The Huawei logo is seen on the side of the main building at the company’s production campus on April 25, 2019 in Dongguan, near Shenzhen, China.
Kevin Frayer | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Alphabet‘s Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware and software products except those covered by open source licenses, a source close to the matter told Reuters on Sunday, in a blow to the Chinese technology company that the U.S. government has sought to blacklist around the world.
Huawei Technologies will immediately lose access to updates to the Android operating system, and the next version of its smartphones outside of China will also lose access to popular applications and services including the Google Play Store and Gmail app.
Details of the specific services were still being discussed internally at Google, according to the source. Huawei attorneys are also studying the impact of the U.S. Commerce Department’s actions, a Huawei spokesman said on Friday. Huawei was not immediately reachable for further comment.
Representatives of the U.S. Commerce Department did not immediately have comment.
Huawei will continue to have access to the version of the Android operating system available through the open source license that is freely open to anyone who wishes to use it.
But Google will stop providing any technical support and collaboration for Android and Google services to Huawei going forward, the source said.
On Thursday the Trump administration officially added Huawei to a trade blacklist, immediately enacting restrictions that will make it extremely difficult for the technology giant to do business with U.S. companies.
China denies Philippines’ ‘hit and run’ allegation in South China Sea
A People’s Liberation Army Navy fleet — including the aircraft carrier Liaoning, submarines, vessels and fighter jets —takes part in a review in the South China Sea on Apr. 12, 2018.
Visual China Group | Getty Images
China has rejected Philippine allegations that a Chinese fishing vessel abandoned 22 Filipinos after it sank their boat in the South China Sea, as pressure builds on President Rodrigo Duterte to take a tougher line.
China’s embassy in Manila said the crew had sought to rescue the Filipino fishermen but fled after being “suddenly besieged by seven or eight Filipino fishing boats”.
“There was no such thing as (a) ‘hit-and-run’,” it said in a statement late on Friday, adding it would handle the issue in a “serious and responsible manner.”
The sinking took place on Sunday near the Reed Bank, the site of untapped gas deposits that an international arbitration court in 2016 ruled the Philippines had sovereign rights to exploit. Beijing disputes that.
The issue could complicate what are determined efforts by Duterte to build a strong relationship with China, despite deep mistrust among his U.S.-allied defense apparatus, which remains wary about China’s maritime militarization and what it sees as bullying and denial of Manila’s access to its own offshore oil and gas reserves.
Duterte has made no mention of Sunday’s incident during any of the lengthy and unscripted speeches he has since given. His defense minister, navy chief and spokesman have publicly denounced the Chinese crew and his foreign minister said he had lodged a protest with Beijing.
Presidential spokesman, Salvador Panelo, did not respond to a request for comment on China’s version of events.
Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros on Saturday called for bilateral ties to be downgraded and said China’s denial was “preposterous” and the story made no sense.
She said Duterte had plenty to say about mundane issues, but should speak up when it came to sovereignty.
“Nothing is more reassuring to the public than to see and hear their own president, the supposed architect of the country’s foreign policy, telling them that he is on top of the situation,” Hontiveros said.
Sunday’s incident is the latest confrontation involving China’s vast fishing fleet, which experts say has been co-opted to serve as Beijing’s militia and augment its constant coastguard presence in waters also claimed by Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines and Brunei.
Philippines Supreme Court judge Antonio Carpio, a staunch critic of China’s maritime claims and conduct, said that among its massive fishing contingent were boats with reinforced steel hulls “purposely for ramming fishing vessels of other coastal states.”
“The Filipino people must send a strong signal to China that any new ‘grey zone’ offensive of ramming Filipino fishing vessels … will mean a break of diplomatic ties,” Carpio said in a statement late Friday.
Hong Kong government reportedly will ‘suspend’ China extradition bill
Protesters occupy a main road and walkways during a rally against a proposed extradition law in Hong Kong on June 12, 2019.
Paul Yeung | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The Hong Kong government is set to suspend a contentious proposal to allow extraditions to mainland China after mass protests and street clashes shook the Asian financial hub in the past week, local media reported on Saturday.
The proposed bill, calling for Hong Kong to make legal amendments to allow accused criminals to be extradited to jurisdictions with which it has no such arrangement — including China — has led to widespread opposition in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory of 7.4 million people.
Public service broadcaster RTHK cited an unidentified source as saying the the government has decided to “suspend” the plan. The South China Morning Post carried a similar report that a pause was likely to be decided as early as Saturday.
RTHK said that Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the territory’s top official, would meet Saturday with pro-government legislators before holding a press briefing.
Shirley Lee, a government spokesperson, could not confirm the reports when contacted by CNBC for comment.
Hundreds of thousands of people marched in protest on June 9 and another mass rally has been planned for Sunday.
On Wednesday police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters who gathered near the local legislature where lawmakers were supposed to debate the plan with scores suffering injuries.
Lam, the territory’s top official, has been defiant, vowing that the plan must proceed and condemning Wednesday’s demonstrations.
Hong Kong has for nearly 22 years been a semi-autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China with its own legal system and currency — legacies of its time as a British colony.
While the territory was guaranteed a high degree of control over its own affairs for at least 50 years under a “one country, two systems arrangement” after Britain ceded sovereignty to China on July 1, 1997, local unease over increasing mainland influence has steadily grown.
Foreign business groups and governments have come out against the plan amid concerns that any erosion to Hong Kong’s legal system could make it a less attractive place for banks and companies to operate.
It is not clear whether a delay in the plan would satisfy opponents, who have demanded it be scrapped and that Lam resign.
— CNBC’s Vivian Kam contributed to this report.
Iranian fast-boats stopped tug boat salvage mission
WASHINGTON — In the wake of an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, Iranian military fast-boats prevented privately owned tug boats from salvaging one of the damaged vessels, two U.S. officials aware of the situation told CNBC.
The latest conflict from the world’s most important oil choke point brought oil prices up about 1% on Friday and as much as 4% the day prior on renewed fears of conflict in the Middle East leading to global oil supply disruptions.
America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, blamed Iran for Thursday’s attacks without citing specific evidence as to why Tehran was responsible.
“Iran is lashing out because the regime wants our successful maximum pressure campaign lifted,” Pompeo said Thursday. “No economic sanctions entitle the Islamic Republic to attack innocent civilians, disrupt global oil markets and engage in nuclear blackmail.”
Iranian Revolutionary Guards drive speedboats in front of an oil tanker at the port of Bandar Abbas
Atta Kenare | AFP | Getty Images
President Donald Trump said Friday that if Iran were to block the Strait of Hormuz, “it’s not going to be closed for long,” but did not elaborate on what potential steps the U.S. would take in response. “They’re not going to be closing [the strait],” Trump reiterated during a telephone interview with Fox News.
Earlier this year, Iran threatened to close the strait in response to a U.S. decision to end waivers on reimposed sanctions for companies that export oil from Iran. The Strait of Hormuz is a gateway for almost a third of all seaborne crude oil.
In an exclusive interview with CNBC on Friday, Trump’s energy secretary called Iran the “bad neighbor in the neighborhood.”
“Iran should be thinking about how do we maintain our market share, how do we act like good neighbors, how do we continue to be a part of the global community instead of these obvious acts of treachery in the Strait of Hormuz,” Energy Secretary Rick Perry said.
At the Pentagon, acting Secretary of Defense Pat Shanahan called the matter an “international problem,” adding that his role would be to “set the conditions for diplomacy.” He added that he was in close coordination with U.S. Central Command to verify whether forces in the region had necessary resources and support for their missions.
In a statement Friday, the board of directors for Frontline Ltd. said that all 23 crew members of the Front Altair oil tanker were unharmed and that the cause of the explosion is unknown. “The incident will be thoroughly investigated by the Company along with third parties, including governmental officials, to determine the cause,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Japanese owner of one of the oil tankers said the vessel was damaged by a projectile, not by a mine, which is what U.S. officials assessed as the source of the blast.
“We received reports that something flew towards the ship,” Yutaka Katada, president of Kokuka Sangyo, said at a press conference Friday. “I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship,” he said, adding that a projectile landed above the waterline.
On Thursday, U.S. Central Command said in a statement that the Japanese oil tanker, Kokuka Courageous, had an “unexploded limpet mine on their hull following an initial explosion.”
The Pentagon did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
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