With the recent failed trade negotiations between the US and China, The Trump administration last week added Huawei to a trade blacklist because the company “is engaged in activities that are contrary to U.S. national security or foreign policy interest,” banning American firms from selling to Huawei without special approval from the government. It’s in full effect now and all the major companies like Google, Intel, Nvidia, Microsoft, etc will be cutting ties with Huawei after the 90 day exemption time.
The past and present users of Huawei and Honor devices will stop getting updates for Google services after 90 days. Until then, they will get software updates. So, the company got 90 days to build almost everything from scratch. But Huawei seems to be confident about it and addresses that the 90-day relief is not required. As we all know, Chinese consumers never got used to the Google ecosystem. They had their own giant websites like Baidu, Alibaba, JD, Tencent and a lot more. But for consumers outside China who depend a lot on Google, directly or indirectly, has to suffer a lot in this change. Also, Huawei is known as the king of telecommunication services. They provided better networking systems all around the world. With this ban, all the rural places in the US who relied on Huawei for telecommunication will face a hard time changing to new companies.
Revival of the company
Although, Huawei can cope up with its hardware needs elsewhere, like they got their Qualcomm equivalent processor chips, for example, the Kirin 980 chip in Huawei P30 pro. These chips are really fast and got better performance than many Qualcomm chips. But still, they rely on these companies for other several background processes.
Displays, Cameras and chips.
Displays and cameras are already supplied to Huawei from companies like Samsung and BOE technology for displays and Sony for cameras. These are South Korean and Japanese companies so there’s no need to worry about the wonderful display and camera of their premium flagships. The other chips and motherboard will be supplied by another South Korean company called SK Hynix. Huawei’s own chip company, HiSilicon, is in the mix, too. The audio chip is built by HiSilicon, along with with the RF transceiver for 2G, 3G, and 4G connections, and various power-management chips.
Software being the major problem which is not yet resolved by the company has to be totally flipped over. the AOSP, Core OS of Android is open source, so they can still use it as the backbone of the software in their handles. But, everything else other than that cannot be used by their mobiles, like play store services, Google play services, almost all background services which are very essential for all mobile users who got much used to the Android ecosystem will be removed from the new lineup of mobiles. The present mobiles which are being used by people have two options.
One, to keep the recent version of all google services without updates.
Or, Two, Remove the current software and within 90 days, implement almost everything which is totally new.
Either of the options is really bad. Getting people to use their own app store, which if not has the same experience as the play store, is really really tough from their side.
What should the company overcome?
The problem for Huawei is that most of the essential applications and favorite apps are from US companies. The top 20 apps in the app store are most likely from a US company. If there’s no Google, then there will be no
Gmail, Calendar, Google Maps, Waze, YouTube, or Photos. Facebook is a US company. Whatsapp is a sub-brand of Facebook. Snapchat is a US company. Many everyday apps like Amazon, Uber, Pandora, Soundcloud, Tinder, Twitter, Netflix, etc are from US companies which will be removed.
Gamers would be missing out on apps from Discord, Twitch, Valve, Blizzard, Epic, EA, and King. You’re probably better off listing apps that aren’t from US companies. In which case Spotify and Mojang are from Sweden, Gameloft is French, and Tiktok is Chinese. That’s the most I could come up with from top app lists.
Buying a Huawei phone would also mean living with the continual fear that the hot new app would not be available on your device, just because of the country of origin. A phone with no US apps, if that is the way the order will be interpreted, would be a tough sell.
Huawei’s president, Ren Zhengfei, said to media yesterday that Huawei does not care much about the 90-day relief. Anyway, they have made full preparations for the ban. He thanked Google and other US companies for these years cooperation and ask people not to blame Google as they have to stick to the laws. He also said US gov underestimated Huawei ‘s capability. Mobile phones are not the main portion of their profit. They are gonna survive this, continue providing excellent service to the whole world and lead the world’s 5G industry.
What can we look forward in the future?
On the hardware side, the company is safe. All the components can be bought from other manufacturers than US companies for mobile phones. But, as we all know, Huawei has been doing a lot of products other than mobile phones. Some of their laptops has incredible specs, but with this ban, Everything will be stopped, from powerful Intel Processors and GPUs to great Windows environment from Microsoft in laptops. It’s a huge downhill from here for laptops and other products other than mobile phones as predicted.
On the software side, The company CAN survive with the open source AOSP of Android. Its better than starting everything from scratch with totally new developers and an unfamiliar development environment. The biggest problem would be the distribution of apps if the executive order is interpreted to cover apps. Blocking US app developers from submitting to a Huawei app store would be an absolutely devastating blow for the company. No matter what kind of OS they will be implementing, it will be really tough to succeed in a market without Google services.
Hopefully, as we all know, it’s not the end of Huawei being a giant in this market. Renegotiations are possible and maybe the ban will be lifted just like what happened with the company ZTE. But, the real situation of Huawei will be known only after the 90-day relief period.