I bet my boss’ car that in the near future, business students are going to read on the case study of Huawei…with their Huawei phone.
And unlike other case studies that are boring AF, this’s one that’ll go down in history as one that seems to be written by M. Night Shyamalan.
Lest you can’t tell from the headline, Huawei’s nightmare has kind of ended, and it turns out that the so-called new OS might not have been a solution after all.
Here’s what went down.
Recap: Huawei Kena Banned
If you’re an Apple fanboy or fangirl who doesn’t even know what Huawei is, here’s what’s happened in the last few months.
Since many years ago, Huawei has been at the centre of the United States espionage allegations, so you can’t really buy a Huawei device there from telcos now unless you buy it without a contract. However, that was taken up a notch when Huawei was added to the US Entity List in May this year, whereby they can’t do business with any US companies unless they’ve approval from the US authorities.
Following that, Google “broke up” with Huawei, and chip makers based in the US also joined in the ban. Facebook and its family of apps wouldn’t be available as pre-installed apps as well.
It’s obviously a nightmare for Huawei, since a phone without Android and Google apps are practically paperweights.
But the China giant did not budge; they told everyone about their backup plan of an OS they’ve been developing for a while and did not complain even a single bit. To put it simply, it seems like it’s yet another day for them.
As the sudden ban could cause repercussions across sectors, Huawei was given a temporary licence to continue working with US businesses for 90 days.
And about 60 days later, there was a U-turn.
Trump’s Meeting with President Xi Jinping
In late June, during the G20 meeting, Trump’s meeting with China President proved to be fruitful for Huawei; Trump agreed to “lift some restrictions” against US companies selling high-tech gear to Chinese telecom giant Huawei, adding, “We’re talking about equipment where there’s not a great national-emergency problem with it.”
Details of that haven’t been discussed cuz still got 30 days more, and it’s unknown whether that would include Google.
But on Tuesday, everything changed and Huawei users cheered.
US Companies Can Sell to Huawei Liao
With that announcement on late June, people were constantly wondering: what Trump means ah? Chim leh! Huawei got Android or not? Simi national emergency?
Well, US Commerce Secretary spoke out on Tuesday (our Wednesday) and explained what it all meant: Huawei needs to get licenses to work with US companies, and there must be no threat to national security.
However, Huawei “itself remains on the Entity List, and the announcement does not change the scope of items requiring licenses from the Commerce Department, nor the presumption of denial.”
To put it simply, think of Huawei as a person who used to work for Company A. Company A used to ban employing Huawei altogether, but now, they allow Huawei to work on certain freelance projects, thought Company A will look at the projects that are “safe” for Huawei to work on.
Huawei still isn’t happy, with its chairman stating, “It is not enough to ease restrictions on some U.S. suppliers. We should be removed from the list entirely.”
It’s unknown what licences we’re talking about, but I bet my boss’ house that one of them would be Android.
Because it turns out that Huawei’s self-made OS might not work after all.
HongMeng’s Future Not Certain
A week ago, Huawei CEO confirmed the rumours that the new OS, called either HongMeng or Ark, would be 60% faster than Andriod.
But of course, that interview could have been done way before Trump decided to ease the restrictions on Huawei’s ban.
And just two days ago, it’s alleged that the OS might not work after all.
Huawei chairman, told reporters in Shenzhen on Friday (that is after the clarification from US Commerce Secretary) that they “haven’t decided yet if HongMeng can be developed as a smartphone operating system in the future.”
However, experts said that it’s unlikely that Huawei would be giving up on its own OS; they’ll still continue to invest and develop the OS lest the US authorities make a U-turn again.
So, M. Night Shyamalan, maybe you should make a movie about this entire incident. The plot twist is that everything is masterminded by Huawei to gain publicity worldwide; that would be super epic.
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