International

US Ban Forces Huawei To Scrap Laptop Launch

U.S. Ban Forces Huawei To Scrap Laptop Launch

Chinese technology company Huawei will not launch its new laptop due to restrictions put on the purchasing of U.S. parts by the American government, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

The announcement is the first real consequence to Huawei since the restrictions were put in place. The U.S. Commerce Department banned American companies selling to Huawei over concerns of spying and espionage, something Huawei denies.

Huawei is the second ranked smartphone brand in the world, but its computer business is fairly new. It manufactures three laptop computers which use Microsoft Windows and Intel chips.

Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business, said the laptop might never be released if the company remains on the blacklist.

The ban is mainly focused on Huawei’s telecommunications business, and its cellular-tower hardware. Washington has asked other countries to ban Huawei as well.

Huawei’s consumer division accounted for almost half of its revenue in 2018, and the company has previously said that it wants to pass Samsung as the globe’s number one smartphone brand. However, the ban might stop Huawei from using certain versions of Android, as well as some software from Google, which is owned by Alphabet. This would affect Huawei sales in Europe and anywhere people use Google apps.

“If we had not encountered anything unexpected, we would have become number one by the fourth quarter [of this year],” said Shao Yang, chief strategy officer of Huawei’s consumer business. “We have to wait a bit longer to achieve that.”

The company has recently been attempting to make smartphones without using any American parts. Recently, it trademarked its own operating system called Hongmeng, meant to replace Android. The new OS could possibly be ready by the end of the year. Huawei has also invested a great deal of capital in a company that makes chips for smartphones.

Because its laptop business is fairly new, Huawei has been restrained, regardless of its smartphone success.

“Today we are not targeting, top one, top two, top three like that, because we are a newcomer to this industry,” Yu said in a May 2017 interview.

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