The US-China trade war has just turned very sour for Huawei, the world’s second-biggest smartphone manufacturer and key 5G network equipment provider. Companies like Google, Intel, Broadcom, Xilinx, Qualcomm, and others, have suspended business with the Chinese maker, following an executive order by the President of the United States. This means any future smartphones will come without Google services or any sort of networking hardware.
Regarding current owners of Huawei smartphones, Google confirmed on Twitter the following
…services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device.
Although Huawei already manufactures its own flagship chips like Kirin 980 with the Balong 5000 modem for 5G connectivity, the company is heavily reliant on US equipment for cheaper devices that are the carrier rocket of the company towards its #2 spot on the smartphone market. According to an analyst, quoted by Bloomberg, Huawei “is heavily dependent on U.S. semiconductor products and would be seriously crippled without supply of key U.S. components.”
Other manufacturers like Intel provide server chips, Xilinx sells programmable chips for networking and Broadcom is a supplier for switching chips, all of them key for Huawei to keep its ecosystem and infrastructure afloat. Representatives declined to comment, while chip experts are questioning Huawei’s ability to continue operating without the help of the United States, Reuters reported.
This whole suspension of business could mean Huawei might have to start launching its devices globally the same way they appear in China – without essential apps like Maps, Calendar, Gmail, Chrome, and most importantly, Google Play, meaning hampered global sales and a pushback of the aim to become the top smartphone company in 2021.