- One of the biggest trade ban to occur in a long time
- Banned by the American government followed by many other countries
- Huawei represents more than one third of world GDP
- Severe impact on trade economy and technological infrastructure developments
- No solid proof found to justify the ban, yet remains as one of the most controversial
Huawei as a brand has always been on the hype list for the products they make. This time around though, they have a different hype to face. Huawei is banned and is being banned around the globe accused as a Chinese spy machine. Is the Hype regarding the ban even worth it? Should Huawei really be banned? What is the current position of this ban decision and how is it growing? Join us as we decode the biggest trade war of 21st century.
Why the ban
This is going to be a very quick summary of why and how Huawei became the key pawn in a growing cold war.
Anybody with a general idea of how world politics is going must know about the unnamed cold war that has been raging between America and China for a while now. This is no new thing but under the Trump rule things got more heated.
Huawei with the technological advancements and bang for the buck phones has been ruling the tech industry just under Samsung in sales chart. Around the end of 2019, they even overtook Samsung and gained the crown of biggest Smartphone seller globally.
This doesn’t mean Huawei’s path has been smooth as silk though. They’ve always been under constant scrutiny for their shady business practices and though without any solid proof, been accused as a Chinese spy machine that leaks user data to Chinese government. Now this may sound so simple in words but is a big issue. Matters regarding citizen’s personal life to nation’s secret powers could be used for the advantage of Chinese growth.
I for one don’t want some Chinese website to send me an ad for toilet papers right after my stock ends. So issue is critical.
But besides this accusation the ban has another face too. China has been on the rise to economic throne of ultimate success and America the current possessor of that throne has been a bit worried about the same. Besides, china is a communist country and America is a capitalist one. so they are meant to repel. The point I am trying to make is that there has been a cold war going between China and America for some time now. Yes, just like the USSR – America cold war you studied in your world history book, yes.
So end result, in May 2019, Donald Trump current president of USA, declares Huawei, along with several other Chinese companies are now a part of the Entity list. Essentially this means that companies on this list are blocked from doing any sort of business with organizations registered under the United States. Yaay.
And thus begins the ban over Huawei, killing all of their work associations with necessary tech producers *cough* Google.
Ban and it’s after effects
America, the country that meddles in all other county’s issues, has banned a brand. Obviously there will be pressure on ally countries to do the same. Kids call this peer pressure. Adults call it the same I guess. What it’s called doesn’t matter as long as the meaning is conveyed.
So following America, countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Taiwan banned Huawei in a similar way. UK came up with a ban on Huawei’s 5G infrastructure. Though it’s a fact that there has been pressure over countries to ban Huawei, anti-Chinese sentiments have never been restricted to USA. Many other countries shared the same, especially in the matters regarding national security.
Other than these nations many others are on the verge of acting the same. Take India for instance. India, following the attacks on its borders by Chinese troops, decided to block the 5G infrastructure sold by Huawei. They also blocked several Chinese apps, but that’s another topic.
Huawei has been growing and had the Smartphone throne for a brief while when the ban came. So after effects starts from losing the throne. Miraculously though, they are still in the second position and still records growth. But they did lose a huge chunk of global market and it’s after effects are yet to come, says tech observers. What favored Huawei is the support from local community and Chinese government. So china, being the biggest market favors Huawei now. This isn’t good news for other manufacturers since more users may go with national sentiments and stand for Huawei in China. Besides China could ban American products like Apple and that’d be one heavy blow on Apple and America. But recent reports say China isn’t planning to do so as it affects customer’s right to choose.
Economically, beyond all the setbacks on Smartphone sales, Huawei actually lost more on its 5G infrastructure. Since there isn’t many companies fighting in this area Huawei and it’s cheap communication supports were a favourite for many countries. But now with the ban it’s not sure how it’ll go for the company. This is not a loss for Huawei alone. An alternative for Huawei’s 5G is comparatively expensive. So this makes it a loss for nations pursuing 5G too. Other than that this also affects numerous business groups that worked under Huawei tagline. In America alone this could lead to loss of revenue in millions as Huawei has it’s mark in almost all tech related spaces.
It is also to be noted that companies in America has shown soft sentiments towards the Chinese giant. They did cut the commercial ties but gave mixed responses to the ban suggesting they’d surely do business with Huawei if the ban is lifted.
Beyond all these the biggest blow on Huawei came in the name of Google services.
The Google attack
On May 19, 2019 Google declared it’s compliance to Trump’s ban by cutting off Huawei from it’s list of service receivers.
Now this has been one heck of a blow and is discussed amongst the tech community till the date. Huawei officially lost all Google support including applications like Google Maps, Drive, YouTube and Gmail.
They did have permission to use the free license android operating system but would be blocked from using all Google services. This was a shocker as Huawei is the second most bought and used phone globally. People using Huawei went into panic. But later as dust settled Google said existing devices made before 15th May 2019 will operate under Google umbrella. All new devices though will lose Google support.
Following Google many other tech masters like Intel, Arm, Microsoft and Qualcomm ended supply of their services to Huawei.
This is obviously a two way lose. Google knows that. So does the other brands. Huawei isn’t some puny brand to become dust with an American threat. They still have the world’s biggest market under their hands. They are already making phones without Google support but based on android. These phones, I gotta say, mouth drooling spec equipped are being sold at a nice margin in China. So Google along with other makers could lose these customers.
Huawei isn’t stopping either. They are making alternatives for Google services. They have their own app store now. Their music and video apps can now stream online content and they are on the way to make maps too. Hell! They are on the making of their Google alternative OS! They’ve named it Harmony OS and it works on the same Linux kernel that Android works on. On other term that means any app that runs on Google can run on Harmony. Harmony is all system software that runs on any digital device is it smart watch or supercar.
So ultimately that is a hit taken and a hit on the making to be given back. The rest on this is yet to be seen.
Quick history on the rise of Huawei
Huawei is widely criticized for their business ways. Huawei was created by a retired Chinese liberation army personnel Ren Zhengfei in 1987. His political status helped the brand’s growth in China but created suspicions in other nation’s minds. Their close ties with Chinese government and the strict rules of monitoring in China didn’t help either. There also occurred multiple cases on Huawei for stealing ideas but none got proven.
By 2000’s Huawei was growing fast and by 2015 they were in top 10 Smartphone list. They were so fast that by 2019 they got into the top of this list. Even now after the ban scenario on rise, Huawei stands in second position. They’ve been hurt but they haven’t fallen yet. Now that is some power.
Is it worth the Hype?
Since the hype is on how Huawei was banned we will be speaking if Huawei should have been banned or not.
Huawei is a Chinese company. China is a country, despite all their communist people’s right talk, that keeps heavy monitoring on how their people use their phones. We don’t know much of what happens in there but what we know is how deeply people’s action on the internet is monitored. They are severely censored from using global applications like WhatsApp and are forced to use Chinese alternatives. Obviously these are monitored word to word. One wrong word against the government and you are tracked and punished accordingly. Hell, they have a grading program that gives points to citizen who praise or do tasks that praises Xi Jinping and his government. People can see other people’s points online and judge them accordingly. That is fu**in ‘Black mirror’ ish. Scoring someone on their views that too by heavy monitoring on and offline is no people’s right crap! That kind of stuff is meant to be left as theme for dystopian novels!
I do wanna speak more on the social credit system that ranks people according to their actions based on severe monitoring, but that’s not the topic. So yes, back to Huawei.
Now thinking of the extensive monitoring scares me. Huawei is a manufacturer under the same government. It is meant to report it’s actions in the same manner as any other Chinese brand. So I wouldn’t mind if someone doubts on Chinese brand, especially one that has good ties with Chinese government as well as good market globally.
But, yes there is a but, there has been zero proof to conclude that Huawei is spying on people. Literally zero evidence. And that gives my personal answer to the question regarding ban
I don’t think Huawei phones should be banned just because they are Chinese. And thus this is not worth the hype.
I don’t think Huawei phones should be banned simply because there is no proof at all. Huawei has kept their servers pretty much always in the country’s they are functioning in. They were ready to be checked upon when they were accused to be spy. I don’t think America keeps zero monitoring on people. Almost all nations have some monitoring over people. Google has almost all the data about me as a person. I’ve never checked upon where and how they use it. I don’t think anybody is clean in that matter. But me saying these would be just stupid accusations without any proof. Google states they don’t use private data except for their machine to learn us and to give us personalized AD’s and we accept that. Huawei states the same.
Beyond all that, almost all the tech we use today is Chinese. I’d criticize their policies but the way they grew as a developed power is marvelous. Take any brand you want and they are somehow associated to China. Even Apple uses several parts build in China.
So banning Huawei doesn’t end any crisis. It only creates many. Looking for an alternative for Huawei with specs nearly to what Huawei provided still points at some other Chinese company. Banning all of them for being Chinese would be ridiculous. Checking them for spyware on the other hand could work.
In the end I think its people who lose. Many lost economically with this ban be it in China or in USA. We lost a choice to choose from when buying a smart phone. Huawei was a great competition. Now with competition lost, motive to create better phones by other manufacturers decrease too.
Besides all of this, Xiaomi is now the third most selling brand beating Apple. And Xiaomi is Chinese too. Ironically they gained most sales in India, The same country that hosted “ban Chinese products” campaign. So I think in a market dominated by Chinese products, banning one doesn’t beat a problem. That is, if there is a problem.
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Till next time,
stay safe and update your privacy policies 😉