The US ratcheted up pressure on the UK government regarding the security risk posed by Huawei, as the Chinese vendor was cleared to build a new chip R&D facility in the country.
In a statement sent to Financial Times, the US State Department said the decision put its trust in the UK at risk, as it urged its allies and partners to assess the long-term impact of allowing companies like Huawei “access to sensitive information”.
“We believe countries need to be able to trust that partners will not threaten national security, privacy and intellectual property, or human rights,” said the US State Department.
The latest lobbying comes after Huawei released a statement confirming it had received the nod from local authorities in Cambridge to build the facility, “focused on researching, developing and manufacturing optoelectronics products”.
A committee of councillors voted nine to one in favour of Huawei’s project.
Huawei said it will invest £1 billion on the first phase of the project, which includes construction of 50,000 square metres of facilities across nine acres of land and will directly create around 400 jobs. Huawei acquired the land for the site in 2018.
Speaking to the FT, VP Victor Zhang added Huawei was committed to make the new centre its international headquarters for optoelectronics and its plans would not change if the UK were to tighten restrictions on the company regarding its 5G involvement.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre is currently conducting a new review into Huawei, which could have ramifications on its long-term position in the market.
“This centre is not to support BT or Vodafone’s network. I don’t think there is a strong link,” said Zhang.
Source: Mobile World Live
Digital Wallet Users to Surpass 4.4 Billion by 2025- Juniper
A new study from Juniper Research has found that the number of unique digital wallet users will exceed 4.4 billion globally in 2025; rising from 2.6 billion in 2020. It found that mobile wallets are leading this 70% growth, as mobile payments rapidly scale across geographical and vertical markets.
The increasing alignment between in‑person and remote commerce channels is leading to greater use of mobile wallets than ever before, with online wallet use confined to high-value purchases or complex bill payments.
The research recommends that merchants should undertake complete reviews of their processes to ensure that they are offering a highly capable mobile app. This must be inclusive of a seamless checkout process, the correct mobile wallet integrations and high levels of security, or they will lose out to more mobile-adept merchants.
The new research, Digital Wallets: Key Opportunities, Vendor Analysis and Market Forecasts 2021‑2025, found that markets such as the UK and US are lagging behind China and India in terms of digital wallet adoption, with China and India accounting for 69% of digital wallet transactions in 2025.
Research co-author Nick Maynard explains: ‘In developed markets, mobile wallets facilitate card payments, but in emerging markets, wallets in places have bypassed cards entirely. Wallet providers in developed markets need to focus on building acceptance and analytics features, in order to boost their appeal in a card-centric environment.’
The research also found that QR code payments will account for 40% of all digital wallet transactions globally in 2025; a fall from 47% of transactions in 2020. QR code payments are presently playing a leading role, due to their ease of use and acceptance, which makes them a critically important area for wallet use. However, over the next five years, the evolution of features such as card acceptance via NFC smartphones will begin to close the ease of acceptance gap.
Microsoft Accuses China of Global E-mail System Hack
Microsoft has blamed the Chinese government for a cyber security incident that resulted in tens of thousands of compromised e-mail servers round the world.
A sophisticated attack discovered last week on Microsoft’s e-mail system, Microsoft Exchange, is reportedly escalating into a global cyber security disaster, as hackers race to infect as many users as possible.
The Microsoft Exchange account is a work or school e-mail account, which runs on the Windows Server operating system.
The incident, which had affected over 60 000 users across the globe by the weekend, mainly US-based small and medium businesses, banks and energy suppliers, was identified by the Microsoft Threat Intelligence Centre as a Chinese state-sponsored threat actor, called Hafnium.
According to the tech giant, Hafnium, which operates from China, is a highly-skilled and sophisticated actor, which primarily targets entities in the US for the purpose of exfiltrating information from a number of industry sectors, including infectious disease researchers, law firms, higher education institutions, defence contractors, policy think tanks and NGOs.
Microsoft has since released security updates which it says will protect customers running Exchange Server. However, it notes that even though it has worked quickly to deploy an update for the Hafnium exploits, many nation-state actors and criminal groups are also expected to move quickly to take advantage of any unpatched systems.
“We strongly encourage all Exchange Server customers to apply these updates immediately,” says Tom Burt, Microsoft corporate VP of customer security and trust.
“Exchange Server is primarily used by business customers, and we have no evidence that Hafnium’s activities targeted individual consumers, or that these exploits impact other Microsoft products. Promptly applying today’s patches is the best protection against this attack.”
The US government’s cyber security agency issued an emergency warning last week, urging state institutions to urgently patch their systems.
WSJ Ranks Ericsson Among Most Sustainable Companies In The World
A new ranking by the Wall Street Journal, places Ericsson in the top percentile for its ability to create long-term shareholder value through sustainable business practices.
Sustainability is central to Ericsson’s purpose – and the company was recently ranked #12 on The Wall Street Journal’s list of the 100 Most Sustainably Managed Companies in the World.
“The ranking shows that Ericsson is positioned to adapt and thrive in the long term,” says Heather Johnson, Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility.
“We firmly believe in sustainability practices based on science and embedded throughout our business can help create value for employees, customers, investors and – ultimately – society. It’s excellent recognition of cross-company collaboration to reduce risks and create positive impacts across our value-chain.”
The ranking was developed by the Wall Street Journal’s environmental, social and governance analysts, who assessed more than 5,500 publicly traded businesses based on sustainability metrics in areas such as business models and innovation, external social and product issues, employee and workplace issues, and the environment.
The ranking’s methodology takes a broad view of sustainability, one which assesses a company’s leadership and governance practices for their ability to create value for shareholders over the long term.
For all of the companies, transparency was key. Scores reflect the amount of publicly available information about each company’s policies, initiatives and performance metrics—all of which can be important indicators of a company’s long-term financial performance and the effects it could have on the planet and people.
Ericsson’s Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility strategy focuses on three pillars: responsible business, environmental sustainability and digital inclusion.
“We are convinced that digitalization and mobile broadband networks will help tackle global challenges,” says Johnson. “By integrating purpose and business strategy, we can amplify the impact and value delivered.”
Read more about Ericsson’s Sustainability environmental, social and economic impacts, targets and performance in our annual Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report.
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