31 May 2019
The trade war between the United States and China has been going on for a long time now but as far as the technology sector is concerned, US government took one of the biggest steps last week when it imposed a trade ban on Huawei Technologies. It means Huawei can not indulge in any business practices with US-based companies which further meant that no more Google software and Google Play support for Huawei phones. But now, the US has announced a temporary relief for Huawei to help both parties find ways for after-ban life.
To be specific, the US Commerce Department has offered a 90-day reprieve for Huawei allowing it to operate under a general license. It means Huawei can now continue working with its US-based partners but only for existing products and services. If they wish to work on any new product/service, they will have to apply for a new license which Reuters believes is quite unlikely to get approved.
Here is what the official statement regarding the reprieve,
"The Temporary General License grants operators time to make other arrangements and the Department space to determine the appropriate long term measures for Americans and foreign telecommunications providers that currently rely on Huawei equipment for critical services. In short, this license will allow operations to continue for existing Huawei mobile phone users and rural broadband networks."
This three months window should allow both US companies and Huawei to look for ways to keep doing working on their projects without having to rely on each other. It should also help in reducing losses to some extent. Even though the US is projecting the move as a helping hand to Huawei, the Chinese tech giant has made it clear that it has backup plans in place to survive through the ban. One of these plans includes its own operating system as an alternative to Android for times when it might want to ditch Android altogether.
Since the reprieve has been announced, it is quite possible that the US might withdraw the ban completely by the time these 90 days get over. Either way, we will keep you updated.