Existing Huawei devices safe from Google app restrictions-Android

Wednesday, 22 May, 2019

Yes, the US Commerce Department eased that ban temporarily to allow Google to play ball, but Huawei isn't taking this sitting down: the Chinese tech giant is developing its own alternative to the Android operating system, and it might be ready as early as "fall" of this year, according to the CEO.

Huawei's relationship with the United States has been anything but smooth over the a year ago, but this past weekend saw the company take its biggest hit yet.

Huawei Technologies Ltd. relies on Google's Android operating system and US components suppliers for its smartphones, which are the second-biggest sellers globally.

Google chose to suspend ties with Huawei after the Trump administration added the Chinese company to a trade blacklist, as the administration considers the company to be a security threat.

The new authorization is meant to give telecommunications operators that rely on Huawei equipment time to make other arrangements, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement on Monday.

"In short, this license will allow operations to continue for existing Huawei mobile phone users and rural broadband networks", Ross said.

The United States is delaying restrictions on US technology sales to Chinese tech powerhouse Huawei in what it calls an effort to ease the blow on owners of its cellphones and smaller USA telecoms providers that rely on its networking equipment. China was expected to retaliate by restricting large United States companies and others' trade with China.

Out of $70 billion Huawei spent buying components in 2018, some $11 billion went to US firms including Qualcomm Inc, Intel Corp and Micron Technology Inc.

Zhengfei, however, seemed to brush off that reprieve in his Tuesday remarks, noting that: "The US 90-day temporary license does not have much impact on us". While Australia has also banned Huawei from its 5G plans, the USA has struggled to sway some countries, with Britain having reportedly approved a limited role for the Chinese company to help build a 5G network in the country.

In a separate interview in Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore, Huawei's Italy chief, Luigi De Vecchis, said Europe would set back its own efforts to develop 5G networks and to digitise its economies if it were to blacklist Huawei.

The move came amid an escalating dispute over trade practices between the United States and China. The U.S. military barred the phones from bases worldwide.

In a statement, Google said it was "complying with the order and reviewing the implications". But analysts say the ban threatens the company's very survival as it heavily relies on USA components.

Adding to its US troubles on Thursday, the US Commerce Department placed Huawei and 68 entities to an export blacklist, making it almost impossible for those listed to purchase goods made in the United States.