US delays Huawei ban for 90 days

Google Android mascot takes off with a bindle

The reprieve comes after Google said on Sunday that it was pulling Huawei's license to use its mobile phone operating system Android. Despite this measure, the USA has threatened to exclude the United Kingdom and other European states from intelligence-sharing programmes if they decide to use Huawei in their 5G networks.

The Trump administration insists the sanctions are unrelated to its escalating trade war with China, and many analysts see it as aimed at pressuring USA allies in Europe to accede to Washington's entreaties to exclude Huawei equipment from their next-generation wireless networks, known as 5G.

However, the company is still not allowed to launch any new products that require technology from any US-based company.

Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that effectively banned Huawei in the USA, including its ability to source goods and services from American companies.

Without full access to Android and popular Google services, Huawei - which has launched its products at glitzy ceremonies in major markets around the world - could find it hard to convince customers to choose its phones over those pushed by rivals.

"The goal seems to be to prevent internet, computer and cell phone systems from crashing", said Washington lawyer Kevin Wolf, a former Commerce Department official.

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Beijing has struck an increasingly defiant tone as the trade war has escalated, saying it will take measures to safeguard the interests of its companies, but has not said whether or how it may retaliate over the USA action against Huawei.

"Google obviously trades with Huawei for their operating systems".

"Just look to players like Nokia, Blackberry, and Microsoft that have all failed recently in similar endeavours", he said.

But the order presents as "reasonable cause" only the recent indictment of Huawei in an alleged scheme to export networking equipment containing US technology to Iran, in violation of USA law.

But here as well, Huawei is vulnerable. Out of this figure, US$11 billion is from U.S. suppliers.

"Because of the importance of 5G, as an industry leader, Huawei stands ready to sign no-spy agreements with governments and customers in all European Union member states", he said.

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In fact, the Canadians and Mexicans did go along previous year with a revamped regional trade deal that was to Trump's liking. It also signals a cooling of trade tensions between the allies as negotiations between the U.S. and China face uncertainty.

This could "completely undermine" Huawei on 5G, it added.

But tech analysts view that as mere bravado.

And if the ban is not lifted, it could also run into trouble when the next version of Android is rolled out, because Huawei would not have the kind of access enjoyed by its rivals such as Samsung.

But Beijing could hit back.

But now even its designs for Europe are in jeopardy - along with Huawei's hard-won status as the world's second-largest smartphone maker.

Put simply, if all equipment made by Huawei was removed from the consumer and business premises, millions in the United Kingdom would be without 4G and broadband for a very long time.

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We may be at the start of the manufacturer gearing up for its devices to be completely separated from the Android ecosystem, much like Apple. They have made a lot of contributions to us.

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