The Clean Network: All about US initiative to purge Chinese tech companies from 5G network
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday announced that Brazil, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic are now members of The Clean Network, a Trump administration’s initiative to purge Chinese tech companies from 5G network. The top US diplomat tweeted that “53 Clean Countries, 180 Clean Telcos, and dozens of leading companies” have joined the tide toward trusted 5G network.
Pompeo had unveiled the Clean Network initiative in April, calling upon countries and corporations to join the effort to safeguard the privacy and thwart any attempt to obtain most sensitive information by “malign actors”, explicitly naming the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
In August, the State Secretary announced the expansion of the Clean Network program which included Clean Carrier, Clean Store, Clean Apps, Clean Cloud, and Clean Cable. The Trump administration has termed some of the largest telecom companies around the globe as “Clean Telcos”, including Jio in India and O2 in the United Kingdom.
Here is everything you need to know about the US initiative:
Clean Carrier: The State Department said that Chinese carriers pose a danger to US national security. It stated that such companies should not provide international telecommunications services to and from the United States.
Clean Store: The program is aimed at removing untrusted applications from US mobile app stores. The department accused Chinese apps of threatening privacy, proliferating viruses, censoring content, and spreading propaganda and disinformation.
Clean Apps: The Trump administration called Huawei an arm of China’s “surveillance state”, accusing it of trading on the innovations and reputations of leading US and foreign companies. The initiative is aimed at preventing untrusted Chinese smartphone manufacturers from pre-installing trusted apps or from making available for download on their apps store.
Clean Cloud: It is aimed at preventing US citizens’ most sensitive personal information and businesses’ most valuable intellectual property, including COVID-19 vaccine research, from being stored and processed on cloud-based systems accessible to foreign adversaries. The department singled out Chinese companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, China Mobile, China Telecom, and Tencent.
Clean Cable: Pompeo said that the administration is working to ensure that the CCP can’t compromise information carried by the undersea cables that connect the US and other countries to the global internet. The state department said that it will work with foreign partners to ensure that undersea cables around the world aren’t similarly subject to compromise.
Clean Path: Pompeo announced that the Department of State will begin requiring a Clean Path for all 5G network traffic entering and exiting US diplomatic facilities. The 5G Clean Path is an end-to-end communication path that does not use any transmission, control, computing, or storage equipment from untrusted IT vendors.
Later, the US dealt a massive blow to Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. by expanding the scope of Foreign Direct Product Rule, which was aimed at preventing Huawei from circumventing US law. The Commerce Department added 38 Huawei affiliates to its Entity List which identifies foreign parties prohibited from receiving certain sensitive technologies.
Ahead of President Joe Biden's official launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) in Tokyo next week, the United States on Friday said that a “wide-ranging and comprehensive” set of countries are set to join the initiative and it will represent a significant milestone in US engagement in the region. India has not made an official decision on joining the pact, but New Delhi is examining the framework “positively”.
China on Friday hit out at Canada for banning Chinese telecoms giants Huawei and ZTE from Canadian 5G networks, warning of retribution and signalling a fresh bout of diplomatic tension between Beijing and Ottawa. Citing national security issues, Canada on Thursday said it plans to ban the use of China's Huawei Technologies' and ZTE Corp' 5G gear, joining the rest of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network comprising the US, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
British finance minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murthy have been included in the 'Rich List' of the 250 wealthiest British residents, Reuters reported. The couple's reported wealth is of 730 million pounds ($911.19 million). Sunak's inclusion in the The Sunday Times UK Rich List at the 222nd slot is a result of his wife Akshata Murthy, the daughter of Infosys co-founder N.R. Narayana Murthy and philanthropist mother Sudha Murthy.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees chief Filippo Grandi on Friday warned countries focussing on helping Ukraine to “not ignore the crises elsewhere”. The UNHCR said the global displacement crisis is also likely to worsen due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. The Group of Seven (G&) countries are providing $19.8 billion in aid to bolster Ukraine's public finances. Several other countries, including Japan and Germany, are providing help to Ukraine.
Shanghai announced its first new COVID-19 cases outside quarantined areas in five days on Friday and imposed stricter curbs in two districts, but did not signal any change to the planned end of a prolonged city-wide lockdown on June 1. Another district, Hongkou, on Friday afternoon ordered all shops to shut and residents to stay home until at least Sunday as it plans to carry out mass testing.