Troubles brewing for Huawei after US ban

DHARAMSALA, 20 May: In yet another significant blow to Chinese tech giant Huawei, it stands to lose access to some Google apps in its new designs of smartphones.

Google has barred phone maker Huawei from some updates to the Android operating system, dealing a blow to the Chinese firm, BBC reports.

The move comes after the Trump administration added Huawei to a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with unless they have a licence, the report said.

The Trump administration is understood to have added Huawei to its “entity list” which bans the company from acquiring technology from US firms without government approval last Wednesday.

The development may mean slow death to Huawei as the company’s American suppliers are cutting off their dealings with Huawei after the US government’s edict banned them from doing business with the Chinese company.

Intel, Qualcomm, and Broadcom, three of the world’s leading chip designers and suppliers, are cutting off their dealings with Huawei, effective immediately, the Bloomberg reported.

Employees across the major US chipmakers have been informed that their companies will freeze their supply deals with Huawei until further notice, the report added.

While Huawei has declined to comment over the move, Google has reportedly said in a statement that it was “complying with the order and reviewing the implications.”

As it stands now, the existing Huawei smartphone users will be able to update apps and push through security fixes, as well as update Google Play services but not after Google launches the next version of Android later this year, it may not be available on Huawei devices.

While Huawei can still use the version of the Android operating system available through an open source licence, future Huawei devices stand to miss out on apps such as YouTube and Maps. The experts are of the view that it will greatly hamper Huawei’s business.

“The move by Google would have big implications for Huawei’s consumer business”, Ben Wood, from the CCS Insight consultancy, a leading research and advisory company focused on the mobile and wireless sector around the world has said.

The development came amid growing concern from Western countries, led by the US about the company’s involvement in 5G telecoms infrastructure across the world over claims the firm could be compelled to assist in Chinese state intelligence work. Though Huawei has denied any improper links to the Chinese government or that it is collecting data on their behalf, it thrust into the international spotlight after the company’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou was arrested in Canada on December 1.

Huawei is said to have close links with the Chinese military, as its founder Ren Zhengfei was a former officer at the People’s Liberation Army, besides selling cell phones, it also sells equipment that is part of the global roll-out of the fifth-generation (5G) mobile networks which experts say could be used for undetected surveillance or intelligence gathering by the communist regime.

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