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The escalating US-China trade war that’s seen Chinese tech giant Huawei slapped on a US trade blacklist is causing ripples of shock across Europe too, as restrictions imposed on US companies hit regional suppliers concerned they could face US restrictions if they don’t ditch Huawei.
Reuters reports shares fell sharply today in three European chipmakers, Infineon Technologies, AMS and STMicroelectronics, after reports suggested some already had, or were about to, halt shipments to Huawei following the executive order barring US firms from trading with the Chinese tech giant.
Interconnectedness - Tech - Supply - Chains - US
The interconnectedness of high tech supply chains coupled with US dominance of the sector and Huawei’s strong regional position as a supplier of cellular, IT and network kit in Europe suddenly makes political risk a fast-accelerating threat for EU technology companies, large and small.
On the small side is French startup Qwant, which competes with Google by offering a pro-privacy search engine. In recent months it has been hoping to leverage a European antitrust decision against Google Android last year to get smartphones to market in Europe that preload its search engine, not Google’s.
Huawei - Partner - Devices - Though - Trade
Huawei was its intended first major partner for such devices. Though, prior to recent trade war developments, it was already facing difficulties related to price incentives Google included in reworked EU Android licensing terms.
Still, the US-China trade war threatens to throw a far more existential spanner in European Commission efforts to reset the competitive planning field for smartphone services. Certainly if Google’s response to Huawei’s blacklisting is to torch its supply of almost all Android-related services, per Reuters.
Aim - EU - Decision - Unbundling - Google
A key aim of the EU antitrust decision was intended to support the unbundling of popular Google services from Android so that device makers can try selling combinations that aren’t entirely Google-flavored — while still being able to offer enough ‘Google’ to excite consumers (such...
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