Though it might feel like the trade war between the United States and China that threatened to topple Huawei has lasted for months, Washington and Beijing have today reached a truce that will once again see US firms free to sell equipment and software licenses to Huawei so long as, and I quote, “there’s no great national security problem with it.”
Bloomberg reports today that the US and Chinese governments have agreed to resolve the move that saw the US Commerce Department place Huawei on its Entity List; effectively meaning that the Chinese firm would be unable to access products through a US-based supply chain (threatening not only the company’s access to Android as a mobile operating system, but further access to social networks such as Facebook and its subsidiaries).
The news means that US-based firms will now be free to decide whether they prefer to resume their business with Huawei – however, given that it is estimated that Huawei spent $11 billion USD on US Supplies last year, it hardly seems like there will be much consternation.
The tensions of the trade war reached their peak roughly six weeks ago, where it was announced that Huawei had begun work on its own mobile operating system – called ArkOS – to effectively replace its need for Android. While Chinese consumers might not have been so greatly affected given that most Google services that power Android phone features are banned in China regardless, the news would have impacted territories such as South Africa that receive Huawei hardware with Android licenses and Google Play certifications attached.
In the worst instance, the news would have meant that South African consumers would, in future, have purchased Huawei devices with the knowledge that they would not have been able to access common apps and services, such as WhatsApp.
In turn for allowing Huawei to resume its business with US-based firms, President Trump has reportedly agreed to terms that will see the Chinese government and trade authorities purchase ‘tremendous’ amounts of agricultural products from the United States.