One of the biggest smartphone maker companies in the world, next only to Samsung, Huawei, has a very limited presence in the US. This is due to the fact that US sees Huawei as a threat to the national security because of its close connection with the Chinese government. In January 2018, the company came very close to landing a partnership deal with the American network carrier AT&T, but the deal got stalled due to the intervention and pressure from the US government. Hence the global firm’s fate in the US market is written not by the economic decisions and the business but the geopolitical scenario.
The blacklisting of Huawei as part of the trade war
The latest development in this case has been the grant of temporary general license to the smartphone and tablet maker firm by the US government. This temporary license has backtracked the ban on Huawei and 68 other entities by the US government which had made it tough for the blacklisted entities to buy goods which are US-made. This license is of 90 days and it means that the Huawei smartphone users in the US will be able t continue using the Google apps onto their devices. A representative of Google, which is a US based tech firm, confirmed that it also means that the users would be able to download the app updates made available by Google.
The direct repercussion of this ban would have been the loss of the Google apps on the Huawei devices. In China which is the home country of this firm, not much difference would have been made as most of these apps are already banned by the Chinese government; however, the phones would have lost their appeal in the western world.
Concerns grew in the US about this loss of market due to the ban as exemplified by the former US government advisor Philip Levy’s statement in which he said that problems with Huawei, Google and other entities which can lead to a damage of the US trade interests and economic engagements. He asserted that there is an absence of a “clear direction” of the US sanctions against China which can lead to damages which are best avoided. It has been observed by Hannah Thomas-Peter, Sky News’ US correspondent that the Huawei incident had been a part of “a miserable week on the US markets”.
With the latest government action of providing Huawei a temporary license some relief is made to those who were concerned, however, it cannot be denied that this company is, in fact, close to the Chinese government. After years of benefitting by this bond, from the silent government support aiding in business, it has finally backfired on Huawei in the form of the hostility from the US government. Huawei did not comment on the grant of temporary license but had earlier stated that it had made a lot of contributions to the development of Android globally, and “will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem” to provide the best user experience to all its global users.