Here's what Huawei device users need to know about the implications of Google ban

Wait and see.

Zhangxin Zheng | May 21, 2019, 09:06 PM

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on May 15 to limit United States technology companies from using foreign information, technology and services that are deemed as "unacceptable risk" to the national security or safety and security of Americans.

Google complied with the order and restricted its business services with Huawei, which is on the blacklist along with 70 affiliates.

The move has set off a sales frenzy with some Huawei users selling their phones.

But should you really abandon your Huawei phone or stick to your way (pun intended)?

Here's what all Huawei device users need to know.

Will existing Huawei users be banned from Google services?

If you are an existing Huawei user, you can still use Google services and apps such as YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail for now.

You can also download and update apps on the Google Play store too. For now.

However, Huawei devices might not be able to update to the new version of Android when it's launched.

What about Huawei devices in the future?

Future and existing Huawei devices will still be able to use the open-source version of Android that is covered by the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

However, future Huawei devices might not be able to access apps like Gmail and YouTube, as they are not covered by the open-source license.

Having said that, there are equivalent substitutes available in the market that the Chinese users are already using such as Baidu search engine and bilibili.

The chief of Huawei Richard Yu announced in 2018, before the escalation of trade tensions between China and U.S., that Huawei is creating its own operating system.

Huawei is also developing its own app store called App Gallery, which the company has been pitching to app developers since 2018 with the intent to house apps from both East and the West.

Should I buy Huawei phones?

The sudden U-turn from the Trump's administration to lift the ban temporarily, at least for the next 90 days until August 2019, has signalled how the move will also affect the U.S. domestically.

Wilbur Ross, the US commerce secretary, said that the temporary general license will allow operations to continue for existing Huawei mobile phone users and rural broadband networks.

According to Fortune, 33 of Huawei's 93 "core suppliers" are U.S. tech firms.

This means that some of them are likely to be overly exposed to the Huawei blockade.

This temporary reprieve gives some leeway for Google to continue to provide Huawei users with software updates.

Before the end of the temporary general license, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump may have already met at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, on June 28 and 29.

Huawei is also prepared for such a circumstance currently enacted unilaterally by the U.S. and has stockpiled enough components to ensure business as usual for at least three months.

Huawei reportedly will still be able to honour the warranty for Huawei phones during this period.

Should I sell my Huawei phones?

If you choose the other way but not Huawei, maybe you should reconsider.

How about Huawei smartwatches, tablets and MateBook?

Huawei smartwatches run on its own LiteOS software so they are not taking the hit like the phones.

However, the tablets will probably face the same concerns as phones.

The Huawei laptops are likely to face uncertainty with reliance on other U.S. technology companies such as Intel and Microsoft.

Consequently, the launch of MateBook on May 30 might be affected.

However, The Straits Times reported that there is no update from Huawei Singapore as of now despite a postponement in a media event that was originally scheduled to be on May 22.

Here's the latest response from the founder of Huawei Ren Zhengfei:

Top photo collage from Trump's Instagram and Huawei Facebook


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