Thursday, May 23, 2019

Well, the Damage is Done

The US government "blacklisted" Huawei Technologies, a Chinese company selling products and services in more than 170 countries and to 45 of the world's 50 largest telecom operators, with networks used by 1/3 of the world's population, last week. The excuse: "National security." The real reason: Economic protectionism.

Obviously the "blacklisting" hurts Huawei. But it hurts US companies worse, and even if it was reversed today the damage would already be done and at least partially irreversible.

Google revoked Huawei's access to Android software (and Google-provided hardware). That decision was reversed after the US regime gave Huawei 90 days to do, well, something (no matter what Huawei does, the regime will likely say that it didn't get done).

Qualcomm stopped selling chips to Huawei. So did Intel. And Arm.

Panasonic and Vodafone and EE and Microsoft are dumping Huawei as well.

(Above list from Business Insider)

OK, so let's assume the matter gets "resolved."

If you ran Huawei, would you just blithely return to doing business with the companies above and hope this doesn't happen again?

Hell, no.  Huawei has been working on its own phone OS for some time, and certainly cultivating, or at least keeping an eye on, potential alternative hardware suppliers and such. Even if the US regime says "OK, just kidding, you can go back to doing business with all the companies we just bullied into dumping you," Huawei is going amp up its efforts to make itself immune to this kind of thing.

Which means that even if Huawei is only temporarily cut off from the US market, US companies are probably going to be permanently cut off from Huawei. They're going to become entirely its competitor instead of it remaining one of their biggest customers.

And every other non-US company (and consumer) in the world is watching this happen. Are they going to trust Google, Qualcomm, Intel, Arm et al. to fill their future needs? Or are they going to assume that this could happen to them next and act accordingly by dealing with companies in countries whose governments they think they can trust not to screw them in this way?

How much of the future global technology/telecom market did the US just cost American companies?

Donald Trump, and whoever advised him to pull this bullshit caper, are fucking idiots.

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