The news jumped into the world in a matter of minutes: Reuters, citing sources “close to the facts,” reported that Google was suspending business with Huawei that require “the transfer of hardware and software products,” with the exception of open source products. Shortly thereafter, the information was also confirmed by The Verge. Google Could Block Other Chinese Brands
Google’s decision follows Trump’s signing of an executive order allowing it to veto companies that pose “a threat to national security”.
Although Huawei was not mentioned in that order, it is included in the Entiry List of brands that constitute a risk, so both Google and Qualcomm and Intel have already broken off their relations with the manufacturer. But what about the other Chinese brands?
The key is on the “blacklist”.
The rupture of Google’s relations with Huawei is the latest consequence of the American government’s particular war against technology from China. The mistrust of Huawei and ZTE, in fact, dates back to 2012, when, according to a report by a U.S.
Congressional committee, both manufacturers failed to provide documentation demonstrating their relationship with the Chinese government and there was the possibility that they could have installed backdoors and monitoring software inside their routers and other network equipment without warning the end consumer.
It was precisely this concern for alleged Chinese espionage that caused Donald Trump to target both brands, leading to a series of investigations, blockades and sanctions.
At the end of 2018, rumors began pointing to a possible executive order that would limit the spread of equipment manufactured by foreign companies in the interests of national security, something that would particularly affect the deployment of 5G.
That executive order, as we said before, was signed last week and includes the drawing up of an Entiry List of companies and transactions that pose potential risks.
Google Could Block Other Chinese Brands
No American company can do business with a company on that black list and Huawei is included in it, so the consequences for the Chinese brand and, therefore, for Honor, have not been long in coming: Google has suspended its business and, according to Bloomberg, Intel, Qualcomm and other major chip manufacturers will join this blockade.
No American company can do business with a company on that blacklist and Huawei is on it, but all other Chinese manufacturers are not.
How does this affect other manufacturers from China such as Xiaomi, OnePlus, OPPO, Vivo…? So far, with the exception of ZTE, none of the other Chinese brands have been included in the list of potentially dangerous companies. So there is nothing to suggest that they will suffer the blockade of the Trump government.
Among the reasons why they are not blacklisted are, for example, that they are not network equipment manufacturers, that they have provided the necessary documentation to prove what kind of relationship they have with the Chinese government, or simply that they do not market their products in the US.
Why Huawei and not the rest?
In the case of ZTE, it is difficult to predict whether it will suffer the same consequences. We have to consider two factors: that it also produces network equipment and its background.
After admitting that it had conspired to distribute American products in Iran. The United States sentenced the company to a heavy fine and prohibited it from buying components from American companies, including Qualcomm and Dolby.
This forced ZTE to stop its worldwide commercial activity. Although Trump finally decided to lift the blockade on ZTE under conditions that could be altered by this new executive order.
Xiaomi, according to IDC and as of 2018, has become the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the world with an 8.7% market share. Behind Samsung, Apple and Huawei, but unlike these, has no commercial presence in the United States.
Nor is it dedicated to the installation and maintenance of communications networks. The sector most susceptible to espionage, according to the Government of Trump.
Google Could Block Other Chinese Brands
Neither Xiaomi nor the brands belonging to the BBK Electronics conglomerate (OnePlus, OPPO and Vivo) are engaged in the manufacture, installation and maintenance of network equipment.
The same applies to OPPO, which ranks fifth globally thanks to its 8.6% market share and which, although it does have a presence in Europe, neither markets its devices in the US nor produces network equipment.
Identical case for two other important brands that are also part of the conglomerate BBK Electronics together with OPPO: neither OnePlus nor Vivo manufactures telecommunications equipment; moreover, although the former sells some of its models in the American market, Vivo does not market them there either (in fact, it has hardly any presence in Europe).
Xiaomi has said that there is no official statement on the subject and they will not comment on it.
As for OPPO, the only statements we have obtained from the brand are that they have nothing to say about the news.