Who’s afraid of Huawei? Right now, everyone is. Does anyone really know why?
Since 2017, the US has dealt continuous blows against the Chinese company. More than two years later, the war is still in full swing. Both sides have fired multiple salvos against the other. Still, despite the conflict’s longevity, most people are not really sure what’s happening.
Why are they fighting? Should we stay away from Huawei? Is it time to get rid of our Huawei devices as soon as possible? Should we really fear for our cybersecurity?
For ordinary consumers, the entire Huawei debacle is mired in political lingo and endless controversy. It’s time to clear the air. What’s up, Huawei?
How did this all begin?
Let’s go back to where it all started. In late 2017, American lawmakers reviewed the businesses of ZTE, another Chinese tech company. Soon after, the investigation unveiled a flurry of shady business deals involving Iran. By law, companies operating in the US are not allowed to communicate with blacklisted countries including North Korea and Iran. Naturally, the violation caused monumental sanctions against ZTE. The US banned ZTE from American soil — effectively, the same ban on Huawei today.
At this time, Huawei was just a moderately innocent passerby stuck between two fighting giants. At most, Huawei was accused of spying on its customers. American lawmakers proposed a boycott of Huawei’s products. The proposal drew from the emerging rise of Sinophobia. Still, at the time, the US government’s eyes were firmly on ZTE.
In its infancy, the Huawei-ZTE issue was a product of a small fear. It still hadn’t affected everyone. In fact, US President Donald Trump even tried to save both companies from utter destruction. Both companies enjoyed a reprieve from America’s ire. However, this was short-lived.
In a surprising about-face, Trump started his controversial trade war against China. The American leader abandoned his salvific efforts. Instead, he adopted an incredibly aggressive push against Chinese companies. Unsurprisingly, ZTE already crumbled from the initial push, leaving Trump without a company to make an example out of.
Trump set his sights on Huawei, the world’s second largest smartphone maker. His weapon: the same ban meant for ZTE. His motive: potential cybersecurity issues. This time, America means business. Recently, Trump finally pulled the trigger, enacting a total ban against Huawei on American soil. However, instead of just the US, Trump has been lobbying for a similar ban on other countries. Since then, Huawei has suffered a world of hurt.
What does the ban mean?
Naturally, a “total ban” sounds daunting. Banning Huawei smells like certain doom for the tech giant but what does the ban really mean?
When enforced, Huawei can no longer deal with American companies. To Huawei’s dismay, the tech maker uses a fair number of American components in its products. Most notably, Huawei’s smartphones come with Google’s Android. The ban will prevent Huawei from using the operating system going forward. On paper, this is a huge deal. Android remains the world’s biggest operating system. A lot of consumers trust Android. Huawei is losing a massive chunk of its package with the loss.
As if that wasn’t enough, Facebook — and its slew of apps — have withdrawn from Huawei’s products. The company’s smartphones will no longer have Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, or WhatsApp installed out of the box. The threat is becoming real.
It’s not looking good for the Chinese company. Huawei is slowly being dismembered. Faced with an army of bans, it’s natural to worry about Huawei. Worst case scenario, Huawei will become a mere shadow of its former self, devoid of the components that helped its recent success.
Should we really worry, though?
Not just yet. Right now, Huawei is enjoying a temporary reprieve. Soon after the initial ban, the American government granted the company a three-month extension. Until around the end of August, Huawei can still operate with its current partnerships. Except Facebook, its devices will still ship with the same components we love. At least for the near future, Huawei is safe.
In the meantime, Huawei is hunting for adequate alternatives for its failing parts. This means a new operating system, new chips, and likely an entirely new package. To its credit, Huawei’s development team is working around the clock. Only a month removed from ground zero, they are already promising optimistic developments for the future. Huawei remains confident in their future, launching a bevy of new phones amidst the controversy.
Likewise, some American companies are also lamenting the loss of business. Before the ban, Huawei was a loyal customer, delivering American components to a massive global audience. They aren’t happy with Trump’s ban. For one, Google has publicly defended Huawei. According to them, Huawei’s — and subsequently, the world’s — cybersecurity standards will collapse without a collaboration between international companies. With Android, Google can act as Huawei’s checks and balances against potential cybersecurity threats from malicious forces. If anything, Huawei still has its share of public defenders.
Most importantly, Trump still has the power to reverse the ban before the 90-day extension runs out. If China and the US reach a meeting point, all might go back to normal. Though uncertain, it’s too early to give up on Huawei just yet.
What will Huawei 2.0 look like?
Unfortunately, Huawei’s future is muddled with uncertainty. This includes any potential iterations in the future. As far as we know, Huawei isn’t bleeding from the multitude of losses. The company has reinforced its Kirin chipsets. Further, they are developing their own dedicated operating system codenamed Ark OS.
Other than that, there’s not much to go on. Speculatively, the biggest changes will come from its app supports. If Google leaves, Huawei will be left without the Play Store’s support and security. The Chinese company will have to rely on its own native software to power their phones. Unfortunately, an all-Chinese ecosystem is less than ideal for most. In fact, having one might even justify the American Sinophobia. But again, it’s all up in the air.
I have a Huawei phone. Should I just sell it?
No, you still shouldn’t. The grey market is already doubling down against the onslaught of Huawei returns. If you don’t know a willing contact, finding a buyer will be difficult. If you do find one, you’ll receive only a mere fraction of what you paid for.
At its current iteration, Huawei’s phones are still on top. They are a delight to hold and use, and if anything, have challenged its competitors to offer better value to consumers over the years. Right now, it’s best to play the long game. Wait and see what happens. If anything, Huawei — and its official partners — already has an insurance policy in place. Several retailers have declared a 100 percent refund policy in countries like Singapore. If Google cuts the cord, Huawei users can get their money back.
Similarly, Google has promised Android Q support for existing Huawei handsets. Just this week Huawei also announced the rollout of Android-based EMUI 9.1 to older models. If you already own one, a Huawei phone shouldn’t be an immediate cause for panic.
So, should we really be worried about Huawei?
Understandably, uncertainty isn’t an ideal for everyone. Huawei’s troubles are an excruciating thorn for both businesses and consumers alike. Switching to another brand is a natural solution against the company’s shaky future. However, if you’re looking at the silver lining, worrying is likely a premature reaction. If you’re not a Huawei user, the controversies shouldn’t affect you. If you’re already a Huawei user or looking to buy a Huawei device, it will likely pay off to play a longer strategy. After all, Huawei devices are still some of the best smartphones you can buy on the market.
Editor’s Note: Looks like we really shouldn’t worry after all. Not even an entire day has passed since this article was originally published but Huawei no longer banned in the US. Rejoice, Huawei users!
Apple might bring back the old-school rainbow logo this year
Set to come with select iPhones and iPads
Apple’s logo is one of the most ubiquitous icons of this generation. Both Apple and non-Apple users alike can recognize the half-bitten apple from a mile away. However, before its meteoric rise, Apple’s logo had more colorful beginnings.
In the past, Apple used a rainbow-colored variant for its products. However, Steve Jobs’ iPhone era traded this colorful logo for a minimalist grey apple. The new evolution brought Apple’s branding to a sleeker level. Apple was ready for the new world.
Lately, the siren’s call of nostalgia has resurrected the old world for today. A lot of brands today are calling back to their former roots. Old products and branding return for a breath of new life. Considering this, Apple might bring its old properties back from the grave.
According a leaker from MacRumors, Apple will likely bring the rainbow-colored logo later this year. The old logo will likely come with a flurry of products in the future. Unfortunately, the rumor does not reveal which products will come with the resurrection. Most likely, the logo will adorn a few iPhones and iPads soon.
Of course, a rumor is still just a rumor. MacRumors credits only the tipster’s previous reputation as the rumor’s credibility. Apple has not made an official announcement yet. However, if anything, a few signs have already pointed towards the potential resurrection. For one, Apple has recently renewed the logo’s trademark, ensuring the company’s continued usage over the property. Additionally, a resurrection might even go beyond mere nostalgia. Apple has notably supported gender equality, releasing rainbow-themed merchandise previously.
If anything, signs point to yes. Do you want to bring back old school? Where do you want to see the old logo in?
Inspiring quotes from Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit 2019
Motivation you need to get through the week
The annual Dell Women Entrepreneur Network Summit happened this week in Singapore, and the last three days has been nothing short of inspiring. It’s all about women learning from women and empowering women, so if you were not there to hear them yourself then we are here to spread the word.
I don’t know who needs to hear these right now, but here are quotes from some of the amazing women at the summit to help get you through the week.
On being a woman entrepreneur and #girlboss
“Make sure you are purposeful in where you devote your energy; it is not an infinite resource.” Sabrina Tan, Founder and CEO, Skin Inc
“Not everyone of your employees will like you and those who do will not like you all the time.” Meghan E. Butler, Contributing Writer, Fast Company
“We don’t want our women to have to choose between career and family.” Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore
“One of the most difficult responsibilities of a founder is giving your team hope when you have none.” Roz Chow Koo, Founder and CEO, CXA Group
“Still function like a startup even when you are a corporate so you remain nimble.” Sabrina Tan, Founder and CEO, Skin Inc
On failure, growth, and realizing your potential
“We aren’t so much human beings as we are human becomings, because we are always working on what we will be.” Margie Warrell, Author, Train The Brave
“Failure is simply the opportunity to try again.” Dr. Jemma Green, Co-founder and Chairman, Power Ledger
“You wouldn’t be where you are today if everything had gone to plan. It’s the hardships and the failures that makes the successes so much more meaningful.” Margie Warrell, Author, Train The Brave
On empowering women
“The generation before mine thought that women did not need to be educated much, just enough to look after the children.” Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore
“Under-qualified men are getting jobs that women won’t even apply for. Women are just as smart, talented, and committed but we second guess ourselves we hold ourselves back. We need opportunities to dream big, believe in ourselves, and turn thoughts into action.” Sherry Boger, Infrastructure and Platform Solutions Group Vice President and General Manager, Intel
“Surround yourself with those who lift you up. We can do far more together than we can ever do on our own.” Margie Warrell, Author, Train The Brave
“When we invest in women, we invest in the future; communities prosper, economies thrive and the next generation leads with purpose.” Karen Quintos, EVP and Chief Customer Officer, Dell Technologies
“With women still traveling miles to collect clean water, women empowerment can’t take place. When women can’t feel safe on the streets, women empowerment come.” Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, Singapore
Huawei is firing hundreds of workers
From their research department in the US
After everything, Huawei should be enjoying its recent influx of good news. Burdened by more than a year’s worth of uncertainty, Huawei was finally freed from America’s serpentine grasp. Recently, US President Donald Trump reversed a landmark ban that would have eventually killed Huawei’s business. Huawei is getting back on track.
However, instead of resting on its laurels, Huawei is still in panic mode. The Chinese company is gearing up for an extensive wave of layoffs in America. According to the Wall Street Journal, they will fire hundreds of employees from a pool of 850 workers. The pink slips will reportedly come from Huawei’s research and development division called Futurewei Technologies.
Additionally, Futurewei’s China-born employees can opt to relocate back to their home country, ensuring their continued employment with the company. Unfortunately, the company’s American employees won’t share the same privilege. Some employees already know about their impending fate. Meanwhile, Huawei is still planning more firings in the future.
Huawei’s recent layoffs stem from the continued pressure by the US government. If the country remains hostile, it’s best to relocate to a safer territory. Besides the loss of jobs, Futurewei’s relocation confirms Huawei’s renewed dedication to keep its future developments under wraps.
Despite the increased optimism, Huawei is still preparing for the worst. The company is building its resistance against geopolitical threats in the future. Unfortunately, we don’t know what this means for Huawei’s future outings yet.
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