Huawei claims friction with Google won't affect customers in Australia

Ann Santiago
May 22, 2019

The company's price point is already very competitive, but some users might decide to pay more for the convenience of using Google's products and therefore buy other phones instead, which is why it's so important to roll out replacement apps and educate people about the merits of digital multipolarity so that they feel part of something much larger than themselves when buying Huawei's products. Not so for Huawei: not only has it been developing its own mobile operating system since 2012 to break dependence on Google's Android, but it already makes half the chips used in its devices.

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei struck a defiant tone Tuesday against United States attempts to block his company's global ambitions, saying the USA "underestimates" the telecom giant's strength. "We are discussing emergency relief measures", he added, without giving details.

So, in short, as things stand right now, for the next three months, Huawei can continue sourcing components and code from the U.S. to maintain smartphones, switches, base stations and other gear already in customers' hands.

Liu said Huawei did not blame Google for its decision and that it was too early to say what the consequences will be. However, the company would be barred from transferring hardware or software directly to Huawei.

"Basically, this is a very clear attempt to cripple Huawei", he told Al Jazeera from Beijing, warning, however, of potential "disastrous consequences" for the profits of some U.S. tech giants. The Trump administration's sanctions against Huawei have begun to bite even though their dimensions remain unclear.

"Now it is happening to Huawei".

Abraham Liu, Huawei's envoy in Brussels, played up what he said were his firm's common interests with Europe and pledged to go the "extra mile" to ease European Union security concerns over rolling out 5G technology. The company has a close relationship with the Chinese government, prompting concerns about spying.

The 90-day grace period announced Monday by Washington could be extended.

The reprieve is meant to give telecom operators that rely on Huawei equipment time to make other arrangements, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement on Monday. Companies including Google that supply software can continue to provide updates and cooperation in global 5G network standards planning can also continue.

On Monday, the U.S. Department of Commerce issued a 90-day exemption on the trade restrictions, which prevented Huawei from purchasing products from U.S. companies unless it had U.S. government approval.

After the 90-day period, provided there isn't an extension, USA companies will not be allowed to engage in trade with Huawei and 68 of its affiliates without permission from Uncle Sam.

At the same time, President Donald Trump signed an executive order forbidding USA companies from using telecommunications equipment made by foreign companies that the US government considers national-security threats. "We're a football in between this trade war", he told the BBC.

Apple is Huawei's main American rival in smartphones and its iPhones are assembled in China.

The companies on the list are deemed to be engaged in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.

"This is not just an attack against Huawei". Business groups say Chinese officials are trying to reassure American companies they are welcome despite the tariffs war. In the first quarter of 2019, over 53 million Huawei phones were sold, according to the company.

Monday's announcement said the authorization was created as a temporary general license, in effect until August 19.

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