Paranoia Against Chinese made telecommunication sets



It seems that since the 5G issue between the West and China started, countries around the world has shown increasing paranoia against things made in China. And the paranoia would not go off anytime soon as China now makes almost half the world’s goods. Businesses are now outsourcing mostly to manufacturing facilities in China. These days, "designed in ..........." will mean a device has been conceptualized and designed at a brand company's own premises, but almost always manufactured in a facility in China. While previously cost were the primary reason businesses are turning to Chinese manufacturing, today it is the speed and flexibility of these manufacturers. 


The paranoia came to light when on Thursday, 21 March 2019, the Ombudsman for Finland's Data Protection announced that he would investigate reports that Nokia branded phones had breached data rules where its handsets sent information to China.


Nokia's handset business was initially sold to Microsoft in 2014. HMD, set up by former Nokia executives, took over the Nokia feature phone business from Microsoft in 2016 and struck a deal with Nokia OYJ to use the brand on smartphones whereby Nokia-branded mobile phones are developed under license by Finnish company HMD Global.


The data breach was apparently related to the Nokia 7 Plus model, built by HMD. It said the company had "admitted that an unspecified number of Nokia 7 Plus phones had sent data to the Chinese server".


HMD promptly issued a statement on 23 March 2019 stating the following:-

"the device suspected of sending data i.e., the Nokia 7 Plus did not transfer any user data to the Chinese servers. Instead, the shared information included the activation data from the device. The reason why this happened was quite clear. It was just a manufacturing error that led to this 'data breach' incident. The company had mistakenly installed the Chinese device activation client on the Nokia smartphones which were intended to retail outside China. Consequently, the activation data was being sent to vnet.cn, a Chinese server located in the China Internet Network Information Centre, or CNNIC".


HMD also clarified the data collection process through the following notice:- 

How long this 'anything and any act with the name of China attached to it becomes immediately suspect' will last?


The rest of the world has benefited new technologies and products that the Chinese are capable of developing and bringing to market just as China and the rest of the world benefited from American technologies and products. Every country in the world always keep a careful eye on and against their neighbours and the world but it should not be to the point of paranoia.

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