Huawei ban: Google, Intel suspend business

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Huawei ban: Google, Intel suspend business

Google, Intel and Qualcomm are among the tech companies that have reportedly suspended business with Huawei after the Chinese telecom giant was added to a US trade blacklist last week.

Reuters reported on Sunday that Google has revoked access to its hardware, software and technical services from Huawei, which includes the internet giant's latest Android updates, as well as popular services like the Google Play Store and Gmail. The suspension does not apply to open-source software so Huawei will be able to source OS updates from the open branch of Android.

In a statement to CRN USA, a Google spokesperson said the company is complying with the decision issued by the US Commerce Department last week that bans Huawei from purchasing technology from US companies without government approval.

"We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications," the Google spokesperson said. "For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices."

A Huawei spokesperson told CRN USA that the company "will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally."

Noting Huawei's "substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world," the spokesperson added that the company will "continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally."

Reuter's report on Google was followed with one by Bloomberg that said Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx and other chipmakers have stopped shipments to Huawei. The companies reportedly told their employees that the suspension will last until further notice.

"We are aware of the Denial Order issued by the US Department of Commerce with respect to Huawei, and we are cooperating," a Xilinx spokesperson told CRN USA, adding that the company has no further comment.

An Intel spokesperson declined to comment when reached by CRN USA. Qualcomm reportedly declined to provide a comment to Bloomberg.

Huawei is not only an Intel customer but a partner as well. The Chinese company, which is the largest telecom provider in the world, has been among the early supporters of Intel Optane DC Persistent Memory for data centers, for instance.

Bloomberg reported that Huawei has built a stockpile of chips and other components that will allow the company to continue running for at least three months.

But if the ban extends past that date, it's hard to see how Huawei's enterprise business would operate: the company's servers and storage rely on x86 chips and while China has domestic manufacturers of such products, their wares are not as sophisticated as Intel's.

The moves to suspend business with Huawei by several US tech companies comes after the US Commerce Department announced last week that it added Huawei and 70 affiliates to its so-called "entity list" that prohibits technology purchases from US companies without government approval.

The agency said the decision stems from a review of information showing that there is a "reasonable basis to conclude that Huawei is engaged in activities that are contrary to US national security or foreign policy interest." This includes alleged criminal activities — among them, accusations of trade secret theft and wire fraud — in the charges filed by the US Department of Justice against Huawei in January.

"This will prevent American technology from being used by foreign owned entities in ways that potentially undermine US national security or foreign policy interests," US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said in a statement last week.

Huawei Deputy Chairman Ken Hu reportedly told employees that the Commerce Department's decision is "the latest move in the campaign against Huawei, waged by the US government for political reasons."

The US government's continued escalations against Huawei coincide with the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China, which most recently resulted with the Trump administration raising tariffs on many Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent.

In addition to placing Huawei on the US trade blacklist, the White House issued an executive order banning US companies from buying telecommunications equipment made by companies that are owned, controlled or in the jurisdiction of foreign adversaries that are considered a national security threat.

This article originally appeared at crn.com

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