US President Donald Trump has extended the executive order that prohibits American companies to supply software and hardware tech to Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE. According to a report by Reuters, the order will now stay in place until May 2021.
The Commerce Department put Huawei on a blacklist in May last year after Trump declared a national emergency over threats to U.S. technology. The ban prevents US-based companies like Google and Microsoft from working with Huawei, preventing its smartphones and laptops from using Google Play Store and Windows 10 operating system. Huawei relies heavily on American software and components used in smartphones.
The extension of the ban is bad news for Huawei and its smartphone business. For the past year, Huawei has been selling its new smartphones without Google Mobile Services (GMS). The company released two major flagships, the Mate 30 Pro and P40 Pro, with a licensed version of Google’s Android mobile OS.
The Google Play Store is not important for Huawei in China because Google’s core services such as Gmail and Maps are anyway blocked in the communist nation. However, these services are a lifeline for people in markets like India and Europe.
Huawei is aware that it needs an alternative to Google’s Android and the Play Store. In August, Huawei showed its own operating system called HarmonyOS. The OS could be used to run across smartphones to TVs. At the same time, Huawei has also started to release mid-range smartphones with the Huawei AppGallery instead of GMS and the Play Store. Recently, Huawei’s sub-brand Honor launched its 9X Pro with the Huawei AppGallery in India, the world’s second-largest smartphone market.
That being said, the ban hasn’t fully implemented. Huawei has been granted a number of extensions to support its existing smartphones.