Chipmakers Cut Huawei Shipments

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European and US chipmakers have stopped supplying Huawei with products while Google will cease providing technical Android support from the next OS iteration, as Donald Trump’s executive order starts to bite.

Google said in a tweet yesterday: “while we are complying with all US gov't requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device.”

However, it’s believed the same will not be true of new Huawei handsets. Google is also set to cut key support for the operating system from its next version, which could leave users without apps like YouTube and Google Maps, according to reports.

Huawei could still use the open source version of Android, although it has been developing an in-house OS which it could also switch across to in the event that Trump’s executive order is not reversed.

The firm is also being hit as global chipmakers cut supplies in compliance with the order. Qualcomm (smartphones) Intel (servers and laptops), Xilinx and Broadcom (networking kit) and many other US producers, as well as German chipmaker Infineon, have reportedly taken immediate action.

Huawei produces some processors and modems for its smartphones in-house, so Qualcomm’s decision is perhaps the least likely to affect it. The firm is said to have stockpiled other types of chips for several months while it waits to see whether the US action is a bargaining play or is set for the long-term.

However, Forrester principal analyst, Charlie Dai, said the US policy would ultimately hit global consumers hard.

“This move will have a critical impact toward Huawei’s business around smartphones,” he added. “Huawei has its own mobile OS as a backup, but it’s not fully ready yet and it’s very difficult to build up the ecosystem as what Huawei has been doing on Android. It’s a pity that customer value facilitated by the open-source spirit is now ruined by politics.”

Trump signed an executive order last week banning “foreign adversaries” from providing telecoms equipment in the US. However, Huawei and 70 subsidiaries were also placed on an “Entity List” meaning US firms are not able to supply it with their products unless Huawei is granted a special license from the Commerce Department.

Although the tech firms have already taken action, the department is still drawing up the enforcement plan, and has 150 days to do so.

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