Answers to basic questions about the “blockade of Huawei” by US authorities and companies, as well as its consequences for users.
May 19, Google suspended cooperation with Huawei, associated with the provision of licensed developments in the field of hardware and software. This is due to the inclusion of Huawei in the black list of the US Department of Commerce: the decision is considered part of the “ technological cold war ” with China.
Blacklisting prevents US companies from conducting transactions without government permission. How long will Huawei stay on the black list is unknown.
But the “blockade of Huawei” goes beyond the US-China relationship. Google’s actions directly concern the operation of Android, the main OS for Huawei smartphones. The American company essentially imposes a number of restrictions on the Chinese manufacturer, which greatly complicate the life of Huawei. Among them:
- Huawei smartphones will no longer receive future Android updates and security updates;
- Huawei smartphones will no longer have access to Google services, including Google Play, Gmail and YouTube.
Who joined the “blockade”
Following Google, chip makers Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx and Broadcom announced totheir employees that they would not supply the necessary Huawei components “until further orders.”
Now the company will have to either look for new suppliers, or switch to its own chips, or wait for the situation to be resolved. Huawei is already using HiSilicon Kirin chips in Mate smartphones.
What does this mean for Huawei
In the first quarter of 2019, Huawei sold approximately 59 million smartphones worldwide — all on Android. China accounts for about half of sales, which means that the second half of the company’s business is at risk. In the fall of 2018, Huawei for the first time became the leader in sales of smartphones in Russia for the quarter.
Huawei has access to AOSP – an open version of Android, which is available to all developers. In theory, Huawei can switch to it and even deliver system updates to users, albeit with a significant delay. But the issue with blocked Google services does not solve it.
Without supplies from Intel and Qualcomm, the Chinese company will also have a hard time. According to Bloomberg, Huawei has a supply of chips and other necessary components for its devices, which is enough for about three months. The company prepared for the blockade for about a year. But journalists have found that some European chip makers are not going to sever relations with the Chinese.
What owners of Huawei smartphones need to know
The main thing is that Google promised that the current users of the devices of the Chinese company would hardly suffer. In the already purchased smartphones, the main Google services will continue to work, including the Google Play digital store and the integrated Google Play Protect antivirus. The same applies to smartphones that are already shipped to warehouses.
For Huawei users' questions regarding our steps to comply w/ the recent US government actions: We assure you while we are complying with all US gov't requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device.— Android (@Android) May 20, 2019
At the same time, Google representatives did not specify whether Huawei smartphones will receive Android updates. Most likely, the version of Android Q, which is in the testing stage, will not appear on the devices of the Chinese company. Also, phones may stop receiving security updates that eliminate found vulnerabilities. But the Chinese company was assured that security updates would arrive on time.
The main problems will begin with smartphones that will be released after the break in relations between Google and Huawei.
What will happen to the brand Honor
Formally, Honor is engaged in a mobile unit, which practically does not overlap with the unit of Huawei. But the brand is still owned by Huawei and uses their technology. So all bans are likely to affect him.
The Verge suggested that Google might not extend the “blockade” to Honor. The publication turned to the company for comment, but did not receive a response.
What will happen to Huawei laptops
The Chinese company has a relatively successful line of laptops on Windows. Western media believe that Microsoft will soon join the “blockade”, because due to the inclusion in the “black list” companies can no longer cooperate. Forbes is already discussing the possible transition of Huawei to Linux.
How have reacted in Huawei
In the first response to the actions of Google, representatives of the Chinese company noted their role in the growing popularity of Android phones around the world. Also, Huawei confirmed that the devices they already purchased will be left with access to Google services.
Huawei has made a significant contribution to the development and growth of the Android system around the world. As one of the key partners, we have worked closely with the open source Android platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefited both users and the industry.
We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem to provide comfort to users around the world.from Huawei statement
Western media saw in the words about the “sustainable ecosystem” hints of creating an alternative to Android within a Chinese company. Rumors about this go a long time ago: the company allegedly bothered to develop a “plan B” back in 2012, after the first investigation by the US authorities against Huawei. In March 2019, company representatives confirmed the data on the spare OS. This does not eliminate the problem with access to Google services.