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All the companies that paused working with Huawei

Chinese tech company Huawei was riding high on explosive smartphone sales and the rollout of its 5G technology until US president Donald Trump brought it all to a standstill.

Last week, Trump signed an executive order which means Huawei needs government approval in order to buy US-made components and software for its device. The order is thought to be an attempt to curb Huawei’s tech prowess because the US government is worried about the company’s links to the Chinese government. 

Google was the first to pull the brakes on working with Huawei, pausing the company’s Android license, with other firms following suit. 

Here are all the companies that have paused working with Huawei so far and what it means for the Chinese tech company. 

Google: For Android OS 

Google started a chain reaction for Huawei last week by announcing it was going to block the company from using Android apps on its devices.

At the moment, Google has said the Google Play Store and the security features which come with Android will continue to function on existing Huawei devices. Updates will also be available for three months, until August at least, if no agreement is made before then. 

After that, Huawei devices can still feature the Android OS but it will be the open-source version, meaning any improvements and security updates will take a while to roll out. Huawei says it has been developing its own OS in this eventuality, but future customers will miss out on the simplicity of Google’s technology. 

Where this is having an impact is on the re-sale value of Huawei phones. According to Compare and Recycle, resale prices of Huawei devices have fallen 70 per cent since Google pulled its Android license. 

ARM and Qualcomm: For chip designs 

Chip designers ARM and Qualcomm have both dropped Huawei over the US order.

Losing ARM will particularly affect the company, as Huawei’s phone processors, essentially the brain inside a smartphone, are based on chip designs developed by the Cambridge-based firm. 

If Huawei were to develop its own chips from scratch, this process would take years, according to Wired.  

Despite ARM having its headquarters in the UK, it is still subject to the wills of the US government as its designs contain “US-origin technology”, according to a company memo seen by the BBC.  

SD Association: For memory cards

A way for device makers to boost the memory storage is often through using SD memory cards and MicroSD cards. However, the SD Association, the trade group responsible for standardising the tiny cards, has barred Huawei from being a member.

This means Huawei will no longer be able to offer products using the official SD branding and will be excluded from being involved in setting standards going forward. 

Recently Huawei has been moving away from SD and MicroSD cards, choosing to develop its own “Nano Memory Cards”, so this shouldn’t cause too much concern. 

Wi-Fi Alliance: For Wi-Fi certification

Like the SD Association, the Wi-Fi alliance has revoked Huawei’s official membership. According to a statement, the Alliance said it had temporarily restricted Huawei’s membership in order to comply with the recent US government order. 

This means Huawei future devices will still use Wi-Fi technology, however it won’t be certified by the Alliance to do so. 

The company’s devices won’t be affected. 

EE and Vodafone: For 5G sales

Following the uncertainty around Huawei’s relationship with Google, both EE and Vodafone pulled the company’s upcoming 5G phone, the Mate 20 X 5G, from their sales line-ups. 

Marc Allera, chief executive of EE, said it had paused the launch of Huawei’s 5G phones because it did not have the “surety of service” it needed to offer long-term contracts.


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