Connect with us

Real Estate

Growing security fears hobble global ambitions of Chinese tech giant Huawei

Editor

Published

on

[ad_1]

While a Huawei executive faces possible U.S. charges over trade with Iran, the Chinese tech giant’s ambition to be a leader in next-generation telecoms is colliding with security worries abroad.

Australia and New Zealand have barred Huawei Technologies Ltd. as a supplier for fifth-generation networks. They joined the United States and Taiwan, which limit use of technology from the biggest global supplier of network switching gear. This week, Japan’s cybersecurity agency said Huawei and other vendors deemed risky will be off-limits for government purchases.

None has released evidence of wrongdoing by Huawei, which denies it is a risk and has operated a laboratory with Britain’s government since 2010 to conduct security examinations of its products. But the accusations, amid rising tension over Chinese technology ambitions and spying, threaten its ability to compete in a sensitive field as carriers prepare to invest billions of dollars.

“This is something that’s definitely concerning Huawei at this stage, because there is a political angle to it and a business angle,” said Nikhil Bhatra, a senior researcher for IDC, a consultancy.

China’s first global tech brand

Huawei is no ordinary electronics supplier. The company founded in 1987 by a former military engineer is China’s first global tech brand and a national champion at the head of an industry Beijing is promoting as part of efforts to transform this country into a technology creator. It has China’s biggest corporate research-and-development budget at $13 billion US  in 2017 — 10 per cent more than Apple Inc.’s — and foreign customers can draw on a multibillion-dollar line of credit from the official China Development Bank.

That puts Huawei at the heart of strains over the ruling Communist Party’s technology aspirations, competition with Western economies and ties between companies and government, including possibly spying.

A European Union official, Andrus Ansip, expressed concern that Chinese rules requiring telecom equipment suppliers to co-operate with intelligence services would involve possible “mandatory backdoors” in computer or telecom systems.

“Do we have to be worried about Huawei and other Chinese companies? Yes, I think we have to be worried,” said Ansip, the trade bloc’s vice-president for a digital single market.

A sales clerk looks at his smartphone in a Huawei store at a shopping mall in Beijing on July 4, 2018. Allowing Chinese firm Huawei Technologies to build Canada’s 5G wireless network could give Beijing backdoor access to revealing data about Canadians, security analysts warn. (Mark Schiefelbein/Canadian Press/Associated Press)

The company says it is employee-owned and operates independently. It denies it designs equipment to allow eavesdropping or that it is controlled by the Communist Party — a stance critics including some U.S. senators say is doubtful in China’s state-dominated system. The company notes it uses the same global components suppliers as Western manufacturers.

“Not a single shred of evidence against the company has ever been presented,” Huawei said in a written response to questions.

The company is the “most examined telecoms equipment vendor,” the statement said. It said foreign officials visit regularly to see “the lengths we go to assure them of the integrity of our technology.”

5G showdown

Huawei, headquartered on a leafy campus in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, has been working on 5G since 2009 and is one of the major suppliers of the technology, along with Sweden’s LM Ericsson and Finland’s Nokia Corp.

The company whose technology winds up being adopted stands to reap billions of dollars from sales and license fees.

5G promises more than just faster mobile phone service. It is designed to support vastly expanded networks of devices from internet-linked cars and medical equipment to factory robots and nuclear power plants. Annual sales of 5G network gear are forecast to reach $11 billion US by 2022, according to IHS Markit.

That makes it more politically sensitive, raises the potential cost of security failures and requires more trust in suppliers.

Even a “really minuscule” risk could disqualify a provider, said Andrew Kitson, head of technology industry research for Fitch Solutions.

But Kitson sees commercial motives behind the accusations against Huawei. He said many come from U.S. and European suppliers that are losing market share to Chinese rivals.

“There never has been any actual proof,” said Kitson. “They’ve only got to make a few insinuations for other governments to sit up and think, hang on, even if there is no proof, it is too much of a risk.”

Growing troubles

Huawei took a new hit on Dec. 1 when its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Vancouver on U.S. charges of lying to banks about transactions with Iran.

Huawei is more politically important than ZTE Corp., a Chinese rival that was nearly driven out of business after Washington blocked it from buying U.S. technology over exports to Iran and North Korea. U.S. President Donald Trump restored access after ZTE paid a $1 billion US fine, replaced its executives and hired U.S.-picked compliance officers.

Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou, right, arrives at a parole office with a member of her private security detail in Vancouver on Dec. 12, 2018. (Canadian Press/Darryl Dyck)

That won’t work with Huawei, which is the “key to Beijing’s aspirations to lead globally” on 5G, Eurasia Group said in a report. It said Chinese leaders would see an attempt to impose ZTE-style controls as “tantamount to an open technology war.”

Huawei’s U.S. business evaporated after a 2012 congressional report labelled the company and ZTE security threats. The same year, Australia banned it from bidding on a national high-speed broadband network.

Taiwan, the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its territory and regularly threatens to attack, imposed curbs in 2013 on Huawei and other Chinese telecoms technology. Lawmakers are discussing expanding the controls.

Rising sales

Elsewhere, Huawei supplies phone carriers in Asia, Africa and Europe. The company says it serves 45 of the 50 biggest global telecom operators. Its 2017 global sales rose 16 per cent to $92.5 billion US while profits increased 28 per cent to $7.3 billion US.

Huawei accounted for 28 per cent of last year’s $32 billion US global sales of mobile network gear, according to IHS Markit. Ericsson was second with 27 per cent and Nokia had 23 per cent. ZTE, South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Corp. and other vendors made up the rest.

Asked about the impact of security concerns on its 5G business, Huawei said this year’s total revenue — which also includes the No. 3 global smartphone brand and an enterprise unit — should exceed $100 billion US. That would be an 8 per cent gain over 2017.

Washington is pressing allies to shun Huawei, but Germany, France and Ireland say they have no plans to ban any 5G network suppliers.

Huawei “has an important place in France” and “its investments are welcome,” the country’s economy minister, Bruno Le Maire, said Dec. 7, according to news reports.

The company has agreements to field test 5G equipment with Deutsche Telekom, Bell Canada, France’s Bouygues, Telecom Italia, India’s Bharti Airtel and carriers in Singapore, South Korea and Ireland.

China’s foreign ministry complained critics were “hyping so-called threats” to hamper Huawei’s business without evidence.

As for Ansip’s concern about eavesdropping, “we have no such law that authorizes” backdoors, said a spokesman, Lu Kang.

IDC’s Bhatra said excluding Huawei would leave countries with only two major 5G suppliers, Ericsson and Nokia. That would limit competition, raise prices and might slow innovation, he said.

Already, industry analysts say telecoms equipment costs more in the United States and other markets that lack lower-priced Chinese competitors.

“There are quite widespread implications,” said Bhatra.

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Real Estate

Window repair or replacement is the responsibility of the condo corporation

Editor

Published

on

By

If the windows in your condo are hazy, drafty, or have rotting frames, it’s an indicator that they need repairs or outright replacement.

However, under the Condominium Act, it is the responsibility of the condo’s board to carry out such changes as a replaced window is a common element.

“Under the Condominium Act, a declaration may alter the maintenance or repair obligations of unit owners and the corporation but cannot make unit owners responsible for repairs to the common elements,” said Gerry Hyman is a former president of the Canadian Condominium Institute and contributor for the Star.

“A declaration for a high-rise condominium invariably provides that the unit boundary is the interior surface of windows. That means that the entire window — whether it is a single pane or a double pane — is a common element. Necessary repairs or replacement of a broken pane is the obligation of the corporation.”

According to Consumer Reports, selecting an installing windows replacement can be very overwhelming for homeowners. Therefore, if you aren’t covered by your condo’s corporation, it would be necessary to hire professional hands.

Wood, vinyl and composite windows need to be tested on how they can withstand various natural elements. For wind resistance, a window can be very tight when it’s warm but get quite cold too—especially when it begins to leak a lot.

Whatever the case may be, the bottom line remains that replacement windows can save you heating and cooling costs, but it’s best not to expect drastic savings.

Additionally, while getting a new window might help you save on your electric and gas bills, due to their expensive cost, it may take a long time to offset their cost.

Mid-last-year, the government withdraw a $377 million Green Ontario program that provided subsidy on windows to installers and repairers. Window companies had to install energy-efficient windows in order to qualify for the government subsidy that pays for up to $500 of a $1,000 to $1,500 window.

Due to the largely generous subsidies from the government under the Green Ontario program, a lot of window dealers were fully booked for months—even after the program had ended.

“We’re fine with the program ending, we just need more time to satisfy consumers,” said Jason Neal, the executive director of the Siding and Window Dealer Association of Canada, the industry group representing window dealers in a report.

According to Neal, the Progressive Conservatives acted hastily, making massive changes with no prior notice.

“No notification was given to us by anyone,” he said, noting he learned about the change through one of his dealers.

“It’s created a ripple effect.If they had just given us notice we would have pushed that down the line from the manufacturer right into the dealer right down to the consumer.”

Neal noted that he wasn’t particularly sad to see the Green Ontario program end, as it was “the worst rebate program in the history of the window industry.”

“It’s been horrible,” he said. “$500 a window has created such hysteria.”

However, despite the program ending about a year ago, numerous homeowners have been contacting window dealers consistently with concerns that they might not be able to afford replacement windows without the government’s subsidy.

“I understand their concern,” said window dealer Chris George. “I would suggest they reach out to their local representative of the government in their riding and let them know about their concerns.”

Continue Reading

Real Estate

7 Vancouver Real Estate Buying Tips

Editor

Published

on

By

The real estate market in Vancouver is turning around for good for everyone looking to purchase a home.

Previously soaring prices are now beginning to ease up, making it a perfect time for buyers—with real estate agents already getting ready for a very busy spring and summer season.

However, before splashing cash on a new property, there are some very important tips you need to know to ensure you make the most of the buyer’s market.

Here are some few expert tips that would guide you when purchasing a home in the sometimes frustration Vancouver seller’s market.

  1. Get adequate financing

It is very important that before you make the move to purchase a property, you put into careful consideration your credit score.

Normally, home buyers with lower scores use the secondary mortgage market to finance their purchase, as they’re more likely to pay a higher interest rate.However, it is advisable to get loan approval long before purchasing the house. This way, you are fully aware of how much you are able to spend—but never be tempted to borrow the maximum amount of money available.

“What’s your mortgage payment that you’re comfortable with? And take into the fact the taxes you’re going to have to pay, if it’s a strata – what the maintenance fees are, if it’s a home what type of maintenance are you going to have to pay in the future?” said Phil Moore, president of the Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver in a report.

Always be careful of the type of loan you secure and ensure that you can comfortably afford it over a long period of time.

  1. Get a real estate agent

Buying a property without professional help is a very risky move and can be likened to choosing to represent yourself in court without a lawyer. While you might trust your negotiation skills, only realtors are permitted to present offers directly.

Therefore, it is necessary to get a professional real estate agent in the area to represent you. So, screen a few agents and select the best one who has in-depth knowledge of the markets and has a great reputation.

“They’re there to protect you. They’re there to walk you through each step of the process,” Moore said.

  1. Sign up for automated alerts

Most—if not all—realtors have access to the Vancouver real estate board’s database which is updated approximately two days before the public MLS website.

Therefore, you can request from your realtor to sign you up for automatic real-time alerts of all new listings. Doing this gives you an edge as you’re among the very first to know about new properties.

  1. Do a thorough inspection

After receiving an alert for a new listing, it is necessary to push almost immediately for an inspection from your realtor. In this current market, buyers now have time to make an inspection.

Making a quick inspection eliminates any surprises—as there could be major maintenance or repair issues that could spring up. Therefore, you can now table your offer based on the outcome of the inspection, with clauses about claiming your damage deposit back if everything isn’t as was advertised.

Additionally, if you notice that renovations were done, you need to be sure that it was permitted work and carried out appropriately. Failing to do this would ultimately lead to further cost down the line and simultaneously affect the resale value.

  1. Have a back-up plan

There’s always the possibility that everything may not go as smoothly as you’d want. From the inspection being a failureto the property not living up to your expectations—or not being able to agree on the closing date that matches with your needs.

However, a professional real estate agent will definitely help you get past all of these things. If you plan on selling the property as you buy, you can table that and make it part of the deal.

“You’ve got an option, especially in a buyer’s market: you can put in an offer subject to selling your place. So maybe you want to have a place lined up,” Moore added.

Additionally, building contingencies into your buying plan is necessary. Things such as unexpected delays in closing the deal, closing cost and moving costs that could result in added living expenses if that’s your permanent home.

  1. Don’t fall for the buyer frenzy

The Vancouver market buying frenzy that caused a serious climb in the prices a couple of years ago has ended. Thus, it is important not to get caught up in bidding wars with properties that have been deliberately under-priced—with the hope of initiating multiple offers.

“Some of the sellers have been on the market for over a year and they’re eager to sell. So what I’m saying to consumers is: you have a lot of choices, you’re in the driver’s seat, let’s go out and take a look at what’s available,” said Moore.

  1. Never be wary of multiple offers

When purchasing a property, don’t be afraid of multiple offers as you have the same opportunity as anybody else.

Typically, there are just a few offers below the asking price: a couple priced fully, and two or three above the asking price—depending on how close the fair market value is from the asking price.

Continue Reading

Real Estate

Do you know what kind of condo you’re buying?

Editor

Published

on

By

(NC) Condominiums can come in all shapes and sizes. But it’s important to know that not all condos are created equal when it comes to warranty coverage.

Whether you’re buying a condominium townhouse, loft-style two-bedroom or a high-rise studio, they are all classified as condominiums if you own your unit while at the same time share access (and the associated fees) for facilities ranging from pools and parking garages to elevators and driveways, otherwise known as common elements.

The most common types of condos are standard condominiums and common elements condominiums. The determination of how a condominium project is designated happens during the planning stage when the builder proposes the project and the municipality approves it.

When you’re in the market to buy, you need to know how your chosen condo is classified because it affects the warranty coverage under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Standard condominiums have warranty coverage for units and common elements, but common elements condominiums only have unit coverage.

How could this affect you as the owner? If your condo complex has underground parking and, for example, there are problems with leaks or a faulty door, the condo designation will determine whether there’s warranty coverage.

If your unit is a standard condominium development, then the common elements warranty may cover the repairs. If it’s a common element condominium development, then repairs might have to be covered by the condo corporation’s insurance, which could impact your condo fees or require a special assessment on all the owners.

To avoid surprises, you should have a real estate lawyer review the Declaration and Description attached to your purchase agreement to be sure that you know the designation and boundaries of the unit you’re looking to purchase. Find more information on the types of condos and their coverage at tarion.com.

Continue Reading

Chat

Trending