Technology / #ForbesTechnology

June 11, 2019,   8:30 AM

Concerns And Theories Continue As Huawei Prepares For Its US Ban

Hisham Ibrahim



In May, the US government ruled to ban Huawei from dealing with any US-based entity or corporate, by adding it to its “entity list”, with a caveat that allows US companies to have an extra 90-days to finish current deals or contracts.

Huawei could now be creating its own operating system for its devices, alongside its own Google Play alternative, with some media reports suggesting that it has been preparing for this since as early as 2012. Recently a report in the Financial Times claimed Google has warned US representatives that this could create a security risk in itself, as blocking official updates to Google Android software could make devices much easier to hack. The US-based tech company has allegedly asked for an exemption or extension.

Despite concerns, the US Supreme Court’s current ruling states that the Chinese giant is not allowed to deal with any US-based entity, whether concerning import, export, using technologies or even consultation. The court justified the decision by claiming that Huawei is a dangerous entity for US national security. The ruling did not exclude any type of relationship with Huawei, and the court did not publish or include any evidence for its claims.

Since its establishment in 1987, Huawei’s main goal has been to provide high-end technology for lower prices, and time has proved that to be a possible goal. For example, Huawei’s smartphone P30 Pro is sold for $799, while the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus—lower in some specs—is sold for $999. Apple’s iPhone Xs Max is sold for $1,099, with even lower specs than Samsung’s S10 Plus.

Huawei did not stop with smartphones and expanded to telecommunication technology by providing 3G and 4G technologies worldwide at prices lower than its competitors by 20-30%. The same goes for its tablets, laptops and routers. Huawei recently also released technologies in 5G telecommunications.

The timing of the ban could be seen as strategic, as the world heads towards 5G with Huawei considered to be a main player in providing the technology for prices lower than its main competitors, Ericson and Nokia.

The ban includes US-based companies but does not affect other companies in other regions. Worldwide, telecommunication companies are still signing with Huawei to implement 5G technology, including Russian company MTS, and other companies in 30 different countries, according to Huawei.

China announced it will take steps to support Huawei, starting with creating its own version of the entity list to ban American companies that follow the US ban. Many businesses in both countries could be affected, with loses potentially running into billions of dollars.

For many, the Huawei/US fight is less of a cybersecurity battle and more of an economic war. Huawei has shown it is not willing to cooperate with the US’s National Security Agency, and yet in recent years has become one of the top tech companies in the world, dominating many fields. Time will tell if the feud hurts Huawei, or sparks further international moves that continue to let it head for world tech domination.

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