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All you need to know about the ban on Huawei in USA

A representative illustration of US President Donald Trump and Huawei   | Photo Credit: Deepak Harichandan

Given they’re a fast-growing smartphone and laptop brand, China-based Huawei is practically synonymous with up-and-coming tech brands, especially with Scarlett Johanssen and Henry Cavill posing stylishly with devices we’re so sure they’re using. The tech company is also pioneering in 5G telecom equipment after spending on research for the good part of two decades.

Developments took a surprising detour when, in May, US President Donald Trump used the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to restrict trade with China because it feels using their telecom technologies could pose risks to US’ national security. It’s a move which took the tech world aback, not just the US and China.

As a result, all US-based companies have cold-shouldered Huawei Technologies — but this hasn’t put Huawei on the back foot... in fact, they are using social media to respond to the accusations by the US.

Huawei and India

On May 24, Amazon pulled out Huawei devices in Japan from its website. However, no such steps have been taken in India. Banning sales in India which is one the largest smartphone market would definitely heat up the US-China trade-war. As per GSMA report ‘India: becoming 5G-ready’ in May 2019, a growing number of trails have taken place with various vendors including Huawei and Ericsson. Recent reports suggest that India is yet to give the nod to Huawei’s 5G trial participation due to security concerns.

Mumbai-based techie Munaf Kapadia says, “Whether the bans stay or not, I feel this experience will push Huawei to be a self-reliant company which will lead to more innovations.”

Considering the impact of ban of their business, Huawei has been careful with its response. Last month, Catherine Chen, a Director of the Board at Huawei wrote ‘The US is a shining example of how to inspire passion for technological innovation and development. We too have been inspired by your history of creativity and hard work. I am writing to you in the hopes that we can come to understand each other better.’ How smooth is that?

Mishaal Rahman, editor-in-chief at XDA Developers, a developers portal, points out, “They’re employing a rather clever strategy to fight back against the perception that the US government wants to levy on Huawei: that it’s a security threat and de facto arm of the Chinese government. Huawei is taking advantage of the fact that the U.S. government almost certainly cannot publicize whatever evidence it has - if it indeed has any - against the company.”

Your move, Internet

On the other hand, they have upped the ante on Twitter. They have been responding to reports from US media from a Twitter account @HuaweiFacts. This account was created in January 2016, how impressive is their hindsight? Until 2019, it had less than 300 tweets.

All you need to know about the ban on Huawei in USA

Obviously, since the ban, the activity has catapulted significantly. Twitteratis from both camps are letting their voice heard. After all, all publicity is good publicity right? Mishaal adds, “In this age of mistrust in the government and ‘fake news’, Huawei isn’t standing down in the face of allegations. Accounts like @HuaweiFacts show how they’re challenging the U.S. to put forward evidence or drop the accusations.”

All you need to know about the ban on Huawei in USA

If you think that’s cheeky wait till you hear this — Hong Kong-based meme sharing site 9GAG has a dedicated tab for the Huawei memes on their front page. Whether this was engineered by Huawei or not, it will surely help them stay relevant in the market. For now, it seems like Huawei is dealing with the situation well. However, only time tells how this ban turns out to be — a highway to hell or this just a minor speed breaker on their road to success...

 

 

To ban or not to ban - A timeline of the Huawei ban controversy

 

May 2, 2018: The Pentagon bans the sale of Huawei and ZTE phones on US military bases

 

December 5, 2018: Britain's BT Group says it'll strip Huawei equipment from 4G network by 2021 and in 5G

 

December 6, 2018: Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou arrested in Canada at the request of the US

 

Decelber 12, 2018: A Canadian court grants Huawei's CFO C$10 million bail

 

January 29, 2019: US slaps Huawei with 23 indictments for alleged trade secret theft and fraud

 

January 30, 2019: Qualcomm reaches an interim licensing agreement with Huawei

 

February 17, 2019: UK reportedly concludes that using Huawei in 5G is a manageable risk

 

March 7, 2019: Huawei sues the US government over its equipment ban

 

March 12, 2019: US reportedly tells Germany to drop Huawei or it'll limit intelligence sharing

 

March 28, 2019: British watchdog warns that Huawei products represent "significantly increased risk"

 

April 9: US reportedly no longer demands a Huawei ban in Germany

 

April 21: CIA reportedly says Huawei is funded by Chienese State security

 

April 24: Britain will reportedly allow Huawei limited access to 5G infrastructure. Several days later, China pushes Britain to let Huawei be part of 5G rollout

 

May 15: Trump effectively bans Huawei with a national security order

 

May 19: Google cuts off Huawei phones from future Android updates

 

May 22: Chip designer Arm ditches Huawei, while Mate 20X gets dropped from UK 5G launch

 

June 5: Huawei chairman says the company would sign a "no-spy" deal

 

June 6: Russian telecom agrees to let Huawei develop country's 5G network, while China gives Huawei a boost by issuing 5G licences

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 5:39:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/gadgets/huawei-or-the-highway-a-comprehensive-101-on-the-huawei-ban-in-the-united-states-of-america/article28009498.ece

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