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Huawei's founder expects the U.S. to dial up its attack on the company

Huawei's founder expects the U.S. to dial up its attack on the company
Things were going along just swimmingly for Huawei at the beginning of 2019. Then May 15th arrived and things changed. The U.S. Commerce Department put Huawei on the entity list due to security concerns. As a result, the manufacturer is unable to access its U.S. supply chain, which it spent $11 billion on in 2018. Huawei said that it had anticipated such an action and had built up inventories of some parts.

But what Huawei could not do was quickly replace Google's licensed version of Android. This prevents Huawei's newer models from using Google's Android apps such as Maps, Search, the Google Play Store, Gmail, Drive and more. This really doesn't affect Huawei's domestic sales since most Google apps are banned in China anyway. But it does put a crimp on the firm's international sales. Huawei used an open-source version of Android for its Mate 30 flagship series and installed its own AppGallery storefront. For the upcoming P40 family, the company will introduce its own Huawei Mobile Services and include a mapping app powered by TomTom.

The U.S. might escalate its attack on Huawei says company founder Ren Zhengfei


Can things get worse for Huawei? You bet they can. One way they are able to purchase the components and software they need is by buying them through foreign companies. As long as a foreign-made component consists of less than 25% U.S.-origin content by value, the U.S. has no control over its purchase by a foreign entity like Huawei. But the Commerce Department is considering reducing the threshold to 10% which would, for all intents and purposes, do further harm to Huawei.


CNBC reports today that Huawei founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei predicts that the U.S. might escalate its attack on the world's second largest smartphone manufacturer. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Ren said, "This year the U.S. might further escalate their campaign against Huawei, but I feel the impact on Huawei’s business would not be very significant." Ironically, U.S. President Donald Trump is attending the same economic conference. The executive added, "This year in 2020, since we already gained experience from last year and we got a stronger team, I think we are more confident that we can survive even further attacks."

At the beginning of last year, Huawei forecast that it would ship 300 million smartphones during 2019 and perhaps take over the top spot from long-time leader Samsung. While global sales were impacted by the U.S. supply chain ban, Huawei was the beneficiary of a rise in patriotism among Chinese consumers. The latter felt that Huawei was the subject of unfair U.S. bullying tactics. The company says that it shipped 240 million smartphones last year and while it didn't top Samsung, Huawei did finish in second place above Apple.

Referring to its plan to stock up on parts ahead of the supply chain ban, Ren said that Huawei spent billions of dollars on what he called "Plan B." The executive pointed out that if not for the United States aggression toward Huawei, it would not have had to spend that money. He noted, "If we had this sense of security from the U.S., we did not have the need to come up with these backup plans. Since we didn’t have that sense of security, we spent hundreds of billions to put our own plan B. That’s why we withstood the first round of attack." Ren added that the U.S. seems to be "overconcerned" with Huawei.

The U.S. currently considers Huawei to be a national security threat because, under Chinese law, the company can be forced to gather intelligence on behalf of the Chinese government. This has lead lawmakers in the states to worry about backdoors placed in Huawei's phones and networking gear. The manufacturer has constantly denied these allegations.

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10 Comments

5. Venom

Posts: 4137; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Viable 3rd party OS has been tried and done many times before. Ask webOS. Ask BBOS. Ask Windows Mobile. Ask Meego. Ask Windows Phone. It's an opinionated assumption, not a guaranteed fact.

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 23171; Member since: May 28, 2014

Last time I checked, no other company that has the resources quite like Huawei has dedicated so much to creating a viable 3rd OS. Huawei already is in the position of selling millions upon millions of smartphones without Google Mobile Services, as are all Chinese OEM’s inside of China, and Huwaei sells more than them all. None of the other companies that have created the OS’s you named have sold near as many smartphones as Huawei has that didn’t have GMS, to my knowledge. Except for maybe BBOS, which has sold millions upon millions back in its heyday. BlackBerry was once one of the top selling smartphone OEM’s with BBOS, which was out long before Android and iOS. It was actually THE smartphone OS along with Windows Mobile. There is a huge difference between BBOS and BB10, which is yet another thing I see that you were unaware of.

7. ScottsoNJ56

Posts: 175; Member since: Oct 01, 2017

Developing a new OS and getting people to use it are 2 different animals. Huawei does have the resources to build one. I wonder though, if all these issues get resolved between the US and Huawei will Huawei continue pushing their own OS and if so will they try and do so outside of China? And if other Chinese manufactures will also do it?

8. meanestgenius

Posts: 23171; Member since: May 28, 2014

Smartphone users in China, the largest smartphone market on the planet, will use it since Huawei smartphones have the most market share their and their smartphones in China already lack GMS. So getting people to use their own OS in extremely meaningful numbers won’t be an issue. If the issues get resolved, Huawei has already stated that they will continued to use Googles Android, but they will continue to develop their own OS and use it on wearables, smart TV’s, etc. I’m pretty certain other Chinese OEM’s will follow suit.

9. Venom

Posts: 4137; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

I agree. Chinese users may use it since they tend to prefer their own OEMs goods and services but then again China will give preference to HarmonyOS just because it's made by a Chinese company stifling competition from better choices.

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 23171; Member since: May 28, 2014

How is Huawei stifling any type of competition? And if those choices you are referring to were better, they’d be in the #2 spot globally when it comes to smartphones, and the #1 spot globally when it comes to networking tech, and not Huawei.

10. Venom

Posts: 4137; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

No other company? Lol what the heck do you think Microsoft is? I think this just proves that you are going to ignore anything that says otherwise about Huawei. And BBOS was still around when ios was around. I know the Storms were terrible devices but they were touted as being iphone killers before they ended up getting killed.

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 23171; Member since: May 28, 2014

As usual, your reading comprehension is lacking, or you would have seen me mention Windows Mobile, which is Microsoft creates and owned. This just proves that you are willing to ignore the facts to push your false narrative. BBOS was also around long before iOS, and is a totally different OS than BB10 is, which was the point I made. But nice try deflecting from me correcting you.

3. meanestgenius

Posts: 23171; Member since: May 28, 2014

Forwarded is for-armed. Huawei had a feeling this would happen and prepared for it. That’s a huge amount of money invested in their plan B, and it has indeed mitigated the “first round” damage. This is one of the reasons why I keep saying that if there is any OEM that can create a viable 3rd OS and ecosystem in the smartphone space, it’s Huawei.

1. MsPooks

Posts: 380; Member since: Jul 08, 2019

At least the impact won't be significant.
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