What Will Happen to Huawei Smartphones Now That US Has Added The Chinese Company to Entity List?

Last Wednesday - May 15, 2019, the US Department of Commence announced on its official website that the Trump administration has included Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. to its "entity list", effectively banning the Chinese company from acquiring technology from American firms without approval from the government of the United States.

To quote Mr. Wilbur Ross, US Secretary of Commerce, "President Trump has directed the Commerce Department to be vigilant in its protection of national security activities. Since the beginning of the Administration, the Department has added 190 persons or organizations to the Entity List, as well as instituted five investigations of the effect of imports on national security under Section 232 of the Trade Act of 1962." (source)

What exactly is the US Entity List and who or which companies can be added to it? Essentially, people or organizations for whom there is reasonable cause to believe that they are involved, were involved, or pose a significant risk of becoming involved in activities that are contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the US, and those acting on behalf of such individuals, may be added to the Entity List.

Google's Compliance

Earlier today - May 20, 2019, my Messenger inbox was practically flooded with messages from my readers and followers telling that Google has started to comply with US government directives and started barring Huawei handsets of some Android updates and services.

After reading the articles, I immediately got my Huawei Android smartphones and checked if Google services are still working on the devices. Thankfully, they still are. I mean, I can still access Google Play Store and my Google Assistant is still working.

I was about to send a tweet to Team Android and ask them what will happen to Huawei Android handsets moving forward -- but apparently, many fellow Huawei phone owners have beat me to it.

According to Google, "While we are complying with all US government requirements, services like Google Play and Security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device."

At least, Huawei smartphones owners - like me - are safe for now.

To follow up, I have just a sent a tweet to Team Android asking them if they'll ban Huawei devices from using Google services and technologies after they have complied with US government requirements. I'll share their reply with you if and when I get it. Please stay tuned.

Off hand, it has been said that Huawei handsets will stop getting Google's security updates and technical support. New devices, on the other hand, will most likely no longer have useful and popular Google apps like YouTube and Maps.

What's good is that existing Huawei smartphone users will still be able to update applications, enjoy security fixes, and get Google Play service updates. However, once Google releases a new version of Android, it is believed that the Chinese tech company won't be able to offer this on their smartphones.

Right now, since Android comes with an Open Source license, Huawei can still use the current version of the mobile operating system on their devices. (source)

What can Huawei do about this?

On March 9, 2019, Huawei filed a lawsuit against the United States over product ban due to national security concerns. Huawei noted that the company doesn't have links to the Chinese government.

To quote Huawei Rotating Chairman Guo Ping, "The US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products. We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort." (source)

I am not a legal expert but I am thinking that following that case, Huawei can file an appeal for the lifting of the company's inclusion in the Entity List.

However, if all those legal actions won't work, then I guess it's high time for Huawei to release its own mobile operating system and app market. After all, the Chinese tech giant has previously disclosed that they've been working on the platform for several years now. (source)

Will the new OS support older Huawei smartphones? What will happen to all downloaded apps from Google Play Store? Will the services be as good as Google's? Will the new OS be just as secure as Android? Lots of questions popping in my mind right now. I guess only time will tell how this will pan out.

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