U.S. Tech Suppliers, Including Google, Restrict Dealings With Huawei After Trump Order


LONDON — The Chinese technology giant Huawei on Monday began to feel the painful ripple effects of a Trump administration order that effectively bars American firms from selling components and software to the company, ramping up a cold war between the two countries over technology and trade.

The fallout began when Google cut off support to Huawei in recent days for many Android hardware and software services, according to the companies. The move, a response to the Trump administration’s order last week, could hamstring Huawei by restricting its access to future versions of the Android operating system. Google will also limit access to popular applications like Maps, Gmail and the Google Play store in new handsets made by Huawei, the world’s second-largest smartphone maker, behind Samsung.

But Huawei was given a temporary reprieve from Google’s abrupt pullback by the Commerce Department, which last week had added Huawei to a list of companies deemed a national security risk, effectively preventing it from buying or licensing American parts and technology without special permission from Washington. Late Monday afternoon, the department said in a notice posted to the Federal Register that it would grant 90-day permissions for transactions necessary to maintain and support existing cellular networks and handsets.

Google said that it would work with Huawei during the 90 days to provide security updates to its Android operating system, but that it planned to abide by the Commerce Department’s orders when the period expired.

Chip makers have also started stepping back from dealings with the Chinese firm. The German supplier Infineon said on Monday that it would restrict its business with Huawei. And Intel and Qualcomm, two of the world’s largest chip makers, have told employees to cease working with the Chinese company until further notice, according to Bloomberg.

The mass flight of American technology companies from Huawei, one of China’s proudest corporate champions, is a stark escalation in the high-tech battle that has simmered between the two powers for years.

Read more…