U.S. action tightens the screws on Huawei

U.S. action tightens the screws on Huawei
Back in December, Chinese corporations led a small boycott against the Apple iPhone. At the time, Canadian law enforcement officials had just arrested Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou based on a U.S. arrest warrant. Several Chinese businesses began to subsidize employee purchases of smartphones made by local firms while fining those who purchased an iPhone. Weeks later, Apple cut wholesale prices of the 2018 iPhones in China and the latest data from April seemed to indicate that Apple had turned the corner in the country. UBS analyst Tim Arcuri noted that iPhone shipments in China declined 3% last month on an annual basis. That doesn't seem like anything for the gang in Cupertino to cheer about until you compare it with the much larger declines seen during previous months.

But if Apple was turning the corner in China, it might be about to run into a wall. According to BuzzFeed, the Apple boycott is once again picking up momentum in China. Why? Because yesterday, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over threats to U.S. technology. As a result, stateside carriers cannot install networking equipment from foreign companies considered to be a threat to U.S. national security. The executive order doesn't mention Huawei, but it is obviously aimed directly at the global leader in networking equipment. In addition, the U.S. yesterday put Huawei and 70 of its affiliates on a list of companies that cannot purchase U.S. technology without a license granted by the U.S. government. As fellow national security threat ZTE found out last year when it was the subject of a U.S. export ban, not being able to purchase U.S. parts can seriously damage a Chinese tech firm. But Huawei does have the advantage of designing its own chips and there have been rumors about it developing an in-house alternative to Android.

News of the national emergency declaration came after Huawei chairman Liang Hua said in Britain that Huawei would sign a "no-spy" document with any country. The fear is that the communist Chinese government can demand at any time that tech firms in the country help it obtain intelligence information. Rumors that Huawei has built backdoors into its products for the express purpose of being a conduit to China's government have never been proven, and the company has denied that it has ever spied on a foreign country.

Huawei was found guilty in civil court of stealing technology from T-Mobile


While there might not be any evidence of such spying, Huawei is not exactly an angel (what multi-national company is?). In January the company and some of its subsidiaries were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for bank fraud and other crimes; Huawei had allegedly done business with Iran, which violated international sanctions, and was trying to cover it up. In addition, Huawei faces criminal charges for stealing tech secrets from T-Mobile. In a civil suit decided several years ago, a court awarded the carrier nearly $5 million from the Chinese company. Huawei was found guilty of stealing parts and trade secrets related to a phone testing robot called "Tappy."

The response from Chinese consumers to Wednesday's executive order was one of anger with several advancing the idea of renewing a boycott on the iPhone. One Weibo subscriber wrote "The functions in Huawei are comparable to Apple iPhones or even better. We have such a good smartphone alternative, why are we still using Apple?" Another Chinese consumer posted from his iPhone, "I feel guilty watching the trade war. Once I have money I will change my smartphone." Another comment was made about Huawei's logo. "I think Huawei’s branding is amazing, it chops an apple into eight pieces."

While Huawei is the top provider of networking equipment globally, it is moving up the ranks in the smartphone industry. During the first quarter of this year, Canalys reported that Huawei's smartphone shipments in China rose 41% year-over-year to hit 29.2 million units. In the country, it sells more than one out of every three smartphones purchased. Meanwhile, during the same quarter, Apple's sales in China declined 30% on an annual basis dropping its market share in the country to 7.4% from 10.2% a year earlier. That places Apple fifth in the country after Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xioami. And if there is a wall preventing Apple from continuing its recovery in China, the second quarter numbers could be even worse.

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38 Comments

1. scramasax

Posts: 45; Member since: Mar 07, 2015

I hope China will retaliate on this unsubstantiated and ludicrous economic protectionism from the US and organize a proper Apple and iPhone boycott in return... These Cupertino bastards have so much more to lose it will be comical !!!!

4. apple-rulz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Where did Apple touch you that has you so upset and full of hate?

6. User123456789

Posts: 925; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

Sure, than Foxconn can let many employees go since Apple is one of their main costumers.

14. jacky899

Posts: 431; Member since: May 16, 2017

This really had nothing to do with Apple. They are innocent. It's the protectionistic US government and their phony propaganda that is to be blamed. But the real reason why Apple isnt doing well in China is because the Chinese economy took a big recession due to the trade war so people cant afford an iphone. Aldo Applr havent released anything new and interesting in a long while which is why Apple salesbis declining everywhere in the world, not just China.

20. oldskool50

Posts: 1587; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

I think if China wants to really hurt the US, then it can simply block ALL exports from China to the US. In fact, I may try to right the Chinese Govt and suggest it. This would put a significant blow to the US economy and Apple would be done. It will hurt other companies too. But this would send a message to Trump on how stupid he is. Then when the Democrats take over next year, they will fix what Trump broke.

25. apple-rulz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Yes, you should definitely right to China and tell them the write way to go about this export business.

30. Plutonium239

Posts: 1217; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

You do realize that China is highly dependent on its trade relationship with the United States, correct? Doing such a thing would not only push China and the United States into recession, but also the rest of the world.

2. alanrock

Posts: 315; Member since: Oct 04, 2018

another copy-paste Huawei article ... money for nothing and chicks for free.

18. Venom

Posts: 3589; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Isn't that what Huawei does on a daily basis, copy paste from others?

19. alanrock

Posts: 315; Member since: Oct 04, 2018

those others of yours, they also have something "borrowed" ... doesn't it ?

22. oldskool50

Posts: 1587; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Yoi mean like Apple does? The camera on the next iPhone looks a lot like the one I've seen on another Chinese brand of phone. In fact I would say, Apple is the US version of the Chinese copy cats.

24. Vancetastic

Posts: 1367; Member since: May 17, 2017

Not enough BlackBerry articles anymore, huh? LOL.

35. Venom

Posts: 3589; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Apparently not since you're here.

26. maherk

Posts: 6884; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

Why I'm not surprised to see you commenting on this article? Huawei is living rent free in your head.

27. Vancetastic

Posts: 1367; Member since: May 17, 2017

Remember the good old days when he whined about Motorola?

34. Venom

Posts: 3589; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I've never whined about Motorola other than a few comments about them being behind in security updates. If I did, post the article and comment where you seen me whine about Motorola.

36. Venom

Posts: 3589; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I could ask you the same thing considering you are once again complaining about something that I've said about Huawei. It's called an OPINION on an open forum. I don't see you giving your buddy darkk the same pep talk every time he complains about the Intel modems in iPhones. Tell me, how is this any different?

28. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2125; Member since: May 29, 2014

That would be your precious Apple, Mxy. Get it right.

33. Venom

Posts: 3589; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

You know your "buddy" tried the same bs and it didn't work out for him.

21. oldskool50

Posts: 1587; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Was thinking the exact same thing. When I read it I was like, he basically just copied and pasted an older article with only the first part being new. Sorta

3. Ghost04

Posts: 521; Member since: May 03, 2014

It will have no effect on Huawei. As they almost have no business in USA . But there was a possibility that one day Huawei may start doing some business. Now that possibility is gone . Apple will be the biggest winner from this. As people in America will be left with less choices and with increased prices of the upcoming iphones their revenue will reach new heights . No time they will become worlds first 2 Trillion Dollar company.

7. User123456789

Posts: 925; Member since: Feb 22, 2019

It is not just about phones sales, but 5G structure too. Other nations will follow USA. They are already forbidden to work with 5G network in other countries.

9. TBomb

Posts: 1505; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I don't think Apple will benefit the most from this at all. Americans who are on Android are either fans of Android or looking for a cheap phone. Different demographic than Apple's customers. the Huawei banning will have no effect on Apple increased prices of the upcoming iphones will not affect the sales of them since they're two totally different markets. And to User123456789's point, the biggest winners will be the 5G infrastructure manufacturers - which Apple does not dabble in.

15. jacky899

Posts: 431; Member since: May 16, 2017

Completely agree Apple is unaffected whether Huawei is banned or not from the US. It is Samsung that would lose market share if Huawei was allowed to sell phones here.

23. oldskool50

Posts: 1587; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Dude Apple sells are dropping in every country except the US. But as prices go up, sells will drop hate too. If Apple doesnt absorb the tarrif cost, the XR will be almost $1000 in the US. We aren't gonna buy it either. And Apple has zero alternative for production outside China. Samsung could move all.iys phone product from China back to Korea. But based on costs, it would cost more for them to do that vs just paying the tariffs. Trump is stupid and the US Economy which Obama spent 8 years fixing after both Bush's screwed it up, has now gone to waste.

5. Vogue1985

Posts: 464; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

If you think Huawei has been spying, I can only imagine what Google has. Anyways, Huawei been making billions without the US connection. This move will only make Huawei the Forbidden Fruit you can't have, making their phones desirable and more valuable. Folks WILL NOW really WANT a Huawei,the price of Huawei/Honor phone has already gone up. Well done.

8. Carlitos

Posts: 669; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

Doubt it. Great majority of Americans don't even know what Huawei is tbh.

16. jacky899

Posts: 431; Member since: May 16, 2017

The accusation of Huawei stealing tech from Tmobile has been constantly exaggerated to make Huawei fit the image the gov wants to present to the US public. Huawei being America's public enemy number 1 would have been fined the world over and not a mere $5 million if it was anything serious. Huawei being sued or fined for patent infringement has been far less frequent than the never ending lawsuits between Qualcomm, Apple, Samsung, Nvidia, Intel, etc. that involve $billions not a mere $5 million. For example, certain Iphones were banned from Germany and software required to be updated to remove Qualcom IP in China. This is just how the tech world works. There's land mines everywhere you tread and there are people preying to sue you for intellectual theft given the smallest opportunity they get.

29. d1g1te

Posts: 63; Member since: Oct 04, 2016

US: Huawei poses security threat, any private company in China can be used for espionage. Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo, ZTE and many other Chinese companies: Are we joke to you? Clearly US is just scared of China becoming nr. 1 world economy, and largest 5G equipment provider. Trying desperately to prevent that using Trade war and aiming on curently second largest world mobile manufacturer. I hope Trump administration will get what they want. Inferior and more expensive non Huawei 5G equipment and US will fall behind whole world in technology as crucial as 5G. In the end they will end up loosing, exactly what they try to prevent with trade war and banning Huawei. Sad to see once great USA behaving like this under President Trump.

31. Plutonium239

Posts: 1217; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

Qualcomm's 5g equipment is inferior? Ha ha ha. What rock have you been living under buddy? China has always been behind the United States when it comes to technology as far back as the 19th century. They steal and attempt to copy our technology and it is always inferior. Not that I support trump or the trade war, but China's theft of intellectual property needs to stop. They suck at using what they steal anyway.

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