Huawei vs USA case: what really happened? Here is explained in detail

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  • Huawei vs. United States: what happened?
  • The real question? China versus the United States
  • Who is right?
  • I have a Huawei/Honor smartphone. What is going on?
  • The future with the ban
  • Huawei does not give up

For days we have been talking about the standoff between Huawei And UNITED STATES, but in reality things are much more complex than they seem. In fact, there are geopolitical and economic reasons behind President Trump's decision. So let's try to shed some light.

Huawei vs. United States: what happened?

Let's start with the bombshell from last weekend/Monday: Google removes Huawei's Android license. Google's decision was made following the executive order with which Trump blacklisted Huawei.

The main reasons – the public reasons – are two in number. Linitially, as reported by our colleagues at DDay, concerns the arrest Meng Wanzhou, daughter of the founder of Huawei. Meng allegedly misled international banks into believing that two companies, Skycom and Canicula, were completely independent of Huawei. Banks allegedly missed transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars in violation of economic sanctions that the United States had imposed on Iran.

Confused, I will explain it to you right away: Huawei would have resold, using front companies, hundreds of computers to Iranian telecommunications companies, thereby circumventing the aforementioned sanctions imposed by the United States.

The Huawei founder's daughter faces 30 years in prison and, according to the United States, there is a long line of evidence against her. The accusations, an extract of which below, are very serious.

The second reason has to do with security: Huawei produces much of the infrastructure that provides 4G today and will provide 5G tomorrow. This puts the company – and China in general – in a particularly advantageous position because it could potentially access the data of millions of users.

All of this helps you understand one important thing about this situation. The problem here is not Huawei specifically, but a broader confrontation between China and the United States

The real question? China versus the United States

The situation is not particularly new for several reasons:

  1. historically, the emerging power inevitably ends up clashing with the dominant power;
  2. Huawei is not the first company to be banned. This already happened to ZTE, a Chinese company that finally managed to come to terms with the US administration, eventually paying a fine, changing the board of directors and immediately US inspections. All this to arrive at a 7-year ban instead of a permanent exclusion.

Understanding what's happening at this point isn't too complex: China is advancing rapidly in high technology as the United States tries to maintain its lead. To achieve their objective, the two governments are therefore doing what is in their power.

Trump blacklisted Huawei. Huawei responds by noting that the US needs it to build 5G networks because, let's face it, the problem isn't smartphones because in the US they're hardly ever sold already. For their part, American companies are siding with Trump. China then underlines – through an official visit of the President-Emperor to the factories of Rare earth – which can always turn off the taps and therefore interrupt the export of these 17 chemical elements, elements which they are used to create magnets, superconductors, optical fibers and even hybrid car parts. The problem is that a cessation of production of these components would also involve China which, at that point, would have to produce everything internally. Something possible but rather expensive and certainly not immediate.

In short, we are faced with a cat that bites its tail, but above all a situation in which the two superpowers are closely linked. A radical solution would therefore not suit anyone. And this is clear on both sides.

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Why then fight like this? In reality, all of this, as Trump himself explicitly stated, should push the two nations to sit down at the table to negotiate new economic agreements.

Who is right?

Regardless of the mannerisms of each of them – the American president resorting to his innate theatricality and the Chinese president preferring more subtle strategies – there is not a single side that is actually wrong.

On the one hand, in fact, we have the United States which has stirred up the waters in an attempt to achieve an agreement that could in some way encourage or simplify the landing of American companies in China. The new treaty should also define precise rules related to telecommunications security. I remind you that to date, there are no laws in this area, so defining Huawei's infrastructure as « unsafe » is not theoretically possible since there is no real standard.

On the other hand, we must also try to understand China. We are faced with a A growing country, with incredible potential and a goal to achieveMade in China 2025“. No, I didn't invent it now, but this is the real plan set by the Chinese government to become the world's leading economic power in the world of technology. A goal absolutely within their reach, among others. Think for example of the fintech sector: with Alipay and WeChatPay, China could soon become the first state to abandon paper money. A very different scenario from the American and European one, which testifies to the unstoppable technological advancement of the Asian country.

All this allows us to understand one important thing: Huawei, but even Google, Intel, Qualcomm and all the other companies involved are actually at the center of a negotiation bigger than them. Bargain this, beware, this also involves Europe because we are not automatically excluded. Several European countries belong to NATO and are allies of the United States, but still maintain trade relations with China. Thus, choosing one side or the other can have disastrous consequences for EU members, which is why the European Union has not yet exposed itself and neither have the countries. There is talk of a general intention to leave more space for other companies in the construction of 5G networks but in reality nothing is confirmed.

I have a Huawei/Honor smartphone. What is going on?

Once we understand the scenario, we come to ourselves. You have a Huawei or Honor smartphone. What's going to happen ? Nothing for the moment.

The United States conceded a 90-day suspension so, for now, it's as if nothing happened, at least in theory. This means that devices will be updated and smartphones that come to market by August 19 should support Android, provided of course that Google grants certification.

Why the conditional? Simple: to date the only device involved in the case is the Honor 20 Pro, officially launched on May 21 but currently without a release date. HDblog colleagues have speculated that the terminal has not received the aforementioned certification, which prevents it from being put on sale. However, the position of the Honor 20 is not clear, which can currently be found on the official store with the words “Available soon”.

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However, Honor's is unique. Actually, if you have a Huawei smartphone or are going to buy it in the future, you are safe, at least for terminals up to P30, the last to have the Android license. This means the device will continue to work, receive updates, have Google apps and a fully functional Play Store. In short, you can sleep peacefully.

Upgrading to Android Q is less certainalthough, to be honest, most users do not consider updating to the new version of the operating system important.

The future with the ban

Now let's talk about the worst-case scenario: the United States confirms the ban and Huawei can no longer use Android.

What happens to the new Huawei smartphones? Simple: they will use a new operating system. In fact, for some time the company has been working on what has been called Ark Operating Systema proprietary SO which should arrive in 2020.

I won't dwell too much on the subject. In fact, here you can find the article dedicated to the Huawei operating system, a system that it should work on smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and even PCs because, I remind you that the Chinese giant also produces them and that, if the United States confirms the ban, Microsoft could, or even should not, grant licenses to Huawei.

And the Play Store? Here the question is more thorny. On the one hand, Huawei can fill the gap with its own App gallery and, it seems, with Aptoide, a store not recognized by Google that the veterans among you will surely remember. On the other hand, however, many users use Google apps like Gmail, Google Maps, and even YouTube on a daily basis. So it's unclear what will happen to these and whether they will be in any way installable and usable.

Huawei does not give up

However, Huawei's plan B does not involve its surrender. The company has in fact gone on the counter-attack decided to go to the Eastern District Court of Texas. In short, Huawei sued the United States by declaring Washington's ban is unconstitutional to American companies, companies that cannot purchase any type of equipment from the Asian giant for reasons of national security.

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All this of course to try to protect the 3 billion consumers who use Huawei products and services.