Huawei Ban: Can UK Consumers Trust Huawei?

Huawei UK News, Logo and UK Flag

Huawei news has been a trending topic of late due to the current Huawei ban in the US, and now, similar concerns are being sited by officials in the UK, especially over Huawei 5g. What future do Huawei’s Android phones have in the UK? Will this affect the relationship between Huawei and Google?

Huawei Blacklisted

Huawei, the huge Chinese owned, multinational telecommunications giant - that took second place in the smartphone market almost overnight - has faced some difficulties of late having been officially blacklisted in the US.

In May 2019, Huawei found itself caught in the middle of an ongoing trade dispute between China and the US. Amidst a storm of fraud, espionage and trade secrets allegations, the US government put Huawei on an ‘Entity list’, which effectively restricts the mobile giant’s existing and future commercial partnerships in the US.

The Global Fallout: Huawei in the UK

The global fallout of the US blacklisting was substantial and immediate. Many international companies halted or severed activities with Huawei for fear of also attracting US sanctions.

ARM, the UK-based chip manufacturer instructed all employees to halt 'all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements' with Huawei in light of the imposed sanctions. Although it later agreed to continue to supply chip technology to Huawei’s fully-owned chipmaker HiSilicon.

EE, the UK’s largest mobile network provider also severed ties. Both EE and Vodafone confirmed the exclusion of Huawei from their 5G networks in the UK.

A host of US-owned companies were forced to cut ties with Huawei virtually overnight. This included high profile companies Microsoft and, crucially, Google - the proprietor of Android's operating system, the author of the operating system on which Huawei products run. The repercussions of the latter affect Huawei users worldwide.

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Huawei in Politics: What do UK Officials Have To Say?

Not only do some UK consumers and tech experts that have their eye on Huawei, but several current and former politicians now having weighed in on the Huawei ban debate.

A group of Tory grandees have now written a letter which states that they are now working to find a better solution on providers for the 5G network.

The Prime Minister has himself announced a limited role for the Chinese manufacturer last month, with restrictions on its market share and accessed to the UK’s core infrastructure. These measures aren’t always viewed as strict enough, however, with some MPs and British allies still voicing concerns over the potential risks associated with Huawei’s future in the UK.

Huawei Google Ban

Severing ties with Huawei meant that Google had to pull the phone manufacturer’s Android license, effectively blocking Huawei products from accessing the Android operating system, as well as Google products and services such as Gmail, Google Maps, and the Play Store.

Will my Huawei phone work in the UK?

Customers are left guessing about the future of Huawei’s smartphone presence in the UK, but for those that already own a Huawei device, there will be no major changes to reckon with.

Google has confirmed that existing Huawei devices will, for the foreseeable future, continue to receive access to the Play Store, general Google products and services, the Android app store, security features and operating system updates. You can find a list of the Huawei phones that will receive an Android updte below.

However, recently produced handsets - the Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 PRO - will not feature an Android operating system, making it very unlikely that they will ever be released in the UK.

Will Huawei Survive the Google Ban?

The intention of the US blacklisting of Huawei was aimed at the company's 5G network equipment, but the consumer product range was actually impacted the most, casting a gloomy shadow over the companies’ future.

The outlook for Huawei in May of 2019 did not look great, but after 6 months of trade restrictions, the company has made a surprising recovery. The company’s Q3 report shows staggering growth in the wake of the ongoing US blacklisting. Huawei shipped 200 million smartphones in 2019, a two full months faster than their 2018 sales results pre-blacklisting.

Huawei has also expanded its 5G networking equipment market share by 1% since the beginning of 2019, showing continued resistance to the US enforced sanctioning. Mainly due to the significant allocation of its existing 65+ 5G contracts being within Europe and not being affected directly by the US blacklisting efforts.

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Huawei to Launch Rival OS: Harmony

Over the past few years Huawei has been developing a rival operating system Android. The originally named it Hongmeng before changing the name to ‘Harmony’ for the western market. The manufacturing giant has stated that its operating system would be launched to rival Android.

It is rumoured that the new operating system will be up to 60 times faster than Androids existing system, although no other information has been released by Huawei at the time of writing. An official launch date for the new OS has not yet been announced.

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Huawei Devices Confirmed to Receive the Android 10 Update

Only certain devices could suffer under a Huawei ban, here or abroad. Certain Huawei phones have actually been confirmed as devices that will receive the Android 10 update. The devices in question are as follows:

  • Huawei P30
  • Huawei P30 Pro
  • Huawei P30 Lite/Nova 4e
  • Huawei P20
  • Huawei P20 Pro
  • Huawei P Smart 2019
  • Huawei P Smart+ 2019
  • Huawei P Smart Z
  • Huawei Mate 20
  • Huawei Mate 20 Pro
  • Huawei Mate 20 Lite
  • Huawei Mate 20 X
  • Huawei Mate 20 X (5G)
  • Huawei Mate 20 X (4G)
  • Huawei Mate 20 Porsche RS
  • Huawei Mate 10
  • Huawei Mate 10 Pro
  • Huawei Porsche Design Mate 10
  • Huawei Porsche Design Mate RS
  • Huawei Mate X
  • Huawei Nova 5T
  • Huawei Nova 5
  • Huawei Nova 5 Pro
  • Huawei Nova 5i
  • Huawei Nova 4
  • Huawei Nova 4e
  • Honor 9X
  • Honor 9X Pro
  • Honor 20 Pro
  • Honor 20
  • Honor 20i/20 Lite
  • Honor View 10/Honor V10
  • Honor View 20/Honor V20
  • Honor 10
  • Honor 10 Lite
  • Honor 10 Youth Edition
  • Honor 8X
  • Honor Magic 2
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