Huawei’s been in the news a lot lately – and not for all the right reasons. While it continues to grow its share of the global smartphone market with some of the best handsets money can buy, it has also become embroiled in a trade dispute with the US government.
In May, US president Donald Trump signed an executive order that permitted the US government to step in and block sales by US companies to foreign firms that were seen to be a security risk; Huawei, with its strong ties to the Chinese government, was seen as a risk and has been blocked from trading with several US firms, including Google – which produces the Android OS Huawei’s phones run on. Incoming US tariffs on Chinese goods also caused headaches for the firm.
However, it looks like things could be making a change for the better. Following the G20 Summit in Japan, at which US President Donald Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, it has been announced that the two nations would resume trade talks and the proposed tariffs would be frozen indefinitely. Trump also seemed to state that US companies would be permitted to resume trading with Huawei, although no solid timeline on this was given.
With the US and China at something of a deadlock and both threatening tariffs against one another, it seems that Huawei is being used as a bargaining chip. It is believed that one of the conditions of negotiations even taken place was that China wanted the US to ease off Huawei, one of its most successful tech firms. The fact that progress is being made would suggest that the whole “national security” thing was merely a tactic to improve the position of the US in these trade talks.
Huawei has become one of the world’s most popular smartphone brands thanks to bumper sales in China and Europe; ironically, the US is one market where it is yet to make a massive impact. However, the sanctions were especially damaging as much of the tech found inside your typical Huawei phone is sourced from the US.
Source: The Verge
Damien McFerran has been covering phones and mobile technology for well over a decade. An Android specialist, as well as an expert reviewer of phones, Damien is one of the best technology journalists working today. He is also editorial director over at the excellent Nintendo Life.