Huawei vs US Government: The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the US Department of Commerce has added the Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and its affiliates to the entity list which includes a list of companies and people that are considered a national security risk by the US Government.
The recent news revealed that Google has suspended some of its business with Huawei which means that future phones from Huawei will continue to run on the public version of the Android OS, but won’t feature proprietary applications and services by Google. The much-hyped controversy got fired up when a Huawei employee got arrested over alleged spying but the allegation was dismissed by the company.
Now, Huawei will not be able to use Google’s non-open source products and services, but the existing Huawei phones will continue to run on Android. Huawei claims that it is independent of the government of China, while many countries have raised concerns that the company’s products could be used for surveillance by the Chinese government.
According to a Google spokesperson, the search engine giant will not be releasing security updates and technical support for the current version of the Android running on Huawei devices. The newer phones from Huawei will lose access to some of the popular Google services like Play Store, Gmail, Chrome Browser, and Youtube.
Various chip makers including Intel Corp., which is the main supplier of the server to Huawei, Xilinx Inc., Qualcomm Inc., which provide Huawei with processors and modems, and Broadcom Inc. have also announced that they will not supply new chips to Huawei till further notice. This suspension would act as huge fallback for Huawei and the extent of the impact on global markets is yet to be seen as the global chain will access the impact.
Commenting on the action, a spokesperson of Google said: “We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications. For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices. Huawei will only be able to use the public version of Android and will not be able to get access to the proprietary apps and services from Google.”
Also, the commerce department of the US announced recently that they had granted a 90-day window to mobile phone companies and internet broadband service providers to work with Huawei to keep existing networks online and protect users from security risks. Google also cleared that they will send software updates to Huawei phones which uses its Android operating system till 19th August.
A google’s spokesperson told: “Keeping phones up to date and secure is in everyone’s best interests and this temporary license allows us to continue to provide software updates and security patches to existing models for the next 90 days.”
It means that after 90 days the person owing Huawei’s smartphone will not get any later versions of the android, whatever software versions these phones have are the one that they’ll have for the rest of their lives. The US commerce department said that they would assess whether to extend the temporary exemptions beyond 90 days or not.
Huawei was the second-largest smartphone maker by global market share in the first quarter this year. They spent $70 billion buying hardware components in 2018, and about $11 billion went to US companies including Qualcomm, Intel, Micron Technology, and many more.
Lots of components of Huawei smartphones come from US companies like Gorilla Glass, Flash Storage, Radios etc. A report by Bloomberg shows that Huawei has built at least a three-month stockpile of the parts they would like to use ahead of the Trump ban. But in the longer term, Huawei would struggle to make the parts available to its customers.
But still, it does not seem ideal to use a phone without Google, without Android, Play Store, YouTube, Gmail and other Google applications. Though Huawei has their own processors which they provide in some of their smartphones but still without Google applications it won’t seem habitual for the users to use their Huawei smartphones. It would be a tough task for Huawei to launch their own play store and make people get used to it.
Recently the US President, Donald Trump said while addressing the press that: “Huawei is something that’s very dangerous. You look at what they’ve done from a security standpoint, from a military standpoint, it’s very dangerous. So it’s possible that Huawei even would be included in some kind of a trade deal. If we made a deal, I could imagine Huawei being possibly included in some form, some part of a trade deal.”
Well, the problems for Huawei does not seem to settle soon in the coming future, but Huawei is among the world’s top smartphone making companies and they have delivered some of the most amazing smartphones in the market. Not only that, Huawei has many more businesses too which would surely be affected by this ban. The picture of this whole scenario is constantly changing day by day and it does not look good for Huawei at all.
The founder and CEO of Huawei Corp., Ren Zhengfei in a recent interview said: “I don’t know what the motives of US are but I don’t think it matters much if we don’t operate in the US market for the time being, because we couldn’t quite push into its market before. As for whether or not we can enter the US market, it’s not important to us because, without the US market, we are still the number one in the World. We don’t need the US market desperately. Does Huawei have that much value? Huawei doesn’t have that much value to play a part in China-US negotiations. I liked the US a lot when I was young. Now I still like the US. If you read through the corporate document I issued in the past several decades, you’ll find them full of the American spirit. So US politicians are holding on to the wrong thing for leverage. The US should have confidence. There is no way a “little rabbit” like Huawei is able to subvert an industry. So the US should be more friendly towards Huawei.”
On the security of Huawei products, he said: “Our progress is continuous. It’s normal to discover problems because we are not saying that our equipment is problem free. We are saying that our equipment doesn’t have any malicious issue. The sovereignty of a network belongs to the state of the telecom operator.”
He also said that he trusts in the court but there must be some evidence to prove that they are involved in any such activity. Well, only the coming days will reveal what future does Huawei have with the US companies and how the Huawei vs US Government controversy would affect the market.