In the past few years, Huawei has strived for a good share of the US market and achieved good results. However, Huawei’s efforts were interrupted by the US Department of Commerce’s ban. The U.S. Department of Commerce’s ban requires U.S. companies to ban any cooperation with Huawei, including technology licensing and the sale of software or hardware. At the same time, Google Inc. has stopped authorizing Android with Google proprietary services in accordance with the ban, and Huawei also has its own operating system.
For Google, it is not willing to stop working with Huawei, but the ban must be implemented. The reason given by Google is actually very interesting. Google said that stopping the authorization to Huawei is actually pushing Huawei to use its own operating system. Huawei systems are of course compatible with open source Android systems, so Huawei has the ability to continue to sell smartphones without the authorization of the United States or Google. In essence, Huawei can still sell smartphones in other markets except for the US. For example, in the European market, users can continue to purchase as long as they are willing to pay.
For Google, Huawei’s operating system is out of Google. Google’s failure to provide Huawei with security updates means that there may be potential security issues. So Google lobbied the US government to hope that the US government could give Android a waiver, allowing Google to continue to license Huawei’s version with Google.
Step one: Huawei forks Android, creating a version that no longer includes Google’s services. One of the most important features of those services is Google Play Protect, software that automatically scans for malware, viruses, and security threats. Another is that people who buy phones with Google Services generally stick to apps available in the Google Play Store, which are more rigorously checked for security than what you’ll find on other stores.
Step two: those Huawei phones with a forked version of Android are sold globally. They are less secure and get hacked.
Step three: somebody in the US unknowingly sends sensitive information to somebody who is using one of those hacked Huawei phones. No matter how secure end-to-end encryption is, if there’s malware directly on a phone there’s a risk it could see information sent to it. And many people don’t check to see what phones they’re sending information to.
Step four: US national security it compromised.
Before Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm had already lobbied the US government. Microsoft and Huawei did not have much competition, so they hoped to cooperate. Although Huawei competes with Qualcomm in the chip business, Huawei is also purchasing a large number of Qualcomm licenses and Qualcomm chips. Qualcomm does not want to lose big customers.