Huawei is Allegedly Stealing Technology from Apple Suppliers

AlphaAtlas

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Last week, we posted a report claiming that Huawei was trying to reverse engineer screen hardening tech from a U.S. startup. The claims about Akhan Semiconductor's potential military applications were seemingly confirmed yesterday, as they've just been selected by the Army for the integration of their coatings in future U.S. Army aircraft, so it's no surprise that the FBI quickly got involved in their case so quickly. But, according to a paywalled report from The Information that Kitguru reported on today, that incident was part of a larger effort by Huawei to steal tech from Apple suppliers. Neither Apple nor Huawei have chosen to comment on the report yet, but the accusations certainly won't help Huawei's existing business problems outside their home country.

According to the stories, Huawei has had an interesting relationship with Apple suppliers. Alongside suggesting a supplier run with a “design you already have experience with” and being knocked back from another supplier that recognised the hinge technology to be identical to that seen on the MacBook Pro, Huawei assured a third supplier that its wearable schematics were similar enough to the Apple Watch to warrant similar pricing for a heart-rate sensor. While being careful not to create an impossible task by requesting Apple’s factory workers smuggle components out of the building, Huawei has also been accused of paying off disgruntled staff members to draw the parts as they see them on the line.
 

trparky

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How anyone can deal with the Chinese at this point is beyond me. Anyone who cares about protecting their IP anyway.
Exactly. The Chinese have repeatedly shown that they couldn't give a rat's ass about global patents and intellectual property. Anybody who has more than two functioning brain cells in their heads should know not to trust China.
 

Nunu

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You know, for all the media coverage this one company is getting, there are many more doing the same thing in all other areas. GE got their turbine tech stolen, and that got like no news coverage. China is not going to stop doing this, because there are no real enforced penalties yet.
 

HAL_404

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it's what China does; they steal other people's Intellectual Property likely because they are not Intellectual themselves otherwise they would have their own Intellectual Property and not need to steal it from others :barefoot:
 
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andrewaggb

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I have no sympathy or interest in huawei but I suspect some level of IP theft and reverse engineering is common in all countries and companies. I wish I knew how much worse huawei was in comparison to lg, samsung, apple, sony etc. Eg, Lenovo installed spyware, sony installed rootkits, bitmain allegedly forced suppliers to not sell to competitors. Microsoft, intel, and google have all employed anti-competitive and monopolistic practices to stay on top. Is huawei measurably and meaningfully worse or are they the star of the week?
 

HAL_404

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I have no sympathy or interest in huawei but I suspect some level of IP theft and reverse engineering is common in all countries and companies. I wish I knew how much worse huawei was in comparison to lg, samsung, apple, sony etc. Eg, Lenovo installed spyware, sony installed rootkits, bitmain allegedly forced suppliers to not sell to competitors. Microsoft, intel, and google have all employed anti-competitive and monopolistic practices to stay on top. Is huawei measurably and meaningfully worse or are they the star of the week?
I agree, pretty much everyone is a thief one way or another
 

Tak Ne

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More Huwaei bashing again. I'm sure its a coincidence that Huawei is the major competitor for US companies wanting to sell 5G equipment.
They try to make Apple etc sound like poor victims. I bet most big companies do it just as much as Huwaei do.
 

Smashing Young Man

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I have no sympathy or interest in huawei but I suspect some level of IP theft and reverse engineering is common in all countries and companies. I wish I knew how much worse huawei was in comparison to lg, samsung, apple, sony etc. Eg, Lenovo installed spyware, sony installed rootkits, bitmain allegedly forced suppliers to not sell to competitors. Microsoft, intel, and google have all employed anti-competitive and monopolistic practices to stay on top. Is huawei measurably and meaningfully worse or are they the star of the week?
I agree that some level of that has always gone on with all companies, but let's not pretend that what China does isn't on a whole other level. Their companies have the approval and active backing of their government to engage in this theft.
 
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Omni MedSci is probably even less happy.

Just saying.

Or the Korean company that -seems- to have come before them.

Never mind that crap, the politicians we worship have given us an enemy to hate and we shall smite them with our faith!

That will teach them to have more advanced and capable 5G than western companies!
 
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mullet

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That's what dumb countries do they steal from smart countries.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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Whats shocking is not that Huawei or any other Chinese company has been caught stealing tech. What's shocking is that there finally is an appetite to do something about it.

I fully support throwing the book at these companies guilty of IP theft.
 

andrewaggb

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I agree that some level of that has always gone on with all companies, but let's not pretend that what China does isn't on a whole other level. Their companies have the approval and active backing of their government to engage in this theft.
I don't disagree. It's my understanding from media outlets that the FBI has proof the chinese government aids and/or offers incentives for stealing some technology. I have no reason to believe that's not true but I've made no effort to verify it either. I'm just wondering if huawei is significantly worse than other companies or if they're just getting a lot more press coverage.
 

dgz

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If you lie down with communist dogs . . .

How anyone can deal with the Chinese at this point is beyond me. Anyone who cares about protecting their IP anyway.
Says someone from the country that spies on everyone, including its closest allies. No way the NSA is stealing tech, then spawning countless startups. Unthinkable
 

PenGunn

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Time to upgrade the P10 I guess. The P20 is nice but I see the P30 will hit soon. I'll wait for that.
 

kju1

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I thought Apple actually acquired the GUI/Mouse tech from them, not stole it. I could be wrong though.
Douglas Engelbart would argue that both Xerox and Apple stole from him ;) https://patents.google.com/patent/US3541541

I dont think, or at least am not aware of, any licensing between Apple and Xerox for the Lisa Mouse. I know Apple based their design on Xerox but I never heard of them paying royalty for it. Also techincally Apple paid someone to design and build it for them.

I have no sympathy or interest in huawei but I suspect some level of IP theft and reverse engineering is common in all countries and companies. I wish I knew how much worse huawei was in comparison to lg, samsung, apple, sony etc. Eg, Lenovo installed spyware, sony installed rootkits, bitmain allegedly forced suppliers to not sell to competitors. Microsoft, intel, and google have all employed anti-competitive and monopolistic practices to stay on top. Is huawei measurably and meaningfully worse or are they the star of the week?
I am relatively confident that incident rate of U.S. companies doing this is lower than Chinese ones. Primarily because our government takes a dim view on companies stealing from each other and we have armies of lawyers that sue like crazy (patent trolls are a real issue though....). I dont know about EU companies but I suspect given their legal structure its probably similar to the U.S. in terms of incident rate. Be interesting to see actual studies on it by region/country though. I strongly suspect China would have some of the highest rates of companies that steal if for no other reason than their government seems to encourage it by refusing to prosecute anyone.

Says someone from the country that spies on everyone, including its closest allies. No way the NSA is stealing tech, then spawning countless startups. Unthinkable
If you think they are then you don't understand the laws surrounding their operation. Or if you do understand the laws you think they aren't following them (in which case I would suggest you FOIA and/or sue). Their mandate is foreign intelligence not stealing IP and building companies. That's so not in the realm of what they are looking for its not funny. I would challenge you to find any single instance of them stealing tech and founding a company with it. Or even just stealing tech period.
 

nutzo

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it's what China does; they steal other people's Intellectual Property likely because they are not Intellectual themselves otherwise they would have their own Intellectual Property and not need to steal it from others :barefoot:
It's mainly due communism.
The Soviet Union also stole IP from the US and Europe during the cold war. Their airliners where nothing more than copies of older US planes.
 

SJetski71

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Man oh man, the moral relativism. Children, there's no country who does this on the massive scale that Chinese businesses do, and Huawei has been in the international spotlight recently.

Shine a light on them and expose them, prosecute when it's fitting to do so. Eventually it'll hit them where it hurts $$.
 

Fresch

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Well it all was stolen from the WWII Germans.
Even the war crime stuff, human testing, tech., like they say shoot for the moon.
 

Darth Ender

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I think the primary differentiator between countries like China and the US in spying or stealing is that any country can own or control a company that does business in the US. China does not allow that and directly enforces government involvement in Chinese businesses it has an interest in.

That makes normal corporate espionage take on a different role than in other countries where companies have more independent self interests.
 

DocNo

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If you lie down with communist dogs . . .

How anyone can deal with the Chinese at this point is beyond me. Anyone who cares about protecting their IP anyway.
Having people who hate our guts manufacture anything critical - electronics, drugs, food - it's beyond batshit insane.
 

DocNo

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China is not going to stop doing this, because there are no real enforced penalties yet.
They should have never been invited into the WTO and now the are probably too intertwined in everyone's economies to kick them back out.

How stupid can we be? Apparently very, very stupid.
 

DocNo

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I think the primary differentiator between countries like China and the US
One is full of totalitarian communists and the other isn't??

I can't believe how poor our education system and media have become particularly in the last 20 years. That there are some politicians that aren't beyond embarrassed (or not fearful for their life) in even bringing up socialism is simply disgusting.
 
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DocNo

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Excuse me, Apple, Xerox PARC would like a word...
Why? Apple paid for the access. Xerox didn't know what to do with the tech and was shopping it around. Key people at PARC left Xerox to go to Apple because Apple was actually commercializing their work, unlike Xerox.

I realize this "stolen" narrative is a popular tech meme but it's an extremely ignorant and uninformed one.
 
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GlowingGhoul

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The level of ignorance here regarding China's malevolent actions against Western companies and nations is staggering. Do any of you know what China's government "Technology Transfer Centers" do? Do you know that if you do business in China, you must partner with a Chinese company, against your will, who will invariably steal your technology and ultimate replace you?

There is no separation between business and government in China, they act as one, for the long term strategic interests of China.

Do you know what Chinese strategic interests are?
 
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Methadras

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I'm gonna say it again, all chinese tech companies are nothing more than spying/espionage outfits. Stop buying their shit.
 
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