Huawei is the world’s largest telecom equipment maker and the second largest when it comes to smartphones. And the company was doing well in its business with its innovative products and remarkable progress in the 5G technology. But as the company got enlisted in the US government’s entity list, Huawei received a massive blow. And as the US companies like Google, Qualcomm, and ARM started cutting ties with Huawei, its vigor seems quite faltered. Because of the lack of Google apps, the latest flagship smartphones from the company wasn’t appreciated much in the markets outside of China. However, this brutal trade ban seems to loosen up a little as the US government is reconsidering to grant licenses to US companies, who are willing to trade with Huawei.
The trade ban took a toll on both sides. As Huawei received a business denial from multiple US companies, it was obvious that it suffered more. And to cope with the situations, there were rumors about Huawei working on the alternatives. Huawei’s home-baked Hongmeng OS was considered one of such alternatives. But the recent progress has cued that Huawei still has better chances to continue with Google’s Android ecosystem.
Huawei was considered a threat to US national security and the government had decided to halt the trade that would help the company in its business endeavors. But in July, the US Commerce Department announced its plans to grant special trade licenses to the local tech companies to continue its business ties with Huawei. But Huawei wasn’t removed from the entity list and still was considered as the threat for US national security. So there was a plan to allow trade licenses for the tech companies and on the products, which wouldn’t pose a threat to US national security. After the announcement, 130 US companies applied for the application.
As time passes by, there has also been an increased interest to continue business with Huawei. Wilbur Ross, the US Commerce secretary has confirmed that the number of applications has doubled to 260. The secretary also assured that the Commerce Department would start issuing the licenses “very shortly”. However, in the interview with Bloomberg Ross explicitly stated that the department has reviewed all the applications submitted but only a few of them are likely to get the certification.
Remember too with entity lists there’s a presumption of denial. So the safe thing for these companies would be to assume denial, even though we will obviously approve quite a few of them. – Wilbur Ross
Among the 260 applicants, there must be companies like Google and Qualcomm. So if these companies get a green signal for the trade partnership with Huawei, we might be able to see new Huawei and Honor phones with Google apps and tech from Qualcomm. Since Huawei’s Mate 30 series lacked the charm in the international market because of the absence of Google apps, the company could even consider releasing the phone for the international market including Google services.
As November 19 is the deadline for Huawei phones to receive updates and security patches from Google, this step could also avoid any new security holes being exploited by third parties.
Although this new lead has given a glimpse of hope to Huawei, the Commerce Department hasn’t revealed any timelines how this licensing program would move forward. There have been no mentions about when the Department would start providing licenses and when the companies could continue their business with Huawei.