Huawei – another 90-days of agonising indecision


Possibly the worst thing that could have happened to Huawei did happen on 19 August. The US Executive Order granted it another 90-days of limited access to Google Android. It also added 46 Huawei affiliates to the US Entity List – a blacklist.

The temporary general license extension is also specific – it is only for existing smartphones and to fulfil existing commitments. The upcoming Huawei Mate 30/Pro is part of that.

But the real impact is that Huawei has to wait for another 90-days before it can plan new models with any confidence that it can get US parts or technology. The typical development time for new models is 12-18 months. No wonder it has plan B –HarmonyOS

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said

“As we continue to urge consumers to transition away from Huawei’s products, we recognise that more time is necessary to prevent any disruption. It [the extension] also prevents disruption at some rural US telecom networks and allows for the more orderly removal of Huawei telecoms equipment from its carriers as mandated by the bill.”

Sceptics have said the 90-days is to allow the US to shore up more support for a unilateral ban among the five/nine/fourteen eyes countries.

Bloomberg reports, “The extension just buys the administration more time on what may be an impossible task. There are some that want to dismantle Huawei altogether. Others want to use it as leverage in a trade deal. You can’t have it both ways.”


Huawei’s response to the media

“It’s clear that this decision, made at this particular time, is politically motivated and has nothing to do with national security. Attempts to suppress Huawei’s business won’t help the United States achieve technological leadership.”

GadgetGuy’s take – one thing is certain – all this uncertainty is killing Huawei

Analysts have called the Google Android supply situation at best, ambiguous (open to more than one interpretation; not having one obvious meaning).

Huawei and now 46 more ‘affiliates’ are still prohibited from buying US components and technology to manufacture new products without additional special licenses.

As GadgetGuy reported on 15 August, this has two immediate effects on Huawei

Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom, Micron, Microsoft and many more significant tech companies are among the 50 tech companies awaiting temporary licences. While Huawei may have component stockpiles (it has admitted that it has about 90-days reserve) what does that mean for future phones, laptops and consumer products?

And on consumer confidence. This is the first time that Ross has publicly stated “As we continue to urge [US] consumers to transition away from Huawei’s products” – a crystal clear directive that undermines Huawei user’s confidence not only in the US but everywhere except China.

GadgetGuy (that has its extremely high 87+% reader credibility rating it wants to keep) and many mainstream media, have not reviewed Huawei product until there is a clear resolution. We did not want to rate its products well (as it deserves) while the spectre of the ban could impact people buying and using the product longer-term.