« 'At the Museum' Update | Main | Super Recognizers »

Wednesday, 03 April 2019


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Huawei has been charged with being the commercial
surveillance arm of the Chinese government: https://www.wired.com/story/huaweis-many-troubles-bans-alleged-spies-backdoors/.

The CFO has been arrested in Canada at the behest of the US and has been charged with violating US sanctions on Iran, which was a shot across the bow to both China (vis a vis our trade war) and Europe, who still have an agreement in place with Iran (they built special payment channels to circumvent US sanctions).

I don't believe there is much evidence of espionage, but none is needed as this is really about geopolitics. The Chinese are moving beyond manufacturing and are threatening to lead in design. In our increasingly benighted age, the military is the US's last strategic advantage.

There is a lot of concern and a fair bit of evidence that Huawei(among others, but they got caught) is working with the Chinese government along with actively practicing corporate espionage. They've been banned from being purchased by the US government, with other nations potentially following suit.

Huawei are considered as a security risk.


Huawei is considered to be a national security threat in America (and Britain, too?). It was discovered that they have been embedding spyware devices into their communications products. Their fabulous phone cameras may or may not be entirely as fabulous as advertised, as it’s also been revealed that at least some of the sample images they’ve been releasing were actually made with dslrs.

Separately there is also a very prominent international criminal case brewing against their senior management.

For at least the time being I’d beware of crowing about Huawei.

[I doubt the pictures in the article are fakes--the article is bylined and the author states flatly that he "spent this past weekend comparing its camera against Google’s Pixel 3 and struggling to believe my eyes." Unless you're saying he's in on the conspiracy, I'd take his comparisons at face value. --Mike]

The Feds (US of A Govt.) think that Huawei are paid spies for the ChiComs. Sorta like Google who has contracts with the alphabet agencies (CIA, NSA, etc) here at home.

Aside from the US federal government's security concerns, another reason Huawei phones are hard to find in the US is because Huawei hasn't made the effort to strike up distribution deals with US carriers such as Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T. Pentax has a similar problem with retail distribution but for different reasons. As for the interaction in question, I believe it's called it a slide-over.

I'm not saying that the image you've posted here is fake. But from your same source (The Verge) just last month ...

Huawei caught faking photos again, this time for the upcoming P30 Pro

The Pixel 3 camera's my favorite of any camera I've owned in the past 10+ years for work or personal - DSLR, mirrorless, iPhone &c. My goodness is it clever, uncomplicated, fun. And the 11x14's are just wonderful. Would love to try the Huawei, when the furor's resolved itself.

Huawei are world leaders in 5G tech. I believe some governments are far more worried about that than they are about the phones. It would be easy to ban the phones at any time, not so easy to dismantle a network based on their tech.

Speaking of aerial/drone photography—I’m not afraid of heights but every time I look at a photo taken from a drone it makes me a bit dizzy and queasy. Perhaps it’s because there’s no feeling of a footing or foundation from which the photo was taken. I wonder if anyone else experiences this.

I see you've gotten the news that the US and China-owned Huawei are engaged in a global techno/commerce/security contest (with poor Canada caught in the middle). Revolutionary and lucrative networking technology, consumer products with back doors, the airport arrest of the founder's daughter and CFO... it almost reads like a Neal Stephenson or William Gibson novel.

Anyway, we're not likely to see many Huawei phones for sale in the US.

But we don't see many other goods, either--like some Japanese cameras and many vehicles (VW campers, diesel cars, urban sub-sub-compacts, etc.)

More articles:



before and after wipe ?

I am not sure about seriousness the threat of Huawei and spying. Sorta been distracted by the focus on all the Russians are coming blather of the last few years. Now that that has petered out, maybe we can read something else. I think this is a decent start in Foreign Policy:


I met a high level manager at Huawei several years ago when they were suspected of industrial espionage by the US but not publicly identified. He told me their engineers were routinely denied visas for US meetings or work visas. They wanted to establish a US R&D operation but could not staff it. So they went to Canada where they were welcomed. Their employees then used their Canadian residency to cross over to the US whenever they wanted.
I was recruited to spy - mainly in China- for the CIA 25 years ago but declined. I believe a few people I knew did.
All part of the game....

Eric Perlberg says: "it's unlikely that Huawei have better AI neural net algorithms than Google"

As a generalization, that may be true. In practice, don't forget that this field moves very very fast, and what you're seeing may be simply a combination of:
(a) Google hasn't updated the Pixel 3 software to use the very latest neural net tech -- it takes time to implement, test and push out something like this.
(b) Huawei is actually ahead of Google in this specific feature -- NN advances come from many different quarters, not just Google.
(c) The P30 Pro has 3 cameras plus a depth sensor, which give much more data for the software to work with. In theory, the Huawei can take as many photos in 2 seconds as the Pixel can in 6 (ignoring zoom differences).
(d) At least one of those cameras is better (f/1.6, 1/1.7") than Google's (f/1.8, 1/2.55").

(Disclaimer: I'm a computer graphics/vision researcher at Adobe. My comments are conjecture based on publicly available info.)

The huawua woman who used Hong Kong and not her chinese passport are not really charged with spy but bank fraud. She is charge of lying to hsbc and or charter bank, not sure which one not details. Once again she use the front of a Hong Kong firm to do the bidding of money laundering etc.

Episonage is not likely a charge can use for extradition. But bank fraud can.

But the bigger picture is can one trust another superpower want to be for 5G. Btw strange to see this here but let the case be the case and fact in fact or at least fact according to what we read in main stream media.


This is different from episonag done in America. There is law against it for every country. The stupid thing is to name 1000 top guys in USA soil to encourage them to get their knowledge back to china. and then those are kept on suicide on episonage. Top academics. Strange ops. Spy is normal. But open and named yours. Sigh.


Btw Different for American all mainland chinese (not Hing kong guys different law still yet) by law has to be a spy. Read the mainland law.


Try to be neutral but I think whilst one should look at USA as USA did. Mainland communist china is a different ball game.

Good luck to humanity may I say.

Not another commnt from M. Power. If this keeps up I'll be a regular! It's irritating that Youtube keeps showing wonderful examples of Huawei's cameras when they're not available here in the US.I wasted ten minutes the other day trying to explain to a Verizon employee what a Huawei was.
My other observation concerns Night-sight, the see-in-dark feature of my Pixel smartphone. It's wonderful BUT Google in their wisdom has decided to make every night scene look like daylight apparently just to prove they can. The result is I have to have a kung fu battle with most night sight images just to make them look like night or twilight again. Years ago, I remember leaving my camera shutter open all night to see what would happen. The result was high noon no matter how dark the night. Google must've been looking over my shoulder.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007