The United States has apparently chosen an arch-nemesis once again. After the Soviet Union/Russia and the Islamic world, it now has taken an aim at China, especially its imminently leading position in the world of technology.
After months, years of claims that Huawei, the largest Chinese smartphone manufacturer and an important provider of telecom infrastructure, is, in fact, spying for the Chinese government, US President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency on the matter, banning any and all American companies from doing business with it without a special mandate from the authorities. This decision has prompted many American companies to sever ties with the Chinese tech giant: Intel, Qualcomm, even Google immediately suspended their cooperation with them.
How will this affect the user
Google has retracted the license issued to Huawei, meaning that from now on, the Chinese manufacturer will only be able to use the open-source part of Android on its phones, without access to the underlying Google services. This means that there will be no Play Store, no Gmail, no Google Drive, and the list could go on and on. Make no mistake: the changes will absolutely not affect those already using Huawei phones – it only refers to phones that will be manufactured from now on.
Can you live without the Play Store? Well, of course – there are many alternatives. You won’t have to give up playing your favorite games and Betway online betgames, you won’t have to live without your favorite apps if you have a Huawei phone. For one, the company has its own app marketplace called “App Gallery” that works just like its Google-run counterpart, and there are more than enough sources on the internet from where any and all app can be downloaded.
How will the ban affect Huawei
When it comes to its smartphones, Huawei will probably feel the effects of the ban but they won’t be as devastating – at least in the short term – as some predict. The Shenzen-based manufacturer has probably been preparing for a similar turn of events, given that it was the target of espionage claims for years. The company has its own line of chips to be used in its smartphones, it has been working for a proprietary operating system for a while now to reduce its reliance on Google in case of issues like the current one.
When it comes to its telecom infrastructure sales, though, it is hard to tell how this ban will affect it in the long run.
Prepare for China’s response
“China will take all the necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights of Chinese companies” was the official response to Donald Trump’s latest salvo in the US-Chinese trade war. There is no telling what this covers but I guess, we’ll find out pretty soon. Some expect China to ban the sale of Apple products as a response to America singling out its biggest smartphone maker, and this would be a major strike for the American smartphone maker – the company’s sales are already decreasing in China, and a ban would take billions out of its proverbial pockets.
China can retaliate against the US in many other ways, though, unrelated to telecommunications. For one, the Asian powerhouse could suspend its US Treasury purchases or sell their bonds, thus weakening the currency – China is the biggest holder of U.S. Treasury’s bonds today. Whatever they will choose to do, it will likely turn the trade negotiations between the two countries into a hard deal to strike.