Google cuts the bridges with Huawei
The US giant Google, whose Android system equips the vast majority of smart phones in the world, announced that it was cutting the bridges with Huawei, a decision with serious consequences for the Chinese group that may no longer be able to offer Gmail or Google Maps to its customers.
C ette surprise announcement on the night of Sunday to Monday, follows the dramatic decision on Wednesday US President Donald Trump in the commercial standoff with China, to prohibit American companies from telecoms to trade with foreign companies deemed “at risk” for national security.
A measure that targets including Huawei, the second largest manufacturer of smart phones, present in 170 countries, and suspected of spying for the benefit of Beijing, which would have largely contributed to its irresistible international expansion.
The group is named and named on a list of companies, established by the US Department of Commerce, with which US companies can trade only after obtaining a green light from the authorities.
“We comply with this decree and examine its implications,” said Google in an email to AFP.
“For users of our services, Google Play (the Android application store, ed) and the Google Play Protect security system will continue to work on existing Huawei devices,” he said.
The presidential decree prohibiting the sharing of technologies, however, Google will have to go further and stop working with Huawei.
Thus, Google will not be able to offer Huawei users more than the open source version of its Android software, told AFP a source close to the file. This means that they will no longer be able to access Google’s proprietary applications and services, such as Gmail or Google Maps.
Admittedly, the latter should remain active at least initially, told AFP a second source close to the record. But, as long as the decree is in place, Huawei will be forced to make updates internally from Android Open Source Project – the royalty-free version – and its customers will have to do the same.
It is therefore not certain that Chinese group can, in the future, continue to offer Android and all applications resulting from it, like the popular YouTube video platform.
Deployment of the delayed 5G?
Huawei did not respond to the solicitations of the AFP Monday. On Saturday, Ren Zhengfei, its founder and boss, assured that the company had “done nothing that violates the law,” adding that the decree would have limited consequences.
However, the firm headquartered in Shenzen, southern China, is highly dependent on foreign suppliers of semiconductors: every year it buys $ 11 billion of components from US suppliers, on 67 billion dollars, according to the Japanese daily Nikkei.
However, according to Bloomberg News, citing people close to the case, several leading US suppliers, such as the micro-processor giant Intel, chip maker Qualcomm or Broadcom have informed their employees that they would stop providing Huawei until at new order.
Given China’s “heavy dependence” on the US semiconductor market, such a suspension of deliveries could “force China to delay the construction of the 5G network until ban is lifted, “said Ryan Koontz, an analyst at Rosenblatt Securities.
But the United States has just increased the pressure on their allies to not buy the 5G to Huawei, pioneer of this new generation of mobile internet very promising.
Washington fears that the group is a Trojan horse of China. Ren Zhengfei’s military background, his Communist Party affiliation, and Huawei’s opaque culture have largely fueled Beijing’s suspicions of control over this strategic actor, especially since a law passed in 2017 obliges Chinese companies to collaborate with the intelligence services of the country.
As Huawei developed, the United States began to fear that Chinese security services would use Huawei’s networks for spying purposes or to launch cyberattacks.
In the first quarter, Huawei sold 59.1 million smartphones, which gives it 19% market share, ahead of the US Apple but still behind the world leader, South Korean Samsung.