Alphabet Inc., a parent company of Google, ended all commercial relations with the Chinese company Huawei with immediate effect, according to the news agency Reuters. The decision affects all Huawei hardware and software. The second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world loses immediate access to all updates to the Android operating system. However, access to the operating system components that are under open source licenses is not affected.
As a result of this decision, Huawei smartphones sold outside of China will also lose access to other Google apps and services, such as Play Store, Gmail, Maps and Google Mobile Services. According to the Reuters source, there are still internal discussions about exactly which services are affected by this bloc.
Even though Huawei can still access the Android components available under an Open Source license (known as AOSP – Android Open Source Project), Google is likely to discontinue all support and any further cooperation with the Chinese manufacturer. There have been no comments made so far by Huawei or the US Department of Commerce.
The reason for the decision is a decree issued by U.S. President Donald Trump. It not only prevents US companies from buying hardware to expand the 5G network of companies like Huawei, but in principle tests all business relationships with the company.
The US government accuses the maker of smartphones and mobile phone equipment of spying for the Chinese government. Huawei strictly rejects these accusations. More recently, the company said that CEO Ren Zhengfei would dissolve Huawei if the Chinese government demanded that she spy on his behalf.
In March, the head of Huawei's smartphone division, Richard Yu, made it clear that he had his own operating system in reserve. If any situation arises where other operating systems (such as Android) can no longer be used, we will be prepared. Now, Huawei may actually have to use its own operating system.
Huawei responds to ban
We contacted Huawei for an official statement and received the following response, originally issued in German and translated by our team:
"Huawei has made significant contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android's leading global partners, we work closely with the open source platform to develop an ecosystem that benefits users and the industry.
Huawei will continue to provide security updates and services for all existing Huawei and Honor smartphones and tablets. This applies to devices sold and in stock worldwide.
We will continue to work on developing a secure and sustainable software ecosystem to provide the best possible user experience worldwide. "
Google makes a statement
Meanwhile, Google made it clear via Twitter that this restriction does not affect existing Huawei devices (such as the P30 Pro and P30 Lite, recently launched in Brazil). The Play Store and Google Play Play Protect will continue to work on these smartphones.
"Answering questions from Huawei users about our measures to comply with recent US government decisions: we guarantee that, while we are meeting all the requirements of the US government, services like Google Play and Google Play Protect will continue to work on their Huawei devices already existing "
Not only Google
Last night, the news that Google had ended its business relationship with Huawei caused a stir. It is now known that other large American companies are also planning to cut ties with the Chinese manufacturer.
Chip makers like Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx and Broadcom are said to have internally informed their employees that they will not supply Huawei for now, according to sources at the companies. This further marginalizes the world's largest network hardware vendor and the second largest smartphone maker after being blacklisted by the Trump administration on Friday.
Qualcomm provides Huawei processors and modems for its smartphones, while Intel is its main supplier of server chips. Xilinx sells reprogrammable chips and network components and Broadcom supplies components for network switches. Many of these components are also important for the expansion of 5G networks. Representatives of these manufacturers, however, have so far rejected a statement.
This not only disrupts the business of the American chip giants, but also delays the introduction of the 5G mobile communications network worldwide, including in China. The move is likely to have serious consequences not only for Huawei itself, but also for the global semiconductor industry, which depends on the world's second largest economy.
How long do Huawei reservations last?
In preparation for the current suspension of commercial relations, Huawei is estimated to have been stocking chips and other important components since mid-2018, while designing its own chips as alternatives. However, this stock is expected to last a maximum of three months. Huawei's leadership, however, assumes that this will be sufficient to resume trade relations with the US in the necessary areas.
What is the solution to this trade war? Share your opinion in the comments.
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