Published: Tue, May 21, 2019
Markets | By Erika Turner

U.S. Commerce Department scales back restrictions on Huawei

U.S. Commerce Department scales back restrictions on Huawei

Reuters previously reported that the US Commerce Department was considering a temporary lowering of the ban, in order for networks now using Huawei equipment to maintain important services for consumers - essentially, this gives more time for them to feasibly come up with alternatives.

But users of existing Huawei devices who have access to the Google Play Store will still be able to download app updates provided by Google.

Under pressure from the U.S. government, Google suspended its product-sharing agreements and licenses with Chinese communications giant Huawei. "We now know that future devices can not be loaded with the Google Play Store, or those Google apps like Gmail or Google Maps", he said.

Critics of the company have said using Huawei equipment in key communications infrastructure poses a risk to national security because of alleged links between the firm and the Chinese state.

Existing customers will be able to update their phones and apps, but will not be able to update to a newer version of the Android operating system if one becomes available.

Chinese consumers have shown their preference for Huawei over Apple on their platform with certain users claiming that Huawei smartphone's function is comparable to iPhones or even better, "The functions in Huawei are comparable to Apple iPhones or even better".

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View of a store of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Shanghai, China.

Google said it was "complying with the order and reviewing the implications" but Huawei users have been assured that their current phones will continue to work. As Google is now no longer doing business with Huawei, no existing phones (such as the P30 range) will get Android OS updates or security patches, while as we will see directly below, future phones won't have access to Google's official version of Android at all.

Earlier Monday, Reuters reported that Google will be suspending its business operations with Huawei. Naturally, as we cover all of Huawei's major new technology releases, T3 will be following this story closely, so be sure to check back in soon for any new developments.

Although both Huawei and the Chinese government have firmly refuted the claims, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the United States banned Huawei from participating in government contracts a year ago.

The extent to which Huawei will be hurt by the US government's blacklist is not yet known as its global supply chain assesses the impact. It's unclear what kind of information was shared with tech execs during these meetings, and what companies attended them.

The impact is expected to be minimal in the Chinese market. Within its home country, the company doesn't need Google's Android ecosystem owing to the availability of in-house alternatives likely made possible by a blanket ban on using foreign software and services.

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