Google has released a statement on Tuesday stating that it will be working with Huawei for the next ninety days. The statement was released shortly after the US temporarily eased some of the trade restrictions that it had placed on the second largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.
The statement is a dramatic and sudden turnabout for the tech giant that had released a statement on Sunday saying that it would stop providing support to Huawei in compliance with Washington’s decision of placing the Huawei on Entity List. The US Commerce Department, however, soon announced that it had provided Huawei with a 90-day license during which it could work with mobile phone companies and internet broadband providers to maintain the current networks online and safe users from any security threats.
The exemption has enabled Google to provide software updates to Huawei phones that run on Android through to August 19. According to a Google spokesperson, ‘Keeping phones up to date and secure is in everyone’s best interests, and this temporary license allows us to continue to provide software updates and security patches to existing models for the next 90 days.’
According to the US Commerce Department, it will be assessing whether it can extend the temporary exemptions for more than ninety days. The decision to place Huawei and its affiliates onto the Entity List had made it impossible for the company to buy any goods that were made in the US. For those that are not aware, the companies deemed to be a part of activities that threaten the foreign policy interests or national security of the US are placed on the Entity List – an export blacklist.
Huawei still has to comment on the news. However, we already know that it has developed its own operating system that will be replacing Android on its devices. Some are calling this move by the US a show of power, thus forcing the Chinese company to become more transparent. During the first quarter, Huawei was the second largest smartphone manufacturer by global market share. Huawei spent $70 billion buying components in 2018 out of which $11 billion was spent on buying components from US firms including Micron Technology, Qualcomm, and Intel.