In the final days of Donald Trump's presidency, the government tried to leave another mark by following up the Huawei and ZTE bans with another one, this time aimed at Xiaomi. However, the company was able to get a preliminary injunction from the US District Court for the District of Columbia, removing the restrictions on the business a week before they were scheduled to go into effect.
One of the President Donald Trump's choicest adversaries during his term has been China. He considers the country to be a trade scofflaw while politicians in intelligence circles have pegged it as a digital security threat. Huawei has been targeted to be the biggest casualty from multiple sanctions that have blocked it from acquiring American goods and services. Now, as the current administration makes way for another, we're learning of one of its final moves symbolizing a door slam.
The Trump administration is dubbing Xiaomi a national security threat in a fashion similar to how it did Huawei and ZTE. However, the "Communist Chinese military company" label has a greater effect to this particular tech manufacturer than the others.
More Chinese tech manufacturers are under the gun from President Trump's Commerce Department. Semiconductors firm Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation and DJI, known best for its drones, have been added to the Entity List which prohibits them from U.S. imports. But while the White House rattles SMIC's closely-knit integrations to the military, the case for DJI is less clear.
For the third time this year, the US Commerce Department has granted another 90-day reprieve to Huawei that lets American companies continue to do business with China's biggest telecom. The new rule takes effect on November 18th, and it follows the first extension granted in May and the second in August.
According to a report published today by Reuters, Huawei's upcoming Mate 30 series of phones may have to eschew Google's apps as a result of the trade ban imposed by the U.S. government. While the phone should still be able to run Android, given the free and open availability of the software, deeper integration with Google's apps and services like the Play Store and YouTube will be missing if an exemption can't be secured.
Huawei is being given another 90-day reprieve by the U.S. government, following the Temporary General License (TGL) issued back in May. That provides the company with three more months to continue purchasing goods from U.S. companies. While this extension might sound like a step towards dropping the Entity List import/export ban for good, the government is clear that the extra few months are merely meant to "afford consumers across America the necessary time to transition away from Huawei equipment."
When the US added Huawei to the Entity List last month, it sparked a series of troubles for the Chinese manufacturer that are beginning to have significant consequences on its shipments and revenue. Indeed, the company has been banned from doing business with US organizations, which means it had to stop its working relationships with chip manufacturers and even Google.
Although Huawei tried to reassure markets with mitigation measures, including an in-house OS; these didn't seem to convince buyers its devices were a safe bet. Indeed, British carriers paused the introduction of the manufacturer's 5G products and its partner Foxconn was said to be halting some Huawei production lines earlier this month.
It's no secret Huawei has been going through some serious issues after it's been added to the US Entity List, preventing it from doing business with US companies. Indeed, most of the manufacturer's American partners were fast in cutting their ties with it, ranging from Google to chip manufacturers. ARM's decision to do the same also prevented the Chinese firm from continuing to build its Kirin chips, which were featured in most of its devices. Although Huawei is trying to overcome these woes with in-house software and working with Aptoide to put in place a Play Store replacement, it's struggling to convince the world about its viability.
Just a few days after the US added Huawei to its "Entity List," things are continuing to go south for the Chinese manufacturer. The demise began with Google announcing it would put an end to its partnership with the company, and continued with major chip manufacturers blacklisting it. Although Huawei is trying to mitigate the first issue by working on an in-house operating system, hardware related bans are much more complex to overcome.