politics

US to lift ZTE ban after it pays $400 million escrow

US to lift ZTE ban after it pays $400 million escrow

ZTE’s nightmares may finally be coming to an end. Of course, it will still have to recoup its losses from both paying the US’ penalties and months of stopping operations but at least it will have a chance to. That is, if it gets off the ground at all. The US government just announced that ZTE has signed an agreement to pay an escrow and install a monitor. Once that’s done, the company will finally be free, sort of.

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ZTE can continue operating at least until August 1

ZTE can continue operating at least until August 1

ZTE is a Chinese company but it has found itself in the unfortunate position to need the US government’s permission before it can start operating again. That authorization has just been provided, allowing ZTE to breathe just a little bit. It is, however, a very small reprieve that will run only until August 1 as ZTE awaits the ultimate fate of its compromise with the Trump administration that is being blocked even by the US presidents’ allies in Congress.

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Uganda levies social media tax to raise money, silence critics

Uganda levies social media tax to raise money, silence critics

While not everything is Facebook’s fault, its recent high-profile scandal opened a can of worms and opened the doors for increased government scrutiny and pressure on social networks in general. This time, however, it might be those social media giants that are getting a taste of injustice as Uganda starts to impose a social media tax that is being painted as a not so subtle attempt by the ruling government to curtail citizens’ freedom of speech.

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Apple News 2018 Midterm Elections section puts US politics in spotlight

Apple News 2018 Midterm Elections section puts US politics in spotlight

Apple is adding a 2018 Midterm Elections section to Apple News, promising curated updates and exclusive highlights about the upcoming US elections. The news app will get a brand new segment and a banner highlighting it in the For You tab, the Top Stories tab, and the Spotlight tab.

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Huawei might be blocked from Australian 5G network

Huawei might be blocked from Australian 5G network

While ZTE is fighting for survival in the US, fellow Chinese company Huawei is also struggling in Australia. While the consequences of losing this battle is less likely to make Huawei fold, it is still a slippery slope that could see Huawei’s foothold in more markets around the world. Just like in the US, Australia’s rivaling political parties seem to be in agreement that allowing Huawei to participate in building the country’s 5G infrastructure would be tantamount to giving China backdoor access to it.

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ZTE in trouble again: Senate votes to block Trump deal

ZTE in trouble again: Senate votes to block Trump deal

It may have been painted as ZTE’s lifesaver but the $1 billion deal it signed with the US government may prove to be even more trouble. The agreement would naturally incur a lot of changes on ZTE’s part, but that is if it will actually push through. The US Senate has just voted 85 to 10 to pass an annual defense policy bill that, among other things, included a provision that would block the Trump administration’s deal with ZTE in the interests of national security.

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ZTE signed $1.4 billion deal to get US ban lifted, report says

ZTE signed $1.4 billion deal to get US ban lifted, report says

When Huawei was under pressure from the US government for its alleged role in state-sanctioned espionage, the Chinese OEM refused to bend a knee. ZTE, unfortunately, couldn’t afford to be as unfazed. The seven-year sanction imposed by the US government has caused the Chinese smartphone and network equipment maker’s operations to come to a grinding halt, which, in turn, prompted US President Donald Trump to swoop in to save the day. Now sources are reporting that ZTE has signed an agreement over the weekend that would finally get that export ban lifted, and it’s bending over backward to do so.

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President Trump wants ZTE back in business ASAP

President Trump wants ZTE back in business ASAP

Bad cop, good cop strategies are nothing new, but it's rare to see both roles being played by the same person. Some might see it as a change of heart, mercy, or even forgiveness. Others might pin it down on multiple personality disorder. Either way, US President Donald Trump has tweeted that he instructed the country's Commerce Department to quickly find a way to get ZTE up and running again just weeks after the same government signed its death sentence.

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Huawei now under criminal investigation over Iran trade

Huawei now under criminal investigation over Iran trade

This really shouldn't come as a surprise. After all, Huawei has been in the US government's crosshairs perhaps longer than ZTE. After the latter was slapped with a crippling sanction for violating the US' export sanctions against Iran, it was really only a matter of time before Huawei gets the same treatment. Huawei is now reported to be under investigation by the US Department of Justice for the very same reasons and, considering Huawei's luck, it might get the same verdict as ZTE.

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ZTE sanction: a slippery slope for the global mobile market

ZTE sanction: a slippery slope for the global mobile market

Huawei is probably thanking its lucky stars that it got off easy. The US government might be working to block sales and use of its products in the country, but it remains unhindered in making such products and selling them elsewhere, even indirectly in the US. Unfortunately for ZTE, it might be facing the worst challenge to its smartphone business yet. And while this single instance could be justified in some way, the sanctions imposed by the US government could pose problems for the entire mobile industry it left unchecked.

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Facebook toughens ad rules after Russian manipulation

Facebook toughens ad rules after Russian manipulation

Facebook is updating its Ads and Pages rules to make them more transparent, in the aftermath of Russian adverts designed to manipulate the 2016 US election. The social network has faced considerable criticism from several quarters over how easily foreign bad actors were able to buy targeted advertising and attempt to use it in order to shape political opinion.

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Trade Wars in Tech: consumers are the real casualties

Trade Wars in Tech: consumers are the real casualties

It’s almost too easy to start a war. All it takes is for someone in power (after all, those without power can’t start wars) to say something that offends another person in power who, in turn, says something back. It’s not easy, however, to end the war or to pick up the broken pieces. In the case of a trade war like the one brewing between the US and China, those pieces are the consumers from both sides. Because in a clash of titans, it’s the little humans below that get stomped on.

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