With Huawei on the ropes, the Trump administration yesterday granted the company a three-month postponement, allowing access to members and parts of the U.S. “necessary to maintain and support existing and currently fully operational networks and equipment, including software updates and patches.” All eyes then turned to Google to see if the company would examine the position when it would break ties with Huawei, denying the phone manufacturer access to the Google Play Store in future phones and the other advantages of being a Google licensee.
This morning; According to a report by CNBC, Google has announced that it will continue to work with Huawei for the next 90 days and has promised to send all updates to the company’s Android phones until August 19th.
On Thursday, the agency added Huawei and 68 affiliates to the list of Entities of the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). This prevents the Chinese manufacturer from obtaining parts and components of US origin without a license granted by the US government. This was done because Huawei is considered a threat to national security in the US. Because of a law in communist China that allows the government to ask the company to spy on its name.
Last year, Huawei spent $11 billion to buy supplies from US companies like Qualcomm, Micron Technologies and Intel. The company also relies on the software created by US companies to design their own chips. Although Huawei said it was preparing to be banned from accessing parts of the U.S. Chip experts say it will take a few years to be completely “self-sufficient” for Huawei. The company also claims to have developed its own alternative to the Android operating system.
The next 90 days are very important for Huawei
All this happens while the U.S. and China are in a trade war with the U.S. The recent increase in the tariff on Chinese imports worth $250 billion to 25% from 10%. China counterattacked with the US $60 billion in exports to China. While smartphones have escaped the tax so far, the next level of products imported from China that could be affected by a 25% tariff presumably includes such devices.
Huawei was the second smartphone manufacturer in the world in the first quarter, surpassing Apple and only Samsung. The company is expected to take Samsung’s first place next year, although it now depends on what happens after the 90-day exemption ends. In March, Huawei launched the high-end P30 line with the flagship Mate 30 series due for release in the second half of this year. It is unclear how this will affect the Huawei Mate X folding launch program. The $2,600 foldable phone was introduced in February with its launch starting this summer.
There are some who believes that the U.S. is using Huawei as a lever to ensure that China accepts concessions in a trade agreement that would end the current trade war. By placing Huawei in the entity list and receiving a short break from the Trump administration, it gives the Chinese government an idea of what could happen if a trade agreement is not reached. The next 90 days will be very important for Huawei, a company whose high-end phones have become very popular among many smartphone enthusiasts.
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