WASHINGTON -- The back story on the scathing congressional report on security threats posed by Chinese telecom giants is beginning to emerge.
Reportedly at the center of U.S. lobbying effort against Chinese telecom gear manufacturer Huawei is none other than Cisco Systems, the U.S. network equipment giant whose Chinese partners have included Huawei.
The Washington Post reported this week that it obtained a copy of a September 2011 “presentation” it said was authored and distributed by Cisco. The Post article asserts that the Cisco document is part of a lobbying campaign on Capitol Hill to blunt Huawei’s access to the U.S. telecom equipment at a time when carriers are building out faster IP-based networks.
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The Post quoted the Cisco report as asserting that “Fear of Huawei spreads globally,” adding, “Despite denials, Huawei has struggled to delink itself from China’s People’s Liberation Army and the Chinese government.”
The article linked what is said is a Cisco-led lobbying effort to this week’s release of the House Intelligence Committee report warning that Huawei and China’s other large telecom equipment vendor, ZTE, pose a threat to U.S. national security.
Cisco declined to comment on the Post story or the House report, saying only that it is attempting to get a copy of the document cited in the article to “verify its validity.” The company acknowledged to the Post it has recently “taken a more competitive stance against competitors including HP, Huawei and Juniper.”
From here, the alleged Cisco lobbying campaign against former partner Huawei looks like a continuation of a long-running intellectual property fight that ended in a stalemate. During a visit to Huawei headquarters in the late 1990s, we asked Huawei executives about widespread allegations of IP theft. We were shown the door.
The Cisco lobbying effort, if in fact that’s what’s going on, coupled with the House report on Huawei along with concerted U.S. efforts to stop domestic carriers from buying Chinese networking products constitutes an major escalation of U.S.-Chinese trade frictions.
If it continues, a trade war with China in key sectors like telecommunications and energy (the Commerce Department announced tariffs this week as high as 36 percent on Chinese solar panels) is inevitable.
The timing of the House report’s release on Huawei and ZTE was not a coincidence. Bashing China has become a standard election-year tactic. In the long run, we’d be far better off competing against China than starting trade wars that will only hurt both nations.
After enjoyed the inexpensive products, now you want back the money you paid?
Look at what jobs Chinese are doing. Are you sure you really want the high-pollution jobs back?
War, war, you guys know nothing but war
If the current presidential campaign rhetoric translates into action, we'll likely get a trade war with China. It will serve short-term politic interests but will do little or nothing to solve systemic problems like IP theft.
EE Times has identified scholars and other experts in China with close ties to its technology sector who are trying to change Beijing's attitude toward IP. That may seem insignificant, but China is legally obligated under the WTO IP agreements to put in place the legal underpinnings to protect IP. We need to hold Beijing's feet to the fire on this, but a trade war isn't the best mechanism for doing that.
Huawei blatantly copied Cisco designs. Did the Chinese govt respond to Cisco's claims. So why shouldn't a US company go the US govt and get redress one way or another?
We need a trade war with China. After all, they are waging an industrial war with us stealing IP and dumping products at below cost.
Despite its IP dispute with Huawei, Cisco has done very well in the Chinese market. There were also a number of reports, most notably in the Financial Times, that Cisco assisted the Chinese government by providing network monitoring capabilities.
The fact that this war is fought on US market should be a warning to all of us in the tech industry. Cisco can cry to Uncle Sam for help here, but who are they going to cry to in Zambia? Or heaven forbid, in China?
Look at all those huge companies filled to the brim with animated PPT. You are the next.....