As the trade war between the US and China deepens, technology companies like Huawei are facing the pinch because of their close relationship to the Chinese government. The recent cessation of trade with the Chinese technology manufacturer was lifted by the Trump administration for a 90-day window, allowing the company to breathe a little easier. However, if at the end of the window, the administration is unhappy with the existing arrangements, they can quickly shut the door on the Chinese tech giant.
The US government had famously blacklisted Huawei amidst rumors that the company was passing information directly to the Chinese government. At the time of the blacklist, a selection of products and services were exempted for sale to Huawei by US tech firms. This 90-day window impacts those select few products and services but leaves the vast majority of products still unavailable to the Chinese tech manufacturer.
Access to Android OS is a Problem
While most of the semiconductor companies that supply Huawei aren’t covered under the trade ban, the use of software is, and that means that Huawei handsets will no longer have access to the Android operating system. Android OS has penetrated markets around the world and losing it could significantly hurt Huawei’s ability to compete in western markets. However, the company isn’t looking at this as a problem and has already announced a proprietary operating system that will take Android’s place on the handsets if the trade ban were to continue.
Huawei remains China’s biggest phone maker, and in a statement, they noted that the extension, “won’t have a substantial impact on Huawei’s business either way.” President Trump hasn’t been consistent in his messages regarding the company, aside from a statement that the US should not be doing business with them. The President had signed an executive order in May allowing the Federal Trade Commission to explore whether or not the country should issue a ban on local telecom providers using Huawei hardware in their services.