Trump against Huawei – a slap in the water / Google wants to continue doing business with Huawei25. February 2020
Trump against Huawei – a slap in the water / Google wants to continue doing business with Huawei
New York, May 22, 2020
The front that the US government has opened up to the Chinese network and smartphone provider seems to be crumbling. In any case, Google wants to continue working with the Chinese on smartphone software and has now applied to the US government for permission to continue to provide the Chinese smartphone provider Huawei with its services.
Huawei currently has to do without Google apps such as cards or GMail for its new smartphone models. Huawei also lost access to Google’s Play Store app platform for new devices and has to set up its own infrastructure for this. So far, the in-house platform App Gallery has at least significant gaps for users in Europe.
In May 2019, Huawei was blacklisted by the U.S. government. It accuses Huawei of being too close to the Chinese government and espionage and demands from its European allies that they should exclude the world’s largest cell phone supplier from the 5G network structure.
On Monday, Huawei launched a revamped version of its first pop-up smartphone. It is now coming to Europe and is sold without Google apps. Among other things, the hinge mechanism of the new Mate XS model has been completely revised, said Richard Yu, head of the Huawei consumer division. The new device was also equipped with the more powerful Kirin 990 5G processor. It costs almost 2500 euros – 200 euros more than the first folding smartphone Mate X a year ago. The device should also be available in Germany from mid-March.
Own operating system in progress
For the smartphone models from Huawei, which came on the market before May 2019, there is still a kind of grace period in which Google can at least partially cooperate. The Internet company also develops the Android operating system, with which most smartphones run worldwide. Huawei can access the open source version of Android and corresponding security updates despite the US boycott – but is already working on its own operating system.
The White House had recently emphasized the tough course towards Huawei, especially when it comes to the participation of the group as a network supplier in the construction of the super-fast 5G data radio. At the same time, there is also concern in the US technology industry that the embargo could fuel the development of Chinese alternatives to American software and platforms.
Huawei smartphones are running great
Despite the embargo imposed by the U.S. administration, Huawei reports good business. The group increased its revenue last year by 18 percent to 850 billion yuan (around EUR 111 billion). In 2019, the company delivered more than 240 million smartphones worldwide. The computer business grew by more than 200 percent. In January 2020 Huawei has delivered more than ten million smartphones for the new 5G mobile communications standard.
Huawei wins 5G contracts with 47 European providers
Huawei manager Ryan Ding said in London this week that they have currently won 91 contracts with wireless service providers worldwide to build fifth-generation (5G) cellular networks. More than half of the contracts – namely 47 contracts – come from European mobile operators. 27 contracts have been signed with providers in Asia.
Recently, even close allies such as Great Britain had refrained from fundamentally excluding Huawei from the award of 5G contracts. The government of Boris Johnson only stipulated that providers that are considered “risky” must not be used in core networks and in the vicinity of important facilities such as airports or nuclear power plants – and can supply a maximum of a third of the infrastructure.
In his statements, Ding made no distinction between core network supply and systems in the area. In this context, experts also point out that it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between the core network and the periphery, because with the trend of so-called edge computing, more and more data processing is taking place in the peripheral areas of the networks. Thanks to its extremely fast response time, 5G should enable communication in real time. This is an important prerequisite for remote control of industrial plants or robot cars. It is therefore necessary to reduce the runtimes (latency) in the networks.
Huawei’s customers in Europe include the Spanish Telefónica Group, which is present in Germany with the O2 brand. In addition, Sunrise in Switzerland and KPN in the Netherlands had communicated with Huawei on 5G. Germany has also been discussing for months whether Huawei should be excluded from 5G expansion. Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom have also installed Huawei technology in their 4G networks, but also use systems from Huawei’s competitors Nokia and Ericsson.
Huawei manager Ding described his company as a technology leader in London. Competitors lag behind Huawei here. However, Ericsson and Nokia officials have questioned this claim in the past few months, referring to important 5G patents held by Europeans. Ding emphasized that 5G offers providers the opportunity to say goodbye to the pure price war that has so far dominated the competition of 4G. “With 5G, providers can differentiate themselves with new functions.” He referred innovations such as mobile virtual reality applications or the prospect of video on demand services in the highest resolution (UHD).
Huawei top manager Catherine Chen added: “From a purely technical point of view, our 5G base stations are faster in terms of transmission rate than others, they are smaller and use less energy”. “With the same size, our base stations serve three times more users than others, and power consumption is only a third of the others.”
Chen again rejected allegations from the USA that Huawei could be forced to cooperate by the authorities in China: “There are no such laws in China.” No Chinese law obliges companies to collect information or set up back doors abroad. Huawei has an “excellent safety record”.
Chen also hinted that American companies could lose their place in Huawei products permanently after the US government embargo. “With a longer period of time, like two or three years, when we have worked very well with European, Japanese and Korean companies for a long time, it will not be possible to turn our backs on these new partners who have worked with us in difficult times “, she said.
Chen was confident that Huawei can ultimately continue to participate in the expansion of mobile networks in Germany. “There seems to be no problem with our technology anywhere, why should we be banned?”
A similar view was taken by Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) in conversation with the “FAZ”. In it, he stated that the Chinese telecommunications supplier is not generally excluded from the expansion of the German 5G network: “I am against taking a product out of the market just because there is a possibility that something could happen.”
Seehofer went on to say that if Chinese providers were excluded, network development would be delayed by five to ten years. “I don’t see that we can set up a 5G network in Germany at short notice without Huawei’s participation.”
If necessary, additional safety nets could be put in place. On the subject, he was “quite in agreement with the Chancellor,” said Seehofer. The had campaigned against a special regulation only for Huawei. However, among the Christian Democrats there are efforts to keep Huawei away from the German 5G market. Who will ultimately prevail is completely open – if only because of the unclear conditions surrounding the party presidency and the chancellor’s demand.