Facebook Acknowledges Data-Sharing Pact with Chinese Companies

Facebook has admitted that it had a data sharing agreement with four Chinese technology companies, including one considered a national security threat by the U.S. intelligence community, raising new concerns about the social media giant’s handling of its consumer’s personal information.

The admission by the U.S.-based social media giant Tuesday came two days after The New York Times revealed that Facebook had struck special data-sharing deals with as many as 60 device makers, including Huawei, Lenovo, OPPO and TCL, to make it easier for Facebook users to access their accounts on a wide array of devices.

U.S. intelligence officials have raised concerns for years about Huawei, fearing the Chinese government could demand access to data stored on their devices or servers. The concerns prompted the U.S. military to ban the sale of Huawei smartphones on its bases.

Francisco Varela, Facebook’s vice president of mobile partnerships, said Tuesday that the data sharing deals with Huawei and the other Chinese companies “were controlled from the get-go.”

Facebook has been under intense criticism after it was disclosed that tens of millions of users’ personal information was accessed by the British-based political consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica. The company has also been under fire after revealing in September that Russians, using fake names, used social media to try to influence voters ahead of the 2016 U.S. election.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is investigating whether Facebook violated a 2011 consent agreement over a previous ruling that found Facebook had misled consumers over its data-use policies.

Source: VOA news

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White House plans to release final list of Chinese goods subject to tariffs by June 15

The White House said Tuesday it will release next month a list of $ 50 billion of Chinese goods that will be subject to a 25% tariff.

The list will be released by June 15 and tariffs will be imposed “shortly thereafter,” the White House said in a statement.

In addition, the White House said it would announce specific investment restrictions and export controls for Chinese entities. The moves come as part of a probe into Chinese violations of U.S. intellectual property.

The announcement comes as Washington and Beijing are in the midst of trade discussions, with both sides hoping to avert a trade war. President Donald Trump last week suggested a deal with China would need a “different structure” even as talks continue.

The administration will issue proposed rules on investments related to Chinese entities by June 30.

Source: Marketwatch

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Trump Meets Chinese Vice Premier Amid Tough Trade Talks

President Donald Trump stepped into a round of tough trade talks with China on Thursday after the White House confirmed a meeting between the U.S. president and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.

The two world powers are taking part in a second series of trade negotiations that started Thursday. The initial talks were held in Beijing two weeks ago.

Speaking to reporters before his meeting with Liu, Trump repeated his strong dislike for previous deals between Washington and Beijing.

“The United States has been ripped off for many, many years by its bad trade deals. I don’t blame China; I blame the leadership of this country from the past,” Trump told reporters before a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

“China has taken out hundreds of billions of dollars a year from the United States, and I explained to President Xi [Jinping] we can’t do that anymore,” Trump added.

The talks are aimed at “rebalancing the United States-China bilateral economic relationship,” according to the White House. They are also aimed at avoiding a full-blown trade war after the two countries exchanged tariff threats in March.

Source: VOA news

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