Huawei finds itself at the center of a trade war between Beijing and Washington as the Trump administration grows suspicious of the Chinese company's growing global significance.
Rabat – Although the United States banned the supply of US-made equipment to Huawei, claiming that it used international networks for espionage purposes, the company stated that its 5G network would not be affected and that it had prepared precautionary measures in anticipation of such a move.
President Trump has recently signed an executive order to ban American companies from dealing with any foreign telecommunication technology providers listed in the blacklist of companies posing a threat to the US national security.
As a result of the executive order, Google announced that it will stop doing business with Huawei by cutting it off from Android services to comply with the US government’s trade blockade.
This does not mean that Huawei will no longer use Android but it will be deprived of getting earlier access to Google software updates.
Google uses an open source for its Android operating system called the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which means that anyone can use it.
Huawei used to get access to the software update months before its official launch. When Huawei receives the update it modifies the standard Android experience with EMUI/MUI and launches updates several months after Google’s Pixel smartphones receive updates.
The Chinese company will now provide its own updates from AOSP to its device, rather than Google’s updates.
Huawei users in China are already banned from using Google’s various services, such as Gmail, google map, youtube, etc.
Outside China, however, Huawei users enjoy using Google applications.
It is unclear whether Huawei users will experience a noticeable delay in receiving Android version updates.
Android said in a statement that existing Huawei smartphones will continue to benefit from services like Google Play and security from Google Play Protect.
For Huawei users’ questions regarding our steps to comply w/ the recent US government actions: We assure you while we are complying with all US gov’t requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device.
— Android (@Android) May 20, 2019
US chipmakers firms such as Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, and Broadcom have also announced cutting ties with Huawei for the time being.
Huawei has already anticipated the US move to include telecoms companies in the trade blockade. Subsequently, Huawei has been working on developing its own operating system, as part of its ‘plan B.’
The Chinese telecom company is developing the same software used in its smartwatches.
The ban would also fall heavily on Huawei’s MateBook line of laptops, which use US-made chips and Microsoft’s Windows.
Origin of the ban
Huawei has emerged as a telecommunication and technology leader in recent years, competing with South Korea’s Samsung and America’s Apple.
The Chinese company is known for making routers and other telecommunication devices and has become the world’s second smartphones seller.
According to the Washington Post, the move is likely due to US concerns about having its western allies’ sensitive information vulnerable to supposed Chinese infiltration. As the Chinese giant’s activities grow, the US and the Trump government’s concerns grew with it.
The U.S. concerns may be explained by the 2017 Chinese law requiring Huawei and all other firms to cooperate with Chinese government intelligence agencies.
However, the Chinese government has urged the US to prove that China uses Huawei technology to spy on other countries networks.
The company was founded by a former Chinese military officer and acquired support from the government to achieve such success.
What is on stake for telecommunication future?
Huawei has been working on developing the next generation of the telecommunication network, 5G, relying on components from at least 30 US firms.
Huawei said that this does not present a problem at all and that the 5G network won’t be affected by the US restrictions.
The company also said that it has stockpiled 12 months of equipment from the U.S. firms in anticipation of such a move.
In an interview with Chinese state-owned broadcaster CCTV on Tuesday, Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei said that “Huawei’s 5G will absolutely not be affected.” He added that “in terms of 5G technologies, others won’t be able to catch up with Huawei in two or three years.”
Zhengfei added that the US government was underestimating Huawei’s capabilities.
Meanwhile, President Trump has so far failed to convince America’s European allies to take similar steps against the Chinese company.
As concerns emerged right after the executive order that an immediate ban on Huawei would have far-reaching unintended consequences on American third parties, the White House decided to slightly overrule the executive order. Washington lately announced that the US Commerce Department will allow Huawei to trade with American companies for the next three months.
For its part, China says it is poised to throw it geopolitical weight behind Huawei to help the company defend its “legitimate rights.”