Did Trump jump the gun when it comes to Huawei? Google's silence "says" it all

Did Trump jump the gun when it comes to Huawei? Google's silence
Executives of the U.S. companies that have been blocked from selling supplies to Huawei woke up last Saturday to what they thought was great news. After President Donald Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a truce was called in the trade war between the two countries. Trump said, " U.S. companies can sell their equipment to Huawei. We're talking about equipment where there's no great national security problem with it." And just like that, it appeared that Huawei was in the clear and could resume its once inevitable march to the top of the global smartphone industry.

Perhaps the first clue that Trump had spoken first without thinking about what he was saying came when Google did not immediately announce that it was forging a new relationship with the Chinese manufacturer. After all, just a couple of days after Huawei was first placed on the U.S. Commerce Department's Entity List, Google announced that it was cutting ties with the company. And the day after the Trump administration gave Huawei a limited 90-day reprieve, Google announced that it was following suit. The U.S. tech giant has shown that it will make quick decisions involving Huawei, but why did it not respond to the latest news?

Commerce Department staff told to treat Huawei like it is still blacklisted


The answer could be that Google, like everyone else, is confused. The day after Trump's announcement that U.S. suppliers could resume shipments to Huawei was made, White House economic advisor Lawrence Kudlow appeared on NBC-TV's Meet the Press and attempted to clarify Trump's statement. Instead, he poured water on what was already a muddy mess. Kudlow said that Huawei remained on the Entity List and that it could purchase parts from the U.S. only if they are widely available from other countries. So where does that put Android? Sure, it's an open source platform but the version that comes with core Google apps, the Google Play Store and updates is only available from Google. On the other hand, there are operating systems that can be sourced from other countries.


Reuters reports that it has seen an email sent by John Sonderman, Deputy Director of the Office of Export Enforcement, in the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). The email, to enforcement officials, says that Huawei is still on the Entity list and should still be considered "blacklisted." As a result, requests for licenses from Huawei's suppliers should be handled with a "presumption of denial." Traditionally, this means that requests for a license to sell supplies to a company on the Entity List undergo a "strict review" and most of the time such requests are denied. The email is the only official statement made by the Trump administration since the president's statement last week. And White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said this past Tuesday that only "low tech" chip sales can be made to Huawei by U.S. firms as long as the components don't impact national security.

Huawei has been working to replace the Google Play services version of Android with its own HongmengOS and its App Gallery app storefront. It says that it has a year's worth of chips that it built up in case it was banned from its U.S. supply chain, but it will have to replace some of the chip architecture that it licensed from ARM Holdings. Huawei does design its own chips but uses software supplied by U.S. firms to do so. However, chip manufacturer TSMC says that it will continue to produce Kirin and Balong components for the company. The Huawei Mate 30 line, expected to be unveiled in October, will be equipped with the Kirin 985 chipset. This is the latest SoC designed by Huawei's HiSilicon unit and is manufactured by TSMC using its 7nm+ process. But the big question is whether the Mate 30 models will be running Android.

Because Huawei unveiled its foldable Mate X prior to its placement on the Entity List, there apparently will be no issue with the device receiving the Google Play services version of Android. That phone could be released in September.

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11 Comments

1. umaru-chan

Posts: 358; Member since: Apr 27, 2017

Trump is an idiot so are his childrens. He had a real shot but as usual he blew it. What an idiot.

3. sgodsell

Posts: 7363; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

This is the US allowing the US tech being allowed to be sold to Huawei, but from the looks of it. The US will still ban Huawei from selling any networking equipment that can effect the US carriers. That part looks like it hasn't changed.

5. lyndon420

Posts: 6786; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Let's be fair to poor old Donald...you guys haven't had a decent president since Kennedy. Having said that, I wouldn't mind trading you guys Trump for our feminist/loser of a prime minister Trudeau....just to see what would happen. I'd rather have a business man try to run my country instead of a drama teacher.

7. TheOracle1

Posts: 2259; Member since: May 04, 2015

Now I understand your deranged conspiracy theory posts......... Aren't you the guy that espouses the 9/11 conspiracy theory too? Meanwhile, people are analyzing the actions of the idiot Trump while he has no clue what he's doing and the implications thereof. His own Commerce Department is contradicting him on Huawei and he's contradicting them on the census. The dotard doesn't even understand that the Supreme Court has the ultimate say not the President. Makes you wonder if he even understands the appointments he's been rubber stamping for the slimeball turtle Mitch McConnell.

9. LiveFaith

Posts: 464; Member since: Jul 04, 2015

Says the guy posting on PA's comment section with an anime avatar. Like you (or the writer of this) have a single clue what negotiations are going on in all this.

2. Cat97

Posts: 1890; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Huawei will probably be allowed to use ARM processors but not Android.

6. TheOracle1

Posts: 2259; Member since: May 04, 2015

What are android processors? And ARM do processor architecture. Smh

10. Teasy

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 31, 2012

They'll definitely be allowed to use ARM based processors. ARM are a British company based in Cambridge England, so Trump has no say there. That could of course change with trade deals down the line. But right now there's no sign of the UK becoming involved in this.

4. Mikele

Posts: 152; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Messy waters from White House to Commerce Department all the same no common sense. I would like Huawei to forge a new life about their products. No limit in advanced technology and Android OS should push aside for their own OS

8. kanagadeepan

Posts: 1258; Member since: Jan 24, 2012

Although I love Android and will never buy a huawei phone anytime, I prefer huawei developing new OS based on SailFish or any others. Because competition is good for us consumers. In mobile OS space, it almost looks like Android is Monopoly (though they are not doing anything wrong till now), as still iOS is playing catching up with it.

11. Teasy

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 31, 2012

Wow, had no idea ARM had cut ties because they have some design teams in the U.S. Seems quite odd, hopefully they'll work this out.

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