Implode-Explode Heavy Industries news feed http://implode-explode.com/ Tracking the many faces of the global credit implosion. en-us iehi-feed-64739 Fri, 24 May 2019 17:21:56 GMT Dow heads for fifth straight negative week, longest losing streak since 2011 http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-24_Dowheadsforfifthstraightnegativeweeklongestlosingstreaksince2011.html Stocks were headed for weekly losses on Friday as investors worry the U.S.-China trade war is hurting economic growth.

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U.S. durable goods orders dropped 2.1% last month amid a slowdown in exports and a buildup in inventories. This is the latest economic data set showing cracks in the economy while the world's largest economies engage in a trade war. IHS Markit said Thursday that U.S. manufacturing activity fell to a nine-year low.

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"The growing worries around a US/China elongated trade battle and its implications on the tech space are heavily weighing on the minds of both investors and the companies themselves caught in the cross hairs," Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities, wrote in a note to clients. "The ‘poster child' for the US/China trade wars continue to be Apple with the stock under heavy pressure as many competitors are yelling fire in a crowded theater around the potential China impact to Cupertino if this situation worsens.

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iehi-feed-64735 Fri, 24 May 2019 13:45:54 GMT Theresa May Meets Her Lonely End http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-24_TheresaMayMeetsHerLonelyEnd.html Mrs. May, as the first prime minister after the 2016 Brexit referendum, could have minimized those difficulties by exposing that lie, and by seeking a Brexit that kept Britain's economy close to Europe's while honoring the decision to leave. She had the power to define what Brexit meant. From the start she could have sought a consensus across Parliament.

Tragically she chose instead to pander to the her party's right wing and its backers in the news media, promising to quit both the European Union's single market and its customs union, and ceaselessly repeating the disastrous idea that "no deal is better than a bad deal." Her decisions in those first months were calamitous; they framed Brexit as a sharp break from Europe and turned it from a problem to a disaster.

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iehi-feed-64727 Wed, 22 May 2019 12:58:08 GMT Iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel is part of China's US property fire sale - but don't expect a bargain http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-22_IconicWaldorfAstoriahotelispartofChinasUSpropertyfiresalebutdont.html iehi-feed-64722 Sun, 19 May 2019 17:11:35 GMT Deutsche Bank Suppressed Trump, Kushner Money Laundering Alarms; Fired Whistleblower http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-19_DeutscheBankSuppressedTrumpKushnerMoneyLaunderingAlarmsFiredWhis.html Anti-money laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank recommended in 2016 and 2017 that multiple transactions involving legal entities controlled by Donald J. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, be reported to a federal financial-crimes watchdog.

The transactions, some of which involved Mr. Trump's now-defunct foundation, set off alerts in a computer system designed to detect illicit activity, according to five current and former bank employees. Compliance staff members who then reviewed the transactions prepared so-called suspicious activity reports that they believed should be sent to a unit of the Treasury Department that polices financial crimes.

But executives at Deutsche Bank, which has lent billions of dollars to the Trump and Kushner companies, rejected their employees' advice. The reports were never filed with the government.

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Ms. McFadden [a longtime anti-money laundering specialist in Deutsche Bank's Jacksonville office] said she was terminated last year after she raised concerns about the bank's practices. Since then, she has filed complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators about the bank's anti-money-laundering enforcement.

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Ms. McFadden said she had reviewed the transactions and found that money had moved from Kushner Companies to Russian individuals. She concluded that the transactions should be reported to the government -- in part because federal regulators had ordered Deutsche Bank, which had been caught laundering billions of dollars for Russians, to toughen its scrutiny of potentially illegal transactions.

... Typically, such a report would be reviewed by a team of anti-money laundering experts who are independent of the business line in which the transactions originated -- in this case, the private-banking division -- according to Ms. McFadden and two former Deutsche Bank managers.

That did not happen with this report. It went to managers in New York who were part of the private bank, which caters to the ultrawealthy. They felt Ms. McFadden's concerns were unfounded and opted not to submit the report to the government, the employees said.

Ms. McFadden and some of her colleagues said they believed the report had been killed to maintain the private-banking division's strong relationship with Mr. Kushner.

After Mr. Trump became president, transactions involving him and his companies were reviewed by an anti-financial crime team at the bank called the Special Investigations Unit. That team, based in Jacksonville, produced multiple suspicious activity reports involving different entities that Mr. Trump owned or controlled, according to three former Deutsche Bank employees who saw the reports in an internal computer system.

Some of those reports involved Mr. Trump's limited liability companies. At least one was related to transactions involving the Donald J. Trump Foundation, two employees said.

Deutsche Bank ultimately chose not to file those suspicious activity reports with the Treasury Department, either, according to three former employees. They said it was unusual for the bank to reject a series of reports involving the same high-profile client.

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iehi-feed-64705 Mon, 06 May 2019 00:50:54 GMT Trump vows new tariff hike on Chinese goods, escalating tension in trade talks http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-05_TrumpvowsnewtariffhikeonChinesegoodsescalatingtensionintradetalk.html ``President Donald Trump dramatically increased pressure on China to reach a trade deal by announcing on Sunday he would hike U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods this week and target hundreds of billions more soon.

The move marked a major escalation in trade tensions between the world's two largest economies and a shift in tone from Trump, who cited progress in talks as recently as Friday.

But a less than rosy update from United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, including details that China was pulling back from some commitments it made previously, prompted Trump's decision and jab on Twitter at Beijing.

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Financial markets reacted negatively. S&P 500 e-minis fell 1.6%, while Dow futures were down 420 points or 1.6%.

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New fines will now hang over those talks, assuming they take place as planned. Trump said tariffs on $200 billion of goods would increase to 25 percent on Friday from 10 percent, reversing a decision he made in February to keep them at the 10 percent rate after progress between the two sides.

The president also said he would target a further $325 billion of Chinese goods with 25 percent tariffs "shortly," essentially targeting all products imported to the United States from China.

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iehi-feed-64699 Fri, 03 May 2019 18:42:57 GMT Developers struggling to sell 'Billionaires' Row' apartments http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-03_DevelopersstrugglingtosellBillionairesRowapartments.html Swank apartments are begging for buyers on Manhattan's "Billionaires' Row" -- with more than 40% sitting unsold in towers that top out at 100 stories, The Post has learned.

Five years after the iconic One57 building became the city's first "supertall" residential skyscraper, only 84 of its 132 pricey condos have been bought -- leaving more than a third of them still on the market and none under contract, according to data compiled by leading appraiser and researcher Jonathan Miller.

Six other nearby buildings have as much as 80% of their units available, the figures show, with the total value of all the unsold inventory estimated by one analyst at between $5 billion and $7 billion.

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Lenz said the high prices were caused by a combination of factors, including the costs of property, construction, financing and high-end marketing -- and savvy developers who have clauses in their contracts that keep lenders from forcing them to drop prices, thereby cutting into their profits.

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iehi-feed-64697 Thu, 02 May 2019 19:10:45 GMT How a Little Money Laundering Can Have a Big Impact on Real Estate Prices | Wolf Street http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-05-02_HowaLittleMoneyLaunderingCanHaveaBigImpactonRealEstatePricesWolf.html iehi-feed-64677 Thu, 11 Apr 2019 14:52:53 GMT Trump Says U.S. Is Full, but Demographic Decline Is Real Threat http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-11_TrumpSaysUSIsFullbutDemographicDeclineIsRealThreat.html iehi-feed-64667 Mon, 08 Apr 2019 04:53:11 GMT Gold Bullion Latest News: China Adds for 4th Month http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-08_GoldBullionLatestNewsChinaAddsfor4thMonth.html China, the world's top gold producer and consumer, is facing signs of a slowing economy, even as progress is being made in trade negotiations with the U.S. The latest data from the PBOC indicate that the country has resumed adding gold to its reserves at a steady pace, much like the period from mid-2015 to October 2016, when the country boosted holdings almost every month. Should China continue to accumulate bullion at the current rate over 2019, it may end the year as the top buyer after Russia, which added 274 tons in 2018.

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Governments worldwide added 651.5 tons of bullion in 2018, the second-highest total on record, according to the World Gold Council. ... Spot gold fell for a second month in March even after the Federal Reserve signaled it would pause rate hikes, which led to a surge in equities instead.

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China has previously gone long periods without revealing increases in gold holdings. When the central bank announced a 57 percent jump in reserves to 53.3 million ounces in mid-2015, it was the first update in six years. The latest pause was from October 2016 until December last year.

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iehi-feed-64657 Tue, 02 Apr 2019 21:02:12 GMT Brexit votes: MPs fail to back (EIGHT ALTERNATIVE(!)) proposals again http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-02_BrexitvotesMPsfailtobackEIGHTALTERNATIVEproposalsagain.html Mrs May's plan for the UK's departure has been rejected by MPs three times. As a result of that failure, she was forced to ask the EU to agree to postpone Brexit from the original date of 29 March.

Meanwhile, Parliament took control of the process away from the government in order to hold a series of votes designed to find an alternative way forward.

Last week, eight options were put to MPs, but none was able to command a majority, and on Monday night, a whittled down four were rejected too.

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Those pushing for a customs union argued that their option was defeated by the narrowest margin, only three votes.

It would see the UK remain in the same system of tariffs - taxes - on goods as the rest of the EU - potentially simplifying the issue of the Northern Ireland border, but preventing the UK from striking independent trade deals with other countries.

Those in favour of another EU referendum pointed out that the motion calling for that option received the most votes in favour, totalling 280.

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iehi-feed-64655 Mon, 01 Apr 2019 20:49:42 GMT Crypto Is About To Look More Like Your Bank http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-04-01_CryptoIsAboutToLookMoreLikeYourBank.html Last month, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) proposed updated standards that would require virtual asset providers (VASPs), including cryptocurrency exchanges, not only to verify their customers' identities, but also to identify the recipients of their customers' transfers. FATF is an inter-governmental body that sets global standards relating to anti-money laundering and combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). Last year, it announced that member states would have to start regulating their virtual asset markets and signaled that more precise instructions would be coming in 2019.

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In most well-regulated jurisdictions, crypto exchanges already verify their customers' identities. This new FATF standard would mean that crypto exchanges would also need customers to name any person to whom they transfer funds. Assuming the recipient uses a digital wallet provided by another crypto exchange, the originating exchange will have to give the receiving exchange identifying information on the originating customer.

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As good as an approved wallet system might sound, it will likely push a significant amount of transactions out of the regulated, custodial service provider environment and into spaces where regulators and law enforcement have little reach. As I wrote last year, two crypto ecosystems are evolving; one above board and AML/CFT-compliant, and the other one underground and relatively anonymous. New decentralized exchanges, the experimental crypto trading platforms that usually do not verify customer identity, fall into the latter category, although it is possible to build compliance layers for them. Also, so-called "privacy coins" will likely proliferate more in the unregulated space.

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iehi-feed-64626 Sat, 09 Mar 2019 15:52:14 GMT Venezuela's Power Outage Draws Its Leaders Into Deeper Tensions http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-09_VenezuelasPowerOutageDrawsItsLeadersIntoDeeperTensions.html iehi-feed-64625 Fri, 08 Mar 2019 05:44:13 GMT Paul Manafort's 'Otherwise Blamess Life' of Crime http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-08_PaulManafortsOtherwiseBlamessLifeofCrime.html iehi-feed-64624 Thu, 07 Mar 2019 15:05:39 GMT Theresa May's Brexit vote is 'on a knife edge': Here's what experts predict http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-03-07_TheresaMaysBrexitvoteisonaknifeedgeHereswhatexpertspredict.html U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is facing a crunch series of votes this week that will determine the immediate course of Brexit and the U.K.'s relationship with the EU.

On Tuesday, lawmakers will vote for a second time on May's Brexit deal after initially rejecting it in January. If a simple majority of them don't approve the deal, they will then vote on whether they want to leave the 28-member bloc without a deal.

If they vote against a "no-deal" Brexit, they'll then have a vote on whether to extend Article 50 (which sets out the departure process) and delay Britain's departure which is currently set to take place on March 29.

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iehi-feed-64614 Thu, 28 Feb 2019 15:29:30 GMT Market dips as Trump-Kim summit dissolves; China economy slows http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-28_MarketdipsasTrumpKimsummitdissolvesChinaeconomyslows.html Official survey data published by China showed the country's manufacturing sector weakened again in February, raising concerns about the slowdown in the world's second largest economy.

The collapse of nuclear talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un also contributed to the sour mood among investors, especially in South Korea.

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iehi-feed-64602 Sun, 24 Feb 2019 00:07:09 GMT American Workers -- Even Well-To-Do Ones -- Increasingly Miserable http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-23_AmericanWorkersEvenWellToDoOnesIncreasinglyMiserable.html even in a boom economy, a surprising portion of Americans are professionally miserable right now. In the mid-1980s, roughly 61 percent of workers told pollsters they were satisfied with their jobs. Since then, that number has declined substantially, hovering around half; the low point was in 2010, when only 43 percent of workers were satisfied, according to data collected by the Conference Board, a nonprofit research organization. The rest said they were unhappy, or at best neutral, about how they spent the bulk of their days. Even among professionals given to lofty self-images, like those in medicine and law, other studies have noted a rise in discontent. Why? Based on my own conversations with classmates and the research I began reviewing, the answer comes down to oppressive hours, political infighting, increased competition sparked by globalization, an "always-on culture" bred by the internet -- but also something that's hard for these professionals to put their finger on, an underlying sense that their work isn't worth the grueling effort they're putting into it.

This wave of dissatisfaction is especially perverse because corporations now have access to decades of scientific research about how to make jobs better. "We have so much evidence about what people need," says Adam Grant, a professor of management and psychology at the University of Pennsylvania (and a contributing opinion writer at The Times). Basic financial security, of course, is critical -- as is a sense that your job won't disappear unexpectedly. What's interesting, however, is that once you can provide financially for yourself and your family, according to studies, additional salary and benefits don't reliably contribute to worker satisfaction. Much more important are things like whether a job provides a sense of autonomy -- the ability to control your time and the authority to act on your unique expertise. People want to work alongside others whom they respect (and, optimally, enjoy spending time with) and who seem to respect them in return.

And finally, workers want to feel that their labors are meaningful. "You don't have to be curing cancer," says Barry Schwartz, a visiting professor of management at the University of California, Berkeley. We want to feel that we're making the world better, even if it's as small a matter as helping a shopper find the right product at the grocery store. "You can be a salesperson, or a toll collector, but if you see your goal as solving people's problems, then each day presents 100 opportunities to improve someone's life, and your satisfaction increases dramatically," Schwartz says.

This was a predictable consequence of an increasingly unstable, insecure economy. There is really no refuge from it; even the rich know they have to always be searching for the next "score" (the middle class and below obviously have it even worse -- but with the meso-rich feeling the pain, at least the problem is becoming impossible to ignore). At this site, this is the sort of thing we've expected as a consequence of the long-run gutting of the financial economy, with low interest rates and disincentives to save and invest in long-term, stable enterprises (VC money and credit cards are NOT a suitable substitute for traditional commercial and merchant banking).

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iehi-feed-64582 Wed, 13 Feb 2019 00:03:52 GMT Bill Gates: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wealth tax idea misses the point (+SICK MMT BURN) http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-12_BillGatesAlexandriaOcasioCortezwealthtaxideamissesthepointSICKMM.html Instead, he said, lawmakers should focus on things like the estate tax, taxes on capital and Social Security. His view may be more closely aligned with Sen. Elizabeth Warren's proposed tax policy that focuses on taxing net worth on households worth more than $50 million.

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Gates.. also ripped the increasingly popular modern monetary theory... The theory, also known as MMT, dismisses concerns about sovereign debt since countries that print their own currency can't really run out of money. "That is some crazy talk," Gates told The Verge.

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iehi-feed-64579 Tue, 12 Feb 2019 09:28:22 GMT Reason #437 to own gold: The Fed wants Negative Interest Rates http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-12_Reason437toowngoldTheFedwantsNegativeInterestRates.html ... after a 20% drop in US stocks, the Fed has taken its foot off the pedal. But the people still want more... Both the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan were supposed to start tightening policy and raising rates... now, they are both considering cutting interest rates even deeper into negative territory.

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The President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis thinks current interest rates are "too restrictive." He too wants lower rates.

The San Francisco Fed agrees -- they were singing the praises of negative interest rates in a recent research paper, saying they would have helped the economy recover even faster after 2008.

And SocGen economist Albert Edwards thinks the US will see negative interest rates and helicopter money (meaning central banks will print money and give it directly to the people) during the next recession.

Now that the public is once again being reminded that the Fed and its cohorts have no credibility, let's see if hard assets come back, as they should...

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iehi-feed-64573 Tue, 05 Feb 2019 04:59:14 GMT Federal prosecutors issue sweeping subpoena for documents from Trump inaugural committee, a sign of a deepening criminal probe http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-04_FederalprosecutorsissuesweepingsubpoenafordocumentsfromTrumpinau.html ``Federal prosecutors in New York on Monday delivered a sweeping request for documents related to donations and spending by President Trump's inaugural committee, a sign of a deepening criminal investigation into activities related to the nonprofit organization.

A wide-ranging subpoena served on the inaugural committee Monday seeks an array of documents, including all information related to inaugural donors, vendors, contractors, bank accounts of the inaugural committee and any information related to foreign contributors to the committee, according to a copy reviewed by The Washington Post.

Only U.S. citizens and legal residents can legally donate to a committee established to finance presidential inaugural festivities.

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The subpoena -- issued by the U.S. attorney's office in the Southern District of New York -- indicates that prosecutors are investigating crimes related to conspiracy to defraud the United States, mail fraud, false statements, wire fraud and money laundering.

The subpoena also specifically seeks all communications with one donor, Los Angeles venture capitalist Imaad Zuberi, as well as the firm with which he is affiliated, Avenue Ventures. The company donated $900,000 to the inaugural committee, records show.

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The committee was chaired by real estate developer Tom Barrack Jr., a longtime friend of Trump's. Barrack, who is not mentioned by name in the subpoena, declined to comment.

The request for documents, first reported by ABC News, is a sign of another widening legal headache for Trump, whose business, personal charitable foundation and campaign are all under investigation by state and federal authorities.

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At Manafort's trial in Virginia in August, [Rick] Gates testified that it was "possible" that he stole money from the inaugural committee by submitting false expense reports for his work.

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iehi-feed-64571 Mon, 04 Feb 2019 21:49:44 GMT Huawei Sting Offers Rare Glimpse of U.S. Targeting Chinese Giant http://implode-explode.com/viewnews/2019-02-04_HuaweiStingOffersRareGlimpseofUSTargetingChineseGiant.html

The sample looked like an ordinary piece of glass, 4 inches square and transparent on both sides. It'd been packed like the precious specimen its inventor, Adam Khan, believed it to be--placed on wax paper, nestled in a tray lined with silicon gel, enclosed in a plastic case, surrounded by air bags, sealed in a cardboard box--and then sent for testing to a laboratory in San Diego owned by Huawei Technologies Co. But when the sample came back last August, months late and badly damaged, Khan knew something was terribly wrong. Was the Chinese company trying to steal his technology?

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This investigation, which hasn't previously been made public, is separate from the recently announced grand jury indictments against Huawei. On Jan. 28, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged the company and its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, with multiple counts of fraud and conspiracy. In a separate case, prosecutors in Seattle charged Huawei with theft of trade secrets, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice, claiming that one of its employees stole a part from a robot, known as Tappy, at a T-Mobile US Inc. facility in Bellevue, Wash. "These charges lay bare Huawei's alleged blatant disregard for the laws of our country and standard global business practices," Christopher Wray, the FBI director, said in a press release accompanying the Jan. 28 indictments. "Today should serve as a warning that we will not tolerate businesses that violate our laws, obstruct justice, or jeopardize national and economic well-being." Huawei has denied the charges.

If the new investigation bears fruit, it could, along with the indictments, bolster the Trump administration's effort to block Huawei from selling equipment for fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks in the U.S. and allied nations. The U.S. believes Huawei poses a national security threat, in part, because it could build undetectable backdoors into 5G hardware and software, allowing the Chinese government to spy on American communications and wage cyberwarfare. Huawei has said this is political posturing aimed at harming a Chinese company, and skeptics have pointed out that the T-Mobile allegation has since been settled in civil court and concerns events that played out more than a half-decade ago. "If Tappy is as far as they've gotten on [intellectual property] theft, that seems to be pretty thin gruel," Adam Segal, a cybersecurity expert at the Council on Foreign Relations told the Washington Post recently.

... if the government does conclude that Akhan was attacked, that a Chinese multinational really did target a tiny Chicago company with no revenue and no customers (as of yet), it would show just how far and wide Huawei is willing to go to steal American trade secrets. "I think they're identifying technologies that are key to their road map and going after them no matter what the size or scale or status of the business," Khan says. "I wouldn't say they're discriminating."''

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