Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Wednesday, June 25, 2019!
1. U.S. tech slips through loopholes to keep supplying Huawei
Despite a U.S. government ban on domestic companies like Google, Intel, and others, supplying Huawei with technology, some of these companies have found loopholes to continue to supply hardware to Huawei:
- The New York Times broke the story, first noting that U.S. chip makers are still selling products to Huawei, and then naming them in the second paragraph: “Industry leaders including Intel and Micron have found ways to avoid labeling goods as American-made, said the people, who spoke on the condition they not be named because they were not authorized to disclose the sales.”
- The sales aren’t small beer either – the Times sources estimating sales already “totaled hundreds of millions of dollars.”
- Micron admitted as much, with CEO Sanjay Mehrotra noting on an earnings call:
- “ …we determined that we could lawfully resume shipping a subset of current products because they are not subject to export administration regulations and entity list restrictions.”
- Intel, as another example, use facilities across China, Israel, Ireland, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the U.S., giving it the same legal wiggle room:
- And in all fairness, we know that American companies may sell technology supporting current Huawei products until August 19th, 2019, after a secondary allowance was made by the Trump administration.
- But the ban on supplying components for future products is in place, as it was when it was handed down.
Oh, the U.S. knows alright:
- Government officials reportedly know and are frustrated by this resumption in supply to Huawei, but are split on what to do about it.
- Some, no doubt admiring the chutzpah on display, want to ensure U.S. tech doesn’t lose all of its sales, while others are reported to believe that undermining government efforts to pressure Huawei and China is against the spirit of the law.
- After the Times published the article, the latter among administrators reacted, with Garrett Marquis, the White House National Security Council spokesman, criticizing the companies’ workarounds.
- One former department official refuted that it’s a loophole, pointing out it’s just not well understood.
So here we are:
- As one tweeter scornfully noted: “The President did run for office on a platform that suggested that business needed freedom from pesky government oversight and regulations.”
- U.S. companies profiting by tackling loopholes while competitors stick to the letter of the law is an artform.
- And Trump has always noted deals, especially big deals, are an artform.
2. Wow: All those 27 partners of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency? None have paid, and none are obliged to pay, having only signed nonbinding agreements to join. Any or all can still back out (NY Times).
3. Oppo under-screen camera detailed: What to know about the world’s first next-gen tech (Android Authority).
4. Galaxy A90 said to offer Snapdragon 855, but will it be an affordable flagship? (AA).
5. Super resolution explained: The photography technique used by almost everyone (AA).
6. T-Mobile to carry the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G – here’s where to buy it, and all S10 variants (AA).
7. LinkedIn is ending the viral trash nonsense in its news feed to focus more on niche professional content, in a move that echoes other social network moves some years ago (Axios).
8. There’s a super early report that the next Galaxy Fold will be a bigger 8-inch screen device, with S-Pen (Sammobile). The original, as yet not released Fold is a 7.3-inch display.
9. Microsoft OneDrive gets a more secure Personal Vault, plus additional storage options (Ars Technica). Also 50GB for $1.99 per month is now 100GB.
10. The Office is leaving Netflix in 2021 because NBC wants it back, and was willing to pay (TechCrunch).
11. The annual Steam Summer Sale is here, and here are some steep PC discounts (Polygon).
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