Business Briefs – February 18, 2019

China Accuses U.S. of Trying to Block Its Tech Development

BEIJING (AP) – China’s government on Monday accused the United States of trying to block the country’s industrial development by alleging that Chinese mobile network gear poses a cybersecurity threat to countries rolling out new internet systems.

And in a potential blow to the U.S.’s effort to rally its allies on the issue, British media reported that U.K. intelligence agencies found it’s possible to limit the security risks of using Chinese equipment in so-called 5G networks.

The U.S. argues that Beijing might use Chinese tech companies to gather intelligence about foreign countries. The Trump administration has pressured allies to shun networks supplied by Huawei Technologies, threatening the company’s access to markets for next-generation wireless gear.

The U.S. government is trying to “fabricate an excuse for suppressing the legitimate development” of Chinese enterprises, said the spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, Geng Shuang. He accused the United States of using “political means” to interfere in economic activity, “which is hypocritical, immoral and unfair bullying.”

Report: Honda to Shut U.K. Plant, Imperiling 3,500 Jobs

LONDON (AP) – Honda will close a car factory in western England with the potential loss of 3,500 jobs, British media and a local lawmaker said Monday, in another blow to a British economy made jittery by Brexit.

Sky News said the Japanese carmaker is to announce Tuesday that the Swindon plant will close in 2022. Honda makes its popular Civic model at the factory, 70 miles west of London.

Local lawmaker Justin Tomlinson confirmed the news in a series of tweets. He said he had spoken to Honda, and the company said the decision “is based on global trends and not Brexit as all European market production will consolidate in Japan in 2021.”