Google’s decision to cut off support to Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant blacklisted by the Trump administration, is rippling across the globe as companies suspend ties to the handset maker.
In Britain, where Huawei is one of the most popular cellphone brands, two of country’s biggest mobile networks, EE and Vodafone, announced they would stop offering Huawei phones to 5G customers as a result of Google’s decision.
In Japan, the three largest cellphone companies also said they were reconsidering plans to sell a new series of Huawei smartphones.
And ARM, a chip maker based in Britain, was reportedly suspending its business with Huawei because some of its designs contained technology from the United States, according to documents seen by the BBC. ARM said on Wednesday that it was “complying with all of the latest regulations set forth by the U.S. government” and declined to comment any further.
The moves follow Google’s announcement on Monday that it would cut off support to Huawei for its Android hardware and software services. Google’s announcement was a result of a Trump administration order last week that effectively barred American firms from selling components and software to Huawei, ramping up a cold war between the two countries over technology and trade.
EE and Vodafone in Britain both said that they would hold off selling Huawei phones to customers who wanted 5G services until there was more certainty about the situation. EE, a unit of British Telecom and Britain’s largest cellphone carrier, will open its 5G network next week, and had planned to offer Huawei phones along with Samsung and OnePlus handsets for the service.
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.
China has long prevented many American internet giants from providing services within its borders, and it has placed tight strictures on how other American technology firms can operate. The enormous commercial potential of the Chinese market made it hard for the companies to put up much of a fight as Beijing declared, in effect, that their business interests were subservient to China’s national security interests.
Now, the United States government is showing that it, too, has ways of getting foreign companies to play by its rules in the name of upholding national security. Its asset is not a giant, untapped market for technology products, but the technology itself — the know-how and capabilities without which Huawei would not have achieved so much of its success.
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Contributed by Sean Walton of The Daily Sheeple.