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remiumP: S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile launchers are seen during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia on May 09, 2018. 

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

remiumP: S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile launchers are seen during the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia on May 09, 2018. 

Russia will deploy new S-400 surface-to-air missile systems on the Crimean peninsula soon, Russian media said Wednesday, citing the Russian defense ministry.

The RIA news agency said the new S-400 systems would be operational by the end of the year too, Reuters reported, although it’s not known how many new missile systems will be deployed.

The S-400 (Triumph) missile system is an anti-aircraft system developed by Russia in the late 1980s/early 1990s and its missiles can hit targets up to a distance of 400 kilometers. The system can intercept targets as far away as 600 kilometers and can track 300 targets.

Interestingly, given the announcement on a new deployment of S-400 systems to Crimea, Russia said in September that S-400 systems were already operational in the contested region with similar systems in Feodosiya and Sevastopol, news agency Tass reported.

News of the latest, new deployment comes amid overt hostility between Ukraine and Russia over the status of Crimea, however.

Relations between the neighbors have been tense and fragile since Russia’s annexation of Crime from Ukraine in 2014 and role in a pro-Russian uprising in east Ukraine in the same year, although Russia denied involvement in the latter.

Nonetheless, the international community placed a series of sanctions on Russia for what it saw as the violation of sovereign Ukraine territory. Those sanctions are still in place and could be extended after the latest Russian provocation – the seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crew members on Sunday in the Kerch Strait, a crucial shipping channel for both nations.

Ukraine has responded by introducing martial law for 30 days in several parts of the country (districts mostly on its border with Russia) following Russia’s seizure of three Ukrainian navy vessels off the coast of Russian-annexed Crimea on Sunday.

Russia’s defense ministry was not immediately available to comment on the deployment, and CNBC has also asked Ukraine’s presidential office for a comment on the report.

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‘Gloves are now fully off,’ says Eurasia Group

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The arrest of Huawei’s global chief financial officer in Canada, reportedly related to a violation of U.S. sanctions, will corrode trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing, risk consultancy Eurasia Group said Thursday.

“Beijing is likely to react angrily to this latest arrest of a Chinese citizen in a third country for violating U.S. law,” Eurasia analysts wrote.

In fact, Global Times — a hyper-nationalistic tabloid tied to the Chinese Communist Party — responded to the arrest by posting on Twitter a statement about trade war escalation it attributed to an expert “close to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.”

“China should be fully prepared for an escalation in the #tradewar with the US, as the US will not ease its stance on China, and the recent arrest of the senior executive of #Huawei is a vivid example,” said the statement, paired with a photo of opposing fists with Chinese and American flags superimposed upon them.

Canada’s Department of Justice said on Wednesday the country arrested Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, where she is facing extradition to the U.S. The arrest is related to violations of U.S. sanctions, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

U.S. authorities have been probing Huawei, one of the world’s largest makers of telecommunications network equipment, since at least 2016 for allegedly shipping U.S.-origin products to Iran and other countries in violation of U.S. export and sanctions laws, sources told Reuters in April.

The analysts said the Huawei executive’s arrest will not derail the start of trade negotiations after U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s meeting last weekend in Argentina saw them agree to first steps to resolve their trade dispute. Still, they acknowledged, the incident involving Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei is likely to cloud talks.



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Google shutting down Allo 

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Erik Kay, engineering director at Google, introduces Allo and Duo on stage during the Google I/O 2016 developers conference in Mountain View, California May 18, 2016

Stephen Lam | Reuters

Erik Kay, engineering director at Google, introduces Allo and Duo on stage during the Google I/O 2016 developers conference in Mountain View, California May 18, 2016

Google plans to kill chat app Allo by the middle of next year, the company said in a blog post, confirming a report earlier on Wednesday about the product’s imminent demise.

Despite owning the world’s dominant smartphone operating system in Android, Google has never been able to create a chat experience to rival Apple’s iMessage or Facebook‘s Messenger and WhatsApp.

Allo, which launched two years ago to much fanfare, will only work until March 2019, at which point users will have to download any conversations they want to save. Meanwhile, Google will focus fully on the development of Messages, its other chat app for Android phones. Earlier this year, Google announced that it was working with mobile carriers on a new Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard, an upgrade to classic SMS texting, to make messaging work better across Android devices, and bring users features like read receipts and seamless group chats.

That initiative was the beginning of the end for Allo, which saw its product lead defect to Facebook earlier this year.

Google also said in its blog post that it plans to support another one of its chat apps, Hangouts, until it makes two of its enterprise apps, Hangouts Chat and Meet, available for non-paying users.

A Google employee tweeted earlier on Thursday that Meet and Chat would launch for regular consumers next year:

Google has long had a complicated, messy strategy when it comes to chat apps, and has axed a laundry list of communication products, including the original GChat, the social network Buzz, and the collaboration tool Wave. Earlier this year, it announced it was shutting down its social network Google Plus after it discovered a security bug that left private profile data exposed.



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Apple suppliers fall after Largan Precision reports revenue decline

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Tim Cook, CEO of Apple speaks while unveiling new products during a launch event on October 30, 2018 in New York City. 

Stephanie Keith | Getty Images

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple speaks while unveiling new products during a launch event on October 30, 2018 in New York City. 

Shares of Apple suppliers in Asia took a beating on the back of a Taiwanese lensmaker reporting a more than 25 percent year-on-year decline in its November revenue.

Shares of Taiwan’s Largan Precision, a leading supplier of smartphone camera lenses, plunged 9.64 percent on Thursday morning. The company had reported a 28.57 percent decline in its sales for the month of November as compared to a year earlier.

Meanwhile, shares of contract manufacturing giant Pegatron fell 5.48 percent. The Nikkei had earlier reported that the company was preparing to shift production of its non-iPhone products affected by U.S. tariffs on Chinese exports to Indonesia in the next 6 months.

Hon Hai Precision Industry, better known as Foxconn, also declined by 3.49 percent. The contract manufacturer was also in the headlines after Reuters reported on Tuesday that it was considering an iPhone factory in Vietnam, citing Vietnamese state media.

Elsewhere in Asia, shares of Japanese electronic parts maker TDK fell 6.31 percent while component supplier Murata Manufacturing shed 4.34 percent. South Korean industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics also fell around 1.8 percent while Hong Kong-based acoustic components maker AAC Technologies declined by more than 5 percent.

Apple’s stock was not trading on Wednesday as the U.S. stock markets were closed in honor of former president George H.W. Bush. The Cupertino-based tech giant saw its shares fall about 4.40 percent on Tuesday after HSBC downgraded the company to hold from buy and cut its 12-month price target to $200 from $205.

“Apple’s iconic hardware unit growth is broadly over for now,” HSBC analysts said in the note.

“Revenues are only supported by higher selling prices and by the development of services. Flat unit growth has hit Apple’s share price and incidentally its key suppliers. What has made the success of Apple, a concentrated portfolio of highly desirable (and pricy) products is now facing the reality of market saturation,” they said.

— Reuters and CNBC’s John Melloy contributed to this report.

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