Huawei can finally breathe some fresh air. After months of unending torment, President Trump released the company’s chains as a bargaining chip for the China-US trade war. In a surprise announcement, the American leader reversed his ban on conducting business between Huawei and local companies. Is Huawei finally in the clear? What’s next for Huawei?
Business as usual
Throughout the entire debacle, Huawei’s supporters showed a lot more anxiety than the company itself. On the surface, Huawei still carried on as normal. In fact, over the past few weeks, the company launched a series of new smartphones — as if nothing terrible was happening. For one, the Nova 5 series has already shipped out in China. Meanwhile, the Philippines will see the Y9 Prime 2019 within the coming weeks. Finally, Huawei unveiled the Mate 20 X 5G — the world’s first commercially available 5G smartphone.
If anything, Huawei has bolstered its confidence amidst the uncertainty. The company will likely continue its usual release schedule for the coming fiscal year. With that in mind, expect the Mate 30 series later this year.
Despite their bravado, Huawei has not fostered the same confidence within its market. Consumers have already offloaded their favored devices for something less risky. Of course, Huawei’s more devout supporters have stuck with the company amid the trying times. However, a damaged reputation is damage, nonetheless.
In Singapore, Huawei is working hard to rebuild their reputation. The company is giving away milk tea for loyal customers who stayed loyal despite the brand’s difficult period. As is standard with every rebuilding company, expect more quirky marketing campaigns in the future. Besides the occasional giveaway, Huawei has resorted to more innovative tactics in the past. Given the damage sustained, we might see Huawei’s goofier side come out again soon.
Building a new phone
Amidst their confidence, Huawei also harbored frantic damage control efforts during the controversy. To combat uncertainty, the company sought more reliable alternatives for its components. These included new partnerships and in-house developments. With a more optimistic future on the horizon, Huawei won’t need as much Plan B’s anymore.
Still, Huawei won’t want its efforts wasted. The company has already worked on beefier Kirin chips and its own Ark operating system. Huawei will likely reveal these in-house products in some form. A more powerful Kirin chipset will propel Huawei up performance charts. Even without the Trump issue, Huawei has already expressed its goals to be number one. Also, an in-house Kirin chip will help position the company as a self-reliant powerhouse for smartphones.
On the other hand, the controversial Ark OS will push the company in unseen directions. How will the Chinese software impact the global marketplace? Despite Huawei’s efforts, Android still reigns supreme in the OS arena. If launched, the operating system will likely be an enforced decision for a good chunk of consumers who prefer Android. As such, will it be exclusive to China — where it might gain more favorable reception? Will Huawei just shelf it? Without much information, Huawei’s operating system is still a big unknown.
Batten down the hatches
Right now, Huawei is riding a wave of optimism. However, Trump’s words always carry a modicum of uncertainty. Is Huawei finally safe? No one knows.
Currently, the company is still bumping around in America’s rough patches. Despite Trump’s promises, American lawmakers have not relinquished Huawei yet. Outside of the commercial sphere, Huawei is still technically banned.
As such, Huawei will likely keep its allocation of resources set for in-house research and development. If anything, Trump’s latest attack on the company is a lesson learned for the Chinese company. Of course, Huawei’s upcoming announcements will populate the airwaves in their time. However, the company will keep more of its developments behind the scenes.
Ultimately, Huawei’s future is still riddled in uncertainty. If past experiences will serve their lessons, Huawei is already fighting against potential controversies in the future.
We’re not replacing Android yet, Huawei says
HongMeng is not the replacement system
Amidst the long-standing Trump saga, Huawei has quietly developed its own operating system. Or so we thought.
Weeks earlier, Google blacklisted Huawei from its services, heralding a premature end to the latter’s Android support. Naturally, Huawei needed a more reliable replacement. Besides third-party replacements, the company supposedly started developing a completely new operating system. According to rumors, the future system will carry the name “Ark” or “HongMeng.”
Of course, as we know now, Huawei’s landmark ban as short-lived. Recently, Trump reversed his decision. Huawei’s Android support lives on — at least, for the immediate future. However, despite the optimism, Huawei isn’t resting on its laurels. HongMeng’s rumor mill kept grinding news every day. Most notably, Huawei was reportedly gearing for a late 2019 launch.
Out of nowhere, Huawei has finally addressed the torrent of rumors. HongMeng isn’t an Android replacement. At least, not yet.
According to senior vice president Catherine Chen, the operating system is not designed for smartphone use. For the meantime, Huawei is working closely with Google for continued support.
In another report, chairman Liang Hua comments on the company’s indecision regarding the operating system. Huawei still hasn’t decided if HongMeng can fit into the Android ecosystem. Further, he clarifies the system’s true nature. Apparently, HongMeng is software meant for industrial IoT devices. Whatever Huawei’s replacement operating system is, it’s not HongMeng.
Regardless, Huawei’s HongMeng system should be a lessened priority for the company. Huawei is still riding on both optimism and a need for damage control. If anything, Huawei is tying up its loose ends before its next big move.
These are the best cities for women entrepreneurs to thrive
Singapore ranks third in Asia Pacific, behind Sydney and Melbourne
At the 10th annual Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit in Singapore, Dell announced findings of the 2019 Women Entrepreneur Cities (WE Cities) Index, ranking 50 global cities on their ability to foster growth for women entrepreneurs. Dell ranks cities based on the impact of local policies, programs, and characteristics in addition to national laws and customs to help improve support for women entrepreneurs and the overall economy.
Building on 10 years of research on women entrepreneurs, Dell partnered with IHS Markit to research and rank 50 cities on five important characteristics, including access to Capital, Technology, Talent, Culture and Markets.
The San Francisco Bay Area outranked New York for the No. 1 spot this year, mostly due to the city being one of the best places for women to gain access to capital. It also moved from 6th place to 2nd place in Culture, showing that the number of role models and public dialogue around eliminating the “bro culture” is making an impact.
Lack of funding, high cost of living, low representation of women in leadership roles and the lack of government-led policies that support women entrepreneurs were among the barriers globally.
Cities in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region are improving alongside all other cities globally, but still have a long way to go. Singapore, one of the only three cities from Southeast Asia to make it to the top 50, saw the highest improvement in the Talent pillar, as it benefitted from increasing its top school and business school rankings, as well as its pool of professionals needed to help scale businesses.
APAC cities mainly fell behind in the pillars for Culture and Markets. Despite making the top 50, Singapore’s Culture score was relatively low due to fewer female role models or leaders, although it’s still more advanced than majority of its neighbors in addressing gender parity issues.
Singapore ranks only No. 47 globally for the Markets pillar, because of the high cost of living in the city despite the lack of accelerators and relatively few female board members.
The WE Cities Index serves as a diagnostic tool to advise policy-makers on how to better support women in business.
“By arming city leaders and policymakers with actionable, data-driven research on the landscape for women entrepreneurs, we can collectively accelerate the success of women-owned businesses by removing financial, cultural and political barriers,” says Karen Quintos, EVP and chief customer officer at Dell Technologies.
The same way US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg argued in her landmark cases that gender discrimination hurts men and women alike, Singapore Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu also emphasized at the summit that it’s not only women who want a better work life balance; men also want to be able to spend more time with their families.
This is where technology comes in. Technology, as a gender-neutral enabler, helps drive progress in gender equality by creating a level playing field, says Amit Midha, President of Asia Pacific & Japan, Global Digital Cities at Dell Technologies. It’s important to empower and invest in women not just because it’s been proven time and again that women help economies grow, but also because doing so benefits men and society as a whole.
Qualcomm found guilty of unfair pricing
Ordered to pay hundreds of millions of euros
For a while now, Qualcomm has waged a legal war against Apple over ambiguous copyright claims. The battle emboldened the chipmaker, leading to quirkier means to keep competitors at bay. To its credit, Qualcomm successfully squeezed out substantial money from its battles. However, karma can come in unexpected forms.
Recently, Qualcomm found itself on the receiving end of a similar legal strife. The European Commission has ruled the company guilty of unfair pricing schemes.
From 2009 to 2011, Qualcomm became a market leader in the 3G modem business. The win practically ensured the company’s dominance in future eras. At the time, Qualcomm’s only major competitor was fellow 3G chipset manufacturer, Nvidia’s Icera.
According to the EU Commission, Qualcomm used antitrust pricing to ensure its win against Icera. Particularly, Qualcomm’s prices were way below cost, drawing more competition towards them. Then-growing companies Huawei and ZTE bought into Qualcomm’s cheaper chips. Icera would eventually fold in 2015.
Of course, cheaper pricing schemes aren’t illegal outright. However, Qualcomm purposely set its prices below the cost to produce them — which is illegal. In effect, they were selling at a loss to block out the competition. Qualcomm’s current dominance draws from its past practices.
Because of the unfair practice, the Commission is fining the company a hefty EUR 242 million. The huge amount totals to 1.27 percent of Qualcomm’s 2018 revenue.
Despite the weight, the fine is only a drop in Qualcomm’s huge bucket. At the very least, the ruling is a warning against unfair business practices. Qualcomm isn’t immune to the same strategies that it employs against its competitors.
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