'Plan B': Huawei's operating system headache after Android ban

Doris Richards
May 22, 2019

Last week, the U.S. Commerce Dept. said it had added Huawei to the dreaded Entity List, which was quickly followed by an executive order by President Trump that banned the company from doing business with U.S. companies on security grounds.

Embattled Chinese tech firm Huawei has accused the U.S. of "bullying" and said it is working with Google to fight back against potentially crippling trade restrictions.

Question: Does this mean that Huawei will speed up the development and deployment of its own operating system? On Tuesday, the US Commerce Department granted the Chinese tech giant a three-month general license to update existing devices, temporarily easing restrictions on Huawei's access to American components and software that go into its phones.

Last night, the company's CFO, Ren Zhengfei, said that the USA politicians underestimate Huawei's strength.

That's because on Friday, the Trump administration restricted American companies from selling to Huawei. But it seems like the same USA restrictions that would prevent Google from doing business with Huawei would also block US -based app makers from offering their wares through Huawei's devices.

A Vodafone spokesperson said: "We have seen the communication from Android and are waiting on an update to best advise our customers".

Trump said in a December interview with Reuters that he would intervene in US efforts to extradite Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou if doing so would help him reach a trade deal.

"The latest news on Huawei shows that there is still room for trade negotiations with China", said Aaron Clark, portfolio manager at GW&K Investment Management.

Half of chips used in Huawei equipment come from the USA and the other half are made by the Chinese company, he said.

The attack will also give the ordinary Chinese the impression that the U.S.is simply trying to limit their economic possibilities, according to the editorial.

The U.S. claims Huawei is a cybersecurity risk and has targeted it against the backdrop of a wider battle with China over economic and technological pre-eminence that has included tariffs on billions worth of trade and limits on business.

United States intelligence believes Huawei is backed by the Chinese military and that its equipment could provide Beijing's spooks with a backdoor into the communications networks of rival countries.

Timing of the US action raised questions about whether President Donald Trump is punishing the company in part to gain a negotiating edge with Beijing in a deepening clash over trade.

The US commerce department will also evaluate whether to extend the licence period after 90 days.

StarHub said that it has received a "small number of customer inquiries", but it has not received customer requests to "return or cancel orders of Huawei smartphones since the beginning of related news reports".

Other US tech suppliers - like Intel and Qualcomm, which provide crucial software and parts to Huawei phones and tablets - have also reportedly cut ties with the Chinese company.

As China looks to respond to President Donald Trump's move against Huawei, Apple makes a prominent potential target for retaliation. The company reported earlier its global sales rose 19.5% past year over 2017 to 721.2 billion ($105.2 billion). The unit is the Chinese company's biggest source of revenue, topping its key carrier business.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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