China: Ensuring Control and a Separate Digital Kingdom?

March 15, 2019

I read “Huawei Confirms It Has Built Its Own Operating System Just in Case US Tensions Disrupt Use of Google’s Android.” On the surface, a big Chinese company is making contingency plans. The write up reports that “Huawei says it would only use its own OS in extenuating circumstances.” Logical. The write up includes an amplification in this paragraph:

Huawei Technologies, the largest smartphone vendor in China, said it has developed its own operating systems (OS) for both smartphones and computers, which can be used on its devices in the event that current systems provided by US technology giants are no longer available.

a slaying small

Is Huawei slaying a metaphorical technological dictator?

I noticed the addition of operating system for computers. Makes sense. Why not use open source and original super innovative Chinese technology to build a back up. Just in case. For a rainy day.

The article includes a statement which seems very clear, quite unambiguous:

“Huawei does have backup systems but only for use in extenuating circumstances. We don’t expect to use them, and to be honest, we don’t want to use them,” said a Huawei spokesperson on Thursday. “We fully support our partners’ operating systems – we love using them and our customers love using them. Android and Windows will always remain our first choices.”

Could these software be used for other applications and use cases; for example:

  1. Exclude non compliant customers from features and functionalities
  2. Extend China social capital data collection
  3. Filter content more effectively
  4. Deploy weaponized data?

Only in extenuating circumstances. So what’s “extenuating” mean? Is a seer available today (March 15) to elucidate?

Stephen E Arnold,  March 15, 2019


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