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Chip designer ARM halts work with Huawei after U.S. ban

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Courtesy : Reuters

British chip designer ARM has halted relations with Huawei in order to comply with a U.S. blockade of the company, potentially crippling the Chinese company’s ability to make new chips for its future smartphones.

Huawei, in common with Apple Inc and chipmakers such as Qualcomm, uses ARM blueprints to design the processors that power its smartphones. It also licenses graphics technology from the Cambridge-based company.

Huawei said it valued its close relationships with its partners, but it recognised the pressure some of them are under “as a result of politically motivated decisions”.

The United States blocked Huawei from buying U.S. goods last week, jeopardising ties with Alphabet Inc’s Google, which provides the Android operating system and services like Gmail and Google Maps, as well as hardware partners such as ARM.

The U.S. government temporarily eased restrictions on Huawei on Tuesday, granting it a licence to buy U.S. goods until Aug. 19, meaning that updates of Google apps can continue until then.

The BBC reported earlier on Wednesday that ARM, which is owned by Japan’s Softbank, had instructed employees to halt “all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements” with Huawei after the United States added Huawei to a list of companies with which U.S. firms could not do business.

ARM said in an internal company memo that its designs contained technology of U.S. origin, the BBC reported.

It told staff they were no longer allowed to “provide support, delivery technology (whether software, code, or other updates), engage in technical discussions, or otherwise discuss technical matters” with Huawei, according to the memo seen by the BBC.

Huawei’s international partners are moving to distance themselves from the Chinese company until there is clarity over its relationship with U.S. technology partners that provide the apps and services that are crucial for consumers.

British mobile operators EE and Vodafone both said on Wednesday they had dropped Huawei smartphones from the imminent launch range of their 5G networks. (REUTERS)

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Death toll rises to 12 in southwest China earthquake

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Courtesy: China Central Television (CCTV)

Twelve people died and another 125 were injured as of 08:30 Tuesday after two earthquakes hit southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Monday night, according to China’s Ministry of Emergency Management.

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake hit Changning County of Sichuan’s Yibin City at 22:55 Monday and another 5.1-magnitude earthquake occurred in Yibin’s Gong County at 23:36 Monday, according to local authorities. Ten villages and towns have been severely affected by the earthquakes.

“The earthquakes also damaged some houses, roads, power and communication facilities,” said Secretary General of the Yibin government Li Tinggen at a Tuesday press conference.

Li said Yibin has started an emergency response and 2,016 rescuers have been dispatched to alleviate the disaster.

“The city and counties quickly allocated all kinds of relief supplies from their disaster relief material repositories to affected villages and towns. At the initial stage, 450 tents, 5,300 quilts and 1,500 folding beds have been sent to affected areas,” Li said.

Yibin has started evacuation and relocation of local people and carried out medical aid for injured ones, Li said.

“After the earthquakes, the city and counties quickly dispatched 15 vehicles and 61 medical specialists with first aid equipment to the quake-stricken areas in order to treat the wounded.

All health centers of villages and towns in the epicenters conducted medical treatment for injured ones immediately after preliminary safety check of their buildings,” Li said. (REUTERS)

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Huawei underestimated impact of U.S. ban, expects a $100 billion dip in revenue

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Courtesy : Reuters

Huawei Technologies’ founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei said they underestimated the impact of the United States (US) ban.

On Monday (June 17), Zhengfei warned that their revenue would dip to around $100 billion this year.

READ: Internet abuzz over Google suspending business with Huawei

The US has put Huawei on their trade blacklist and banned American companies from doing business with the Chinese firm due to security risk.

Google previously announced that Huawei’s newer smartphones will lose Android updates as well as apps including YouTube, Gmail, and Google Play.

Zhengfei alredy expressed concerns on the impact of the trade ban.

“We did not, in our initial assessment, expect it to be this serious. We had made our preparations, just like an old airplane, we had only protected our heart and our fuel tank, we did not protect the other necessary components. So in the next two years, the company will suffer a setback. Our output will drop by $30 billion and so our revenue would dip to around $100 billion this year and the next,” he said.

“Whether (Huawei’s) international smartphone shipments will drop 40%? Yes it will, drop by 40%. But the growth rate for Chinese smartphone sales is very fast, its very fast,” he added.—AAC

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Argentines struggle as ‘unprecedented’ power failure strikes country

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, June 17th, 2019

Courtesy : Reuters

Argentine President Mauricio Macri called the massive blackout that left tens of millions in South America without power on Sunday (June 15) “unprecedented,” and promised a thorough investigation.

Argentina’s grid “collapsed” around 7 a.m. local time (1100 GMT), leaving the entire country without power, Argentina’s Energy Secretariat said.

The outage also cut electricity to much of neighboring Uruguay and swaths of Paraguay, and shut down YPF’s La Plata refinery, Argentina’s largest.

Macri said the blackout had been prompted by a failure in the country’s coastal grid but said that officials still did not know what had caused the problem.

Half of Argentina had power by mid-afternoon, Macri said.

Energy distributors in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, whose populations total nearly 55 million, said power was being quickly restored to major cities and heavily populated coastal regions, including Montevideo and Buenos Aires.

The blackout comes amid a deepening economic crisis in Argentina that has left nearly a third of the country in poverty, pushed interest rates skyward and sent the peso tumbling against the dollar, prompting mass protests throughout the country.

The massive blackout on Father’s Day left Buenos Aires dark early this morning, hobbling public transportation, cutting off water supply and crippling phone and internet communications across the city. (REUTERS)

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