Cyberspace in uproar after Google slams Huawei
Horace C. White
Modern Tokyo Times
Fears Grip Users as Google Suspends Services to Huawei
It is often said that it is easy to start a war, but no one knows when the war would end. Indeed, there is no better way to describe the U.S.-China trade war as the tension between the two economic giants continues to escalate. U.S. president Donald Trump has often maintained that the trade battle would end upon meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. However, the trade conflict has assumed a worrisome dimension.
Google Goes Hard on Huawei
Alphabet Inc., the parent company of US-owned tech giant Google, has reportedly suspended its services to Huawei. Reports say that the management of the Silicon Valley giant took that decision Sunday in compliance with relevant government directives. According to CNN, this move is a clear signal that Google has thrown its weight behind the U.S. president, who has repeatedly accused Huawei of being a potential threat to American citizens. By blacklisting Huawei, it means users of Huawei phones will not be able to enjoy the services that Google boasts.
Impact of Move on Huawei
Before now, there were lots of Google-owned apps running on Huawei, including the Android OS, which manages the software makeup of the smartphone. However, this move would see Google withdraw those services. In other words – in the long term – updates on such apps would not be affected on Huawei mobile devices, which practically render Huawei cell phones useless.
When the news hit the headlines, a Huawei spokesperson released an official statement to clear the air. According to its press release, the Chinese tech giant hinted that Google Play and security protections from Google Play Protect were not affected. Yet, tech pundits say that as it stands, Huawei can access the public version of Android in order to use Google’s proprietary apps.
The real drama
This script has the handwriting drama of President Trump written all over it as the Trump administration earlier added Huawei to a growing list of companies to the trade dispute. Upon blacklisting “the Chinese pride,” the U.S. government went ahead to initiate measures that would make it near impossible for the 5G-tech equipment leader to do business in the United States.
Similarly, the U.S. Commerce Department on Friday disclosed that it was weighing the option of imposing restrictions on Huawei. In a press statement, the Department stated that the move has gained urgency as a way of preventing “the interruption of existing network operations and equipment.”
What does this mean to Huawei and the smartphone market?
Much as it is difficult to assess at the moment, there is no doubt at all that this choke would significantly affect Huawei’s market share in the smartphone market. Huawei is the second-largest smartphone seller, coming just after Samsung. Despite the fact, Huawei sells a negligible fraction of its gadgets in the United States, critical hardware and software components of the cellphone are supplied by U.S. companies.
Thus, it would be particularly interesting to see how the Chinese telco survives after it is slammed by Google. Hopefully, President Trump has a long-term vision in mind, as many countries may look to develop its own technologies as cyberspace is now in an uproar.
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