It seems like there’s no end to Huawei’s bad luck this month. Several big players, and old allies like Google and Panasonic walked out on the Chinese telecom brand, after the US government blacklisted it. Resultantly, Huawei was deprived of almost a hundred components, many of which were crucial for designing and shipping smart phones.
The Trump government, expressing concern over data security, declared them a threat to the national security.
The company probably saw this coming, especially after ZTE was banned a year ago due to souring Sino-American commercial relations, which is why they’d secretly started working on its OS HongMeng. While developers were struggling to make the future Huawei smartphones Android-free, the company was suddenly barred from using microSD cards because the SD Association, a non-profit organization manufacturing memory cards for handsets cut off its ties.
Luckily, the company already had a storage alternative—one that they introduced with the launch of their Mate 20 series.
While the brand was still trying to cope with the earlier mess, one of its partners—the WiFi Alliance group announced that they too were going to temporarily revoke Huawei’s membership. The group is a consortium comprising of more than 500 tech giants including Broadcom, Apple, Intel and Qualcomm that test and equip mobile devices with seamless internet connectivity.
Considering the power, the consortium holds over tech companies, being suspended by them is definitely going to affect Huawei’s wireless technology standards in the upcoming product lines.
According to a Hong Kong based brokerage and investment firm CLSA, Huawei had been stockpiling hardware components ahead of its manufacturing schedule, in the hopes of surviving the U.S. ban. They’ve enough spare parts in stock to continue machine production for next six months but software could be a problem. They would need more than six months to come up with a secure OS and backup apps—considering their reputation is maligned due to security concerns. And now, they also need to think of a Wi-Fi backup.
America has granted them a temporary permit to conduct business with the native companies that is due on August 19th. Meanwhile, the management is thinking of an action plan to save the brand from future consequences. Tech experts predict that the Chinese government could retaliate with something similar for Apple products in China, but it won’t do any good to anyone.
Given the sheer quantity of items and equipment the Chinese and American consumers rely on, snapping trade relations can be equally disastrous for both countries.