US president Donald Trump’s move to effectively ban Chinese telecommunications firms from doing business with American companies is going to impact both the nations and the global tech industry. Huawei has been added to the so called “Entity List” from Friday and this prevents it from buying parts or technology from US suppliers without government approval as its equipment is considered potential tools for Chinese espionage. ZTE was previously added to the Entity List and the manufacturer suffered greatly as a result, as it was forced to halt sales of many phones. But ZTE doesnt make its own chipsets and components. Huawei has its own chip company called HiSilicon and they said it has long been prepared for this eventuality.
Even though Huawei has their own chipset facility and Hisilicon produces chipsets and modems for many Huawei phones, including all of its flagship and mid-range models, they still makes use of chipsets from U.S. companies in some lower end phones and all of its laptops. I’m personally using a Huawei Matebook X Pro with an Intel i7 Processor and the new Matebooks are also around the corner. So the imagination that intel would stop working with huawei, could have a big impact on their superfast growing notebook business aswell. Beside Intel also Qualcomm is working on their very very powerful snapdragon chipset for laptops, but they are based in the US aswell…
But what about the Software ? Will there be no Android anymore ?
Beside Hardware also this ban affects the software side. In order to comply with the law, google had to take away huaweis license. In 2009 huawei joined the Open Handset Alliance. As part of its efforts was to promote a unified Android platform, OHA members are contractually forbidden from producing devices that are based on incompatible forks of Android. But now with the ban, this has changed. There have been rumours about a Huawei OS even earlier around the release of the Huawei Matebook X Pro, but back at this time Huawei insisted to cooperate with microsoft. I think even back at this time, Huawei already knew that this ban may come one day. This was also the time where Huawei started to really push their cloud service and build a big ecosystem around their products.
Huawei, which is the world’s second largest smartphone vendor based on shipments, said it will continue to develop a safe software ecosystem for its customers across the globe.
Huawei will also extend the support to Honor, a brand of smartphones it owns. Until this OS is ready to deploy, Huawei could rely on AOSP. AOSP stands for Android open source Project. It is the open source version of Android, AOSP, which comes stripped of Google Mobile Services, a suite for Google services such as Google Play Store, Gmail, and YouTube.
That’s just needed as an alternative, until huawei has released their OS which they have built in the case of an emergency situation. Also this is only a problem for new released Huawei devices like the new Mate series. Because Smartphones available rigth now like the P30 Series will receive all updates as google said.
Who will be hurt by this ban ?
It looks like Huawei has prepared the software for this event and this also has been shown by the big efforts in the last years of building their own huawei cloud services. In addition to Android, the U.S. government’s move has seen Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, and Broadcom reportedly pause supplying chips to Huawei until a resolution has been reached. But this ban has also negative impacts for the US: Apple, Intel and Qualcomm business could be impacted in the future in China, as they are both US companies. However, Chinese smartphone vendors also rely on Qualcomm’s chipset and if China bans or increases the tax on Qualcomm, it also wont be good for chinese comanies. So banning Huawei from buying component or software from the US companies, would surely impact Huawei’s global business and thus impact the overall industry as well. Huawei is buying more than $11 billion in goods and services from US companies each year, and also for the p30 series they bought enough materials to fit the demand, but right now we don’t know whats going to happen in the future. But we do know one thing for sure, it will also make the US suppliers suffer.
But what about 5G ?
It looked like this and the fast grow of Huawei to the 2nd biggest smartphone maker have affected thsi ban. Now Huawei’s 5G equipment is very affordable.
so while the US could use products from other vendors they are usually of higher cost. There are just 2 other really big players in this space – Ericsson and Nokia – and aren’t
American companies either, but not subject to the same sanctions. Really weird even though nokia smartphones are produced by hmdglobals factory and supplier foxconn in china. However the relationship between Huawei and countries in Europe is stable; but there is a possibility that in the future, more countries could join the US suit.
Australia also banned Huawei’s 5G equipment. But at this stage, I dont think that any major European country would ban Huawei, as its 5G solutions are cheaper and competitive compared to other player. All in all, its a big mess for the whole tech and mobile industry and its sad to see that politics can slow down the innovation and technical grow all around the globe.
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