years.

2013 saw the establishment of the Huawei ICT Academy program, under which Huawei has provided quality courses and support services to universities/colleges to help them train teachers, establish and optimize ICT majors, improve the curriculum system, and build standard labs.

Huawei ICT Academy also introduces Huawei's ICT technologies and products to students in universities around the world, encourages them to participate in Huawei certification, and develops innovative and application-oriented technical talent for society and the global ICT industry. Since 2015, Huawei has partnered with more than 600 international universities to set up Huawei ICT academies, helping the universities improve their ICT teaching abilities and train more than 1500 teachers.

To meet new requirements and challenges, the Huawei ICT Academy Program will enter the 2.0 phase in 2020. According to its five-year plan, Huawei will develop 2 million ICT professionals and continuously update its school-enterprise cooperation solutions in cutting-edge technologies, such as 5G and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

To achieve this goal, Huawei will set up the Huawei ICT Academy Development Incentive Fund (ADIF), with a total investment of at least US$50 million over the next five years. This fund aims to help ICT academies operate stably by the following four actions:

      Providing teaching experiment equipment for cooperative universities to improve students' practical skills.

      Training teachers through ADIF, providing free exam vouchers to encourage students to take Huawei's certification exams, and setting up an education fund to reward excellent teachers and students.

      Holding the Huawei ICT Competition to provide a platform for students to communicate with their peers and show their talents.

      Cooperating with partners on ICT Talent Job Fairs to help students find jobs and promote efficient matching between talent supply and demand.

Hank Stokbroekx, Vice President of Enterprise Service, Huawei Enterprise BG, said that, Huawei will continue to establish more ICT Academies. Every year, we will build 600-1000 Huawei ICT Academies. By doing so, we aim to benefit more university teachers and students in the digital world, enable more people to enjoy equal and high-quality education, enhance digital skills, and inject fresh impetus into the industry.

The launch of Huawei ICT Academy Program 2.0 marks a new stage of Huawei's talent ecosystem development. In the future, Huawei will deepen cooperation with all parties in the ecosystem, increase investment, and accelerate the construction of an all-round, full-cycle sustainable talent ecosystem to fuel the digital transformation of industries.

Huawei Releases New 5G Products And Solutions, Poised To Bring New Value

At the Huawei product and solution launch in London, Ryan Ding, Executive Director of the Board and President of Huawei's Carrier BG, delivered a keynote titled "5G, Bring New Value". Ding released Huawei's new 5G products and solutions and launched the 5G Partner Innovation Program. These efforts aim to build a thriving 5G ecosystem and make 5G a commercial success.

5G has developed beyond imagination in terms of deployment, ecosystem, and experience, says Ding, and networks are the foundation for the 5G business. So far, Huawei has been awarded 91 commercial 5G contracts and shipped over 600,000 5G Massive MIMO Active Antenna Units (AAUs). As a leading global 5G supplier, Huawei is committed to developing the best end-to-end 5G solutions.

These will include the industry's highest-performance 5G base station that supports all scenarios and the Blade AAU with the industry’s highest level of integration. The Blade AAU can work under all sub-6 GHz frequency bands and support 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G networks.

This addresses the issue of limited space for antenna installation, and reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) by over 30% when compared to existing solutions. Huawei is also the first vendor in the industry to provide industrial 5G modules for vertical applications.

With 4G, people can share their videos and voices. However, with the ultra-high bandwidth offered by 5G, people will be able to enjoy immersive AR and VR experiences, allowing them to convey their thoughts and feelings like never before. These amazing experiences will create incredible new value.

As 5G enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) matures, high-definition video services will drive the massive growth of 5G B2C services. 5G B2B services have also shown huge potential. Huawei and some operators have jointly released 5G white papers and explored B2B applications in order to drive 5G application in numerous industries.

At the launch event, Ryan Ding showed the audience Huawei's recently-released live broadcast backpack. This backpack, embedded with a 5G module, makes live broadcasting far easier.

Ding emphasized that in the 4G era, virtually all operators provided the same network experience. However, in the 5G era, operators can provide differentiated experiences and charge users based on more metrics, including data volume, latency, bandwidth, and number of devices connected. This makes it possible to monetize 5G. It is critical that operators redefine their 5G business models now.

Huawei and its global partners have worked together on multiple 5G projects, covering many domains including new media, campus, healthcare, and education. At the event, Ryan Ding launched the 5G Partner Innovation Program, witnessed by many of Huawei's industry partners.

Through this program, Huawei plans to invest US$20 million into innovative 5G applications over the next 5 years, contributing to a thriving 5G ecosystem and accelerating the commercial success of 5G.

ICT Project To Aid Women Smallholder Farmers In Uganda, Kenya Launched

Although Uganda and Kenya are members of the East African Community (EAC), many small-scale farmers especially women have for so long not felt the impact of the regional bloc’s integration on their livelihood.

The problem has been blamed on the existing information gap related to agricultural produces market availability and economic opportunities the EAC integration offers to the smallholder farmers in the community.

It's on this background that small-scale farmers from Uganda and Kenya with support from development partners have launched an Integrated Information Communication Technology project. 

The project will help farmers to address the challenge of information flow related to agricultural products and the economic potential of the EAC countries, majorly Uganda and Kenya

The project code-named Kilimo Mart Application, an ICT application, will be developed to aid farmers to share information using Information Communication Technology gadgets such as mobile phones.

Through using the application, farmers will be in a position to access information related to markets for agricultural products.

According to Andrew Adem the program's Manager of the Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers' Forum (ESAFF) Uganda, if the application is well embraced by the sector holders, it will open many agro-business opportunities to the small farmers in the region.

“ESAFF Uganda in partnership with Kenya small-scale Farmers’ Forum (KESSFF) and with support from Incubator for Integration and Development in East Africa( IIDEA), GIZ and the EAC will be implementing the project.

“The project will boost trade opportunities for agricultural products and services by promoting small-scale farmers’ access to markets and information in East Africa.

“This will create market opportunities for small-scale farmers and consumers to utilize the current trade prospects and share agricultural information using ICT,” he said in Statement.

He added that this project will play a very vital role in empowering women small -scale farmers hence improving household livelihood.

The Kilimo Mart Application is a 12 months project that will be jointly implemented by ESAFF Uganda and KESSFF with support from Development partners such as the African Union, GIZ IIDEA among other Development partners.

Although the East African Community and Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has a combined population size of 606 million people, smallholder farmers particularly women feel they have not benefited such economic integrations.

Masudio Margaret, a small-scale farmer from Adjumani district, says the project will provide an opportunity for small-scale farmers who cannot access market most especially after the collapse of cooperatives that used to help them in marketing. She added that the EAC integration should present an opportunity to share market information and cross border trade.

Other farmers from Uganda said that East African members states should ensure that smallholder farmers tap into the opportunities that come alongside with the regional economic integration.

Masudio observed that many smallholder farmers are not aware of the regional integration which keeps them away from tapping on the wider opportunities the integration offers to them as farmers.

“The EAC integration is supposed to offer market opportunities to small scale farmers in the region but in many cases, small-scale farmers don’t feel the impact. For me, I only hear about the EAC market, and I feel that small scale farmers are left out; thus we are not benefiting from the EAC integration as they are not getting market opportunities.” Vicky Lokwiya, a small scale farmer from Gulu district in Northern Uganda, said.

Makerere I.T Students To Represent Uganda In The Huawei Global ICT Skills Competition

Three Makerere University Students have been chosen to represent Uganda in the Huawei ICT global competition which is at its regional final stage in South Africa.

These top three students who were chosen on merit excelled in the preliminary and national final exams of the competition which was carried between October and December 2019.  

This is the second edition of the Huawei ICT Competition in Uganda with over 2500 students who registered to participate and out of those 100 excelled to the national final exam.

With the theme “Connection, Glory, Future”, the Huawei 2019-2020 Global ICT competition aims to provide a platform for global ICT talents to showcase their ability, compete and communicate, encouraging ICT-related study and drive the growth of a robust ICT talent ecosystem.

The 2500 competition participants from Makerere, Kyambogo, Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Nkozi, Mbarara, Kabale, Lira, Gulu, Muni, UCU and MUBS accessed learning material free of charge on the Huawei online learning platform in the various courses such as Network and Cloud track.

The network track consists of Router & Switch, Security and Wireless Lan while Cloud track consists of Artificial intelligence, Big Data, Cloud Computing and Storage.

These studied and were subjected to preliminary and national exams of which the top three students emerged all coming from Makerere University. These are Magola Kenneth, Okello Stephen and Mudulo Gerald

These are expected to go to South Africa on 22nd March 2020 to participate in the regional final with other African countries and later in May to China, Shenzhen in the global final amongst the rest of the world.

Mr. Liaoshuangquan, the Huawei Uganda Human Resource Director noted that the competition is very relevant to every ICT student and professional because it’s a comprehensive approach of skills development for employment, enhanced productivity and growth.

“The Huawei ICT Competition and Academy is a comprehensive approach of skills development for employment, enhanced productivity and growth. Training contents in this program has been aligned with skills requirements in the job market.

That is why we re-dedicate ourselves to working even more closely with universities across the country to better equip students with the next generation of technologies and create the platform for the Ugandan students to demonstrate they are capable of maturing into world-class experts,” said Mr. Liaoshuangquan.

The second edition of this skilling competition began in October 2019 with several roadshows in the earlier mentioned universities and also a boot camp training to prepare the competition participants to do the exams.

Mr. Liaoshuangquan, The Huawei Human Resource Director continued to note that the top 11 students among the 100 national finalists shall be awarded in a ceremony to happen in March, with Huawei Professional certificates, Huawei gift devices and job/internship opportunities at Huawei.

Through the continued initiative to bridge the ICT skills gap and fostering ICT talent pool needed for national social-economic development, Huawei Uganda has been working with government and academic partners since May 2019 to open up its academies in the various universities of Uganda. So far, six academies have been opened in Makerere, MUBS, Soroti, Muni, Nkozi, Mbarara

and Kabale university.

Inside The Final Hours That Led To The Arrest Of Huawei Executive Meng Wanzhou

When Washington needed Canada’s help to apprehend a top Huawei executive, officials in the White House, Congress and diplomatic corps were informed of what would happen hours before politicians in Ottawa. Sources from the U.S., Canadian and Chinese governments explain how the plan unfolded.

Meng Wanzhou was unaware the eyes of U.S. law enforcement were watching her at the airport in Hong Kong as she boarded a Cathay Pacific Airlines flight to Vancouver last December.

A description of her clothing – white T-shirt, dark pants and white shoes – and that of colleague Ji Hui, her travelling companion, was sent to the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, and to the RCMP and Canadian Border Security (CBSA) agents in Canada.

After Flight 838 touched down at 11:13 a.m. on Dec. 1, Ms. Meng – chief financial officer of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. – was met by border-services agents and formally arrested hours later by the RCMP. The United States has requested her extradition on fraud charges related to violations of U.S. sanctions against Iran.

The detention of Ms. Meng, whose father, Ren Zhengfei, founded the Shenzhen-based multinational, generated headlines worldwide and threw Canada-China relations into a deep freeze. It has also trapped Canada in a power struggle between China and the U.S., which views Huawei as a national-security risk and a pawn of the ruling Communist party.

Shortly after Ms. Meng’s arrest, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Canadians: “We were advised by [the United States] with a few days’ notice that this was in the works.”

But The Globe and Mail has learned that as officials at the top levels of the U.S. government orchestrated the arrest, they did not inform Mr. Trudeau or U.S. President Donald Trump.

U.S. officials knew on Nov. 29 that Ms. Meng would be on the Cathay Pacific Flight, but waited until Nov. 30 to ask Canada to arrest her when she arrived in Vancouver on Dec. 1. She was intercepted before she could board a connecting flight to Mexico later that day.

“The Chinese thought it very much was a Canadian-U.S. political conspiracy,” said David MacNaughton, Canada’s former ambassador to Washington. “That is what I have heard from them. They thought at the highest levels that the political people in

Canada and the United States got together to figure out how we were going to do this. Well, it wasn’t that at all.”

He said there was no discussion between Canadian and U.S. officials before the extradition request was made.

One year later, The Globe and Mail has pieced together an indepth account of those events in late 2018. The Globe spoke to senior Canadian and U.S. officials, as well as sources at Huawei and the Chinese government for this story, and is keeping their identities confidential so they could discuss Ms. Meng’s arrest and the severe diplomatic fallout that followed.

One of Mr. Trudeau’s closest advisers said the view inside the Canadian government is that John Bolton, the former White House national-security adviser, was the driving force behind Ms. Meng’s arrest. The Globe has been unable to confirm with Mr. Bolton that this was the case.

Mr. Bolton, who has said he knew in advance about the arrest, is known as a foreign-policy hawk when it comes to China and Iran. He left the White House in September after a dispute with Mr. Trump over Ukraine and Middle East policy.

The Trudeau adviser said Mr. Bolton and other like-minded officials in the U.S. government were well aware of the significance of the arrest they were asking Canada to make. The adviser and a senior national-security official say they are convinced the U.S. picked Canada to arrest Ms. Meng – and did so in a last-minute rush – because they believed the Justice Department and the RCMP would honour the extradition request.

Mr. MacNaughton said there is no doubt the Trump administration had several agendas in going after China and its global telecom champion, Huawei. The U.S. wants its allies to ban the company’s equipment from their nextgeneration 5G mobile technology.

But the request for the arrest “came on us suddenly, and we followed the process, and there was little political involvement at the last minute – almost after the fact,” Mr. MacNaughton said. “I don’t know what would have happened if we had more notice, but the reality is we didn’t.”

On Nov. 30 and Dec. 1, leaders of the G20 nations met in Buenos Aires for two days of talks. The meetings came at a difficult time in international relations. After months of often-contentious negotiations, Canada, Mexico and the United States were close to finalizing a new trade deal. Meanwhile, the U.S. and China were exchanging blows in an escalating trade war.

Mr. Trudeau was in the final meeting of the summit – a gathering that also included Mr. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping – when an official slipped a note to his principal secretary, Gerald Butts. It said Ms. Meng was about to be arrested. Sources say the Prime Minister was caught off guard by the news. He did not raise the matter directly with China’s leader or any other Chinese official that day.

Mr. Bolton was at the G20 summit with the U.S. contingent. He told U.S. reporters on Dec. 6 that he did not inform Mr. Trump about the arrest of the Huawei executive, even though the President was heading into a 21⁄2-hour private dinner with Mr. Xi at the conclusion of the meetings. At that dinner, the two leaders agreed to a 90-day truce in the U.S.-China trade war.

The circle of elected officials and political appointees with advance knowledge of the arrest in the U.S. was much greater than in Canada. Top U.S. decision-makers also knew in advance.

Among those briefed on the matter, U.S. officials say, were acting attorney-general Matt Whitaker and legislators on the U.S. Senate select intelligence committee, Republican chair Richard Burr and ranking Democrat Mark Warner.

Then-U.S. ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft (now her country’s envoy to the United Nations), was also brought into the loop. On Nov. 30, in a secure room at the U.S. consulate in Toronto, senior U.S. Justice department officials briefed her extensively, sources say.

The U.S. Justice Department would not say exactly when it informed the White House about the extradition request to Canada. “The U.S. Department of Justice does not comment on extradition-related matters until a defendant is in the United States,” senior communications adviser Nicole Navas Oxman said in an e-mail.

Chinese sources say Mr. Xi found out about the arrest after the postsummit dinner with Mr. Trump on Dec. 1. Huawei’s chief legal officer and a member of the company’s board of directors, Song Liuping, alerted Beijing not long after Ms. Meng was taken into custody, Huawei sources say. Ms. Meng had called him from Vancouver about four hours after she was detained.

Chinese and Huawei sources say Mr. Xi was infuriated that he learned about the arrest from his own officials and not from the Canadians.

A Canadian foreign-affairs official told The Globe on background that the federal government reached out to Chinese diplomats in Canada as soon as Ms. Meng was arrested. This occurred in both Ottawa and Vancouver. Within a few hours, Chinese diplomats had consular access to Ms. Meng.

Both the Chinese embassy in Ottawa and the consulate in Vancouver say they learned about the arrest from Beijing, not from the Canadian government.

“In accordance with the consular agreement between China and Canada, the Canadian side should inform the Chinese diplomatic missions in Canada immediately of its unreasonable detention of Ms. Meng Wanzhou,” the embassy said in a statement. “But the Canadian government failed to do that, the Chinese side first learned about the situation from other channels. We lodged stern representations with the Canadian side as soon as we learned about the relevant information.”

The Chinese consulate in Vancouver said in a statement that “it had not been informed by Canadian foreign affairs officials about the arrest of Ms. Meng Wanzhou” as would be expected under diplomatic protocol, especially if the individual is a highprofile Chinese corporate executive.

A source said Jody WilsonRaybould, justice minister and attorney-general at the time, was aware of the U.S. arrest request on Nov. 30, and her office passed the information on to the Privy Council Office, the source said. The PCO reports to the prime minister. Mr. Trudeau’s office said he heard about the impending arrest Dec. 1.

At the time, relations were poor between Ms. Wilson-Raybould and PMO officials, who were pressing her to order a deferred prosecution agreement for Montreal-based SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. on corruption charges. Ms. Wilson-Raybould was moved to Veterans Affairs in January, 2019. She eventually resigned from cabinet and was removed from the Liberal Party. Ms. Wilson-Raybould would not comment for this story.

Several top-level civil servants also knew of the impending arrest. Deputy minister of Justice Nathalie Drouin and a senior lawyer at Justice’s International Assistance Group, Cathy Chalifour, the RCMP and Canada Border Services had known since Nov. 30. In addition to the Privy Council, Global Affairs officials were also briefed. The Justice Department approved the extradition warrant, and the RCMP and CBSA, the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department laid out a plan for the arrest, according to court documents filed in the Meng extradition case.

The short notice denied the Canadian government a chance to assess the potential fallout, officials say.

Former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler said the usual practice is not to inform the prime minister of extradition cases, but a senior government official said Mr. Trudeau and senior aides should have been told to help prepare for the political fallout.

“From our end, it seemed to be treated as a normal request from a similar country you have a treaty with,” said Mr. MacNaughton, the former ambassador. “The whole thing happened and the Prime Minister was given no real warning and any real advice on what the potential consequences were.”

The Chinese thought it very much was a Canadian-U.S. political conspiracy. That is what I have heard from them. They thought at the highest levels that the political people in Canada and the United States got together to figure out how we were going to do this. Well, it wasn’t that at all.

DAVID MACNAUGHTON

FORMER CANADIAN AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES

I do not believe the government of Canada did this with blinders on. I believe the government of Canada recognized that this would be very difficult and likely would involve enormous pressure put on the government of Canada, and the country of Canada as whole, and decided that upholding the principles underlying extradition treaties was worth the cost.

JOHN E. SMITH

FORMER DIRECTOR OF THE U.S. TREASURY’S OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL

John E. Smith, who until May, 2018, was a director of the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which is responsible for administering and enforcing sanctions, said Canadian officials must have been aware of how Ms. Meng’s arrest would affect relations with China.

“I do not believe the government of Canada did this with blinders on,” he said. “I believe the government of Canada recognized that this would be very difficult and likely would involve enormous pressure put on the government of Canada, and the country of Canada as whole, and decided that upholding the principles underlying extradition treaties was worth the cost. Because, at the end of the day, do you allow yourself to be bullied as a country into not upholding your international commitments?”

One month before Ms. Meng’s arrest, the U.S. government began publicly laying the groundwork and building a narrative for going after the Huawei executive.

At a press conference in Washington on Nov. 1, then-U.S. attorney-general Jeff Sessions unveiled what the Trump administration called the “China Initiative.” Mr. Sessions said the U.S. Justice Department was going to step up law-enforcement actions against Chinese companies that break the law while competing with U.S. companies. Among those standing beside Mr. Sessions was Richard Donoghue, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, whose office is spearheading the Meng/Huawei case.

“It is time for China to join the community of lawful nations,” Mr. Sessions said. “We will continue to charge wrongdoers based on carefully conducted investigations done with integrity, done with professionalism, not politics.”

Then, he added a warning:

“And we will seek extradition of criminals.”

The China Initiative is a firstever effort to use the United States’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement to achieve political goals, and “a sharp departure from the Department of Justice’s historically apolitical approach,” lawyers from the firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP wrote in a legal paper last March.

Retired U.S. Air Force general Robert Spalding, who previously worked on China issues at the White House National Security Council, said Ms. Meng’s arrest was in keeping with changes the Trump administration had made to ensure the “shackles are taken off the Department of Justice and the FBI” to properly enforce the law against Chinese companies or individuals.

For years, successive administrations did not enforce U.S. economic theft and corruption laws when it “came to Chinese companies or Chinese individuals, particularly if they were of the Meng Wanzhou stature,” Mr. Spalding said in an interview. “What has changed in America, particularly since 2018, is we began to allow the Department of Justice and FBI to actually bring cases, so for the first time, these departments are allowed to do their jobs.”

There’s no indication that Ms. Meng knew of the arrest warrant, but she had not travelled to the United States since March, 2017, according to U.S. information included in an RCMP affidavit connected to the extradition request. That was more than a year before an arrest warrant was issued for her in New York on Aug. 22, 2018. The RCMP told the court that U.S. officials believe that by April, 2017, Huawei was aware a criminal investigation was under way in the United States.

One thing the U.S. government has never explained is the timing of its bid to arrest Ms. Meng.

In the three months after the warrant was issued, and before her fateful stopover in Vancouver on Dec. 1, Ms. Meng visited six countries that have extradition treaties with the U.S., including Britain, Ireland, Japan, France, Poland and Belgium. She had also travelled through Canada on Oct. 8, 2018.

Court records filed in the extradition case show the Americans told the Canadians, including the RCMP and Justice officials, it was urgent that the Huawei executive be arrested during her Vancouver stopover, but didn’t explain why they passed up chances to take her into custody earlier that year.

The U.S. issued a provisional arrest warrant, which means the person should be taken into custody without delay. “Unless Meng is provisionally arrested in Canada on Saturday, Dec. 1 … it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to secure her presence in the United States for prosecution,” the U.S. request said, noting Washington has no extradition treaty with Beijing.

After her planned transit through Vancouver, Ms. Meng’s next stops were to include Mexico City, Costa Rica and Argentina. All three countries also have extradition agreements with the U.S.

Extradition experts say it’s rare for Washington to pursue criminal charges for sanctions violations against an individual rather than a corporation. Eric Lewis, a U.S. lawyer who specializes in international fraud and corruption cases, said that “in a case like this one, where Ms. Meng is in all likelihood executing corporate policy, one would expect individuals not to be charged and the corporation would be fined.”

In June, 2018, for example, Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson, a rival of Huawei, reached a settlement with the U.S. government for a breach of sanctions against Sudan, agreeing to pay more than US$145,000. In September, 2019, the company also announced it would take a US$1.2-billion hit to its third-quarter results to cover monetary sanctions in a longrunning U.S. investigation into corruption allegations concerning activities in six countries, including China.

Mr. Smith, the former Treasury official, agreed it is rare for the United States to target an individual, but he said it was warranted in the Meng case. “It was a willful lying to the banking executives and to government officials that were involved,” he said. “That is what [makes this] different than most of the other cases.”

As for why the U.S. picked Canada rather than one of the other nine countries on Ms. Meng’s travel schedule since the arrest warrant was issued, Mr. Lewis said Washington might have considered Ottawa the most likely to act.

“I can only speculate that the U.S. thought [Canada] would be the most straightforward and reliable partner,” he said. “South American legal systems are more formalistic and the process of extradition can be protracted. … European Union countries may be less willing to co-operate on prosecutions that have a more political or strategic character.”

A senior Mexican official told The Globe that, in spite of Mexico’s extradition treaty with the United States, his country would not have honoured a request to arrest Ms. Meng.

Canadians have paid dearly for the arrest of Ms. Meng.

Shortly after she was detained, Beijing arrested two Canadians, former diplomat Michael Kovrig and entrepreneur Michael Spavor, both of whom were living in China at the time. The move was widely viewed as retaliation. China accused the men of espionage, and they remain incarcerated while Ms. Meng is free on $10million bail. She is living in one of her two Vancouver mansions, her only encumbrance an electronic ankle monitor.

Canadian farmers shouldered the economic brunt of China’s anger. Beijing bought 40 per cent of Canada’s canola-seed exports in 2018, but after Ms. Meng’s detention, purchases dropped off precipitously. Demand for soybeans from China dried up. Even though its pork industry was being devastated by African swine flu, Beijing banned Canadian pork and beef for more than four months this year before relenting in early November.

China expert Scott Kennedy of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said there are three ways to resolve the Meng affair and free the two Canadians: Canadian courts could say the U.S. has not provided proof to warrant an extradition, and set her free; Huawei can negotiate a plea deal with the U.S. Justice Department that leads to a withdrawal of the extradition request; or a deal between Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi could lead to her freedom.

Former Liberal deputy prime minister John Manley has said Canada should have used “creative incompetence” and let Ms. Meng slip through its grasp and continue her trip to Mexico.

“We should have exercised our discretion from the outset and said this is not one that we should be arresting,” he said in an interview this week, adding he believes there is discretion in the extradition act to allow Ottawa to refuse a request.

Mr. Manley said he’s not sure whether Ms. Meng is part of a geopolitical play by the Trump administration. “But it smells that way to me. It smells to me like ‘Let’s get a big fish because that will give us maximum leverage.’”

But Mel Cappe, a former privy council clerk, the senior-most post in Canada’s federal public service, said he believes Canada could not have let Ms. Meng go as Mr. Manley suggests. “I don’t think you can do that. You either believe in the rule of law or you don’t. If you do, you exercise it.”

He said if he had been made aware of the pending Meng arrest, he doesn’t see why he would have been obliged to inform the prime minister ahead of time. “Why do you want to make it the prime minister’s problem?”

As things stand, Mr. Trudeau can say the action was taken by law-enforcement officials, not politicians. “If we get accused of sticking to the law and being reliable,” Mr. Cappe said, “I wear it as a badge of honour.”

Transform Or Die — The Value And Purpose Of Digital Transformation

It is not enough for business to simply stick to the fundamental products and services they have always offered. In the digital age it's disrupt or die.

According to the IDC, digital transformation is essential for an organisation to adapt quickly to changing markets. Business opportunities are fleeting, the IDC said, and if your business does not have the agility to seize them, your competition will.

The IDC said that digitally transformed organisations can react quickly to changing market dynamics, and adapt their strategies quickly and on-demand. Companies that are not transformed will miss out.

One example of this, are cellular network operators around the world.

Not too long ago, offering mobile voice and messaging services was a game changer. Then came mobile data. Now these are simply the expected functions of a network.

"They are fundamental, but not enough" said Lu Baoqiang, Huawei vice-president for the Southern Africa Region. To remain relevant, businesses have to adapt to new technologies and transform.

Huawei defines digital transformation as the application of new digital capabilities including tools, platforms and systems to processes, operations, product design, and services.

Baoqiang said that the aim of such a transformation is three-fold: increase revenue, improve efficiency and decrease costs, and enhance the customer experience.

"When we talk about digital transformation, we have to realise it's all about how you can engage your customers," said Baoqiang. While new technology is essential to a digital transformation, it must be in support of the primary purpose of the exercise — making things better for your customers.

Baoqiang said that, broadly, there are two forms digital transformation can take. The first is where existing operations are streamlined using new technologies. The second is where a business expands its offerings into new digital frontiers.

Huawei has partnered with several mobile network operators in Africa in their digital transformation, Baoqiang said. One example is Safaricom in Kenya. With Safaricom in Kenya, Huawei has helped implement financial technology in the form of services like M-PESA and Fuliza. These have unlocked a whole new digital economy in the country.

Huawei and Safaricom have jointly received the "Business of Tomorrow" award for the most innovative service at AfricaCom 2019. The award recognises the two companies for offering Fuliza, a mobile money overdraft service that runs on the M-PESA platform. Fuliza lets users with insufficient funds in their M-PESA accounts borrow money to complete their M-PESA transactions.

The service was launched in January 2019, and has been gaining popularity in Kenya where Safaricom has over 23.6 million M-PESA users. Kenyans transacted over KES 6.2 billion (R900 million) in the first month of Fuliza's launch. Fuliza has disbursed KES 140 billion (R2 billion) since January, processing 13 loans per second. The companies say that the service has a very low default rate due to its purposeful nature.

 

 

Why African Mobile Networks Must Invest In 4G

Even with the 5G era already upon us, investment in 4G/LTE networks is still vitally important for operators in sub-Saharan Africa and must remain a core focus of network construction for the immediate future. This is according to David Chen, Vice-President, Huawei Southern Africa.

"Currently, the mobile broadband penetration rate in Africa is only 47%, while 4G penetration rate is merely 10%," Chen said.

"Insufficient coverage causes LTE users to fall back to the 2G or 3G networks, resulting in significant decline in user experience. It also leads to congestion on the 2G and 3G networks and makes it difficult to release spectrum used by 2G and 3G."

Chen said that LTE and 5G complement each other and are evolving in parallel. In the next few years, 5G will mainly be used in more industrial communications.

LTE will remain the primary choice for global mobile communications through 2025. It will form the basic layer of national networks, especially when it comes to the mobile broadband access.

"It will take a long time for 5G to provide nationwide continuous coverage. Before that, enhanced LTE networks can guarantee optimal user experience for 5G users, including services such as VR, AR, and cloud gaming," said Chen.

He said that it is important for operators to invest in 4G to secure future growth, as it is estimated that there will be an additional 80 million LTE users in sub-Saharan Africa by 2025.

Driven by this growth, LTE traffic in sub-Saharan Africa will increase by a factor of 8.8. By 2025, about 80% of all data traffic in the region will be over an LTE network.

LTE will also be the main source of future revenue for operators.

"According to GSMA Intelligence, 2G and 3G users in sub-Saharan Africa will gradually migrate to 4G," said Chen. "By 2025, the proportion of 2G users will drop from 46% to 12%."

Part of the reason for the migration to 4G is because the ecosystem is mature.

"The price of feature phones supporting VoLTE in the sub-Saharan Africa market has been as low as $25," Chen said.

Since 5G equipment is already available, there is an opportunity for operators to build out their 4G networks while ensuring that they can evolve to 5G in future.

Chen offered the following tips to operators to ensure they are ready for 5G:

* All future equipment installations should be 5G ready, allowing easy upgrades to 5G through software updates.

* Software should support multi-standard spectrum sharing to improve spectrum efficiency, and to allow the smooth migration of 2G and 3G users.

* Networks must support 4G and 5G coordination, in terms of spectrum, operation and maintenance. This will ensure that users have a consistent experience as we enter the 5G era.

* The value of existing ICT infrastructure, such as base station sites, must be maximised to avoid overlapping services and wasted resources. This would mean boosting the capacity and coverage of every station for optimum efficiency.

* Carriers should explore the business case for all possible 5G innovations when building 4G networks, and not just embrace 5G for its own sake. This will mean building business models around IoT, video, live broadcast, augmented reality, and virtual reality.

* It is important that operators build partnerships with providers that can support the ongoing spectrum evolution with fast site upgrades and large-capacity solutions. The idea is to maximise the value of 4G networks, and smoothly evolve to 5G without unnecessary infrastructure investment.

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