US fires arrow into Huawei's Achilles heel

phys.org | 5/20/2019 | Staff
ajoy26 (Posted by) Level 3
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The Trump administration's move to block US technology sales to Huawei shoots an arrow deep into the Chinese tech giant's Achilles heel—its over-reliance on American components—and threatens the company's very survival, analysts said.

Citing national security, President Donald Trump last week effectively banned US companies from supplying Huawei and affiliates with the critical components that have helped it grow into the world's largest supplier of telecom networking equipment and second-biggest smartphone maker.

Trump - Broadside - Pain - US - Companies

Trump's broadside will cause pain for US companies that count on Huawei as a steady customer, but it poses an existential threat to Huawei.

"The worst case would eventually see a total cutoff of access to US technology—(Huawei) would almost certainly not survive this outcome in its current form," the Eurasia Group consultancy said in a report issued Sunday.

Ban - Caps - Months - US - Effort

The tech ban caps months of US effort to isolate Huawei, which Washington suspects has deep links to China's military, allowing Beijing to potentially use Huawei-enabled networks for espionage or cyber-sabotage.

The risks for Huawei came into focus this week when Google, whose Android operating system powers most of the world's smartphones, said it would cut ties with Huawei as a result of the ban.

Threat - Huawei - Loss - Access - Google

That poses a dire threat to Huawei as loss of full access to Google's services could make its phones a hard sell to consumers.

And with the digital ecosystem now a duopoly of Android and Apple's IoS system, Huawei is in a bind.

Setback - Huawei - Smartphone - Division - Ryan

"This is a fairly major setback for Huawei's smartphone division," said Ryan Whalen, a professor with the Law and Technology Centre at the University of Hong Kong.

Huawei has said it was working on its own operating system, but Whalen notes that the Android-IoS stranglehold is nearly impossible to break.

Players - Nokia - Blackberry - Microsoft - Endeavours

"Just look to players like Nokia, Blackberry, and Microsoft that have all failed recently in similar endeavours," he said.

Huawei's other major...
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