Despite so much wreckage, Huawei still stands as the world’s topmost telecom supplier and second-biggest phone manufacturer. Despite the controversy the brand faces in several countries, it has continued to make inroads into the 5G market of several others. The world is clearly horizontally divided on the topic. Large parts of the world that have a huge mobile market are still undecided on following the US on a ban on the brand, India being one of them. The country is currently the world’s second-largest telecommunications market, and its decision could be pivotal for Huawei’s market standing.
President Trump has set out embargoes against Huawei, insisting that they pose security risks and will share sensitive information with their parent country, China. The brand has fought hard and long against these allegations and the result has been fireworks on the global telecom industry. However, after many months of bans and no trust statements, in late June, the US started weakening its stand against Huawei, as a part of the package to resume trade talks with China.
Fortunes seem to be turning for the company over the last month. On July 30, Huawei reported a revenue surge despite US ban, and the next announcement was that Huawei beat iPhone in the global market share in Q2 2019- at 17%. Targeted by Alphabet, when the supply of android was cut off for Huawei, it answered by launching its Android replacement “Harmony,” in early August.
In a clear and apparent push back to US an and propaganda against them, Huawei is ported to be working on its own version of Google Maps and is also apparently researching 6G wireless internet connectivity. By mid-August, the US Commerce Department extends reprieve had allowed companies to work with Huawei, largely because huge chunks of rural US runs its networks on cheaper Huawei’s products, and they were severely hit by the ban.
In a clear hit back, Huawei has accused the US of using cyber-attacks and threats to disrupt its business. There is also talk of the company planning to give universities $300 million each year, despite the US trade ban. Clearly, the threats of eliminating the brand for its perceived proximity to the Chinese government has not made a too big dent in its business or image.
Maybe it’s time for the might of the market (China’s economy produced $25.3 trillion in 2018, clearly making it the world’s largest economy, (while the US stands third at $20.5 trillion) and the population of 1.38 billion people is clearly a much heavier opponent than Trump expected. And interestingly, China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasurys- in May 2019; it owned $1.11 trillion in Treasurys, almost 27% of the US public debt held by foreign countries.
The most powerful message here is- after the trade ban with the US, many local companies in China have hit the patriotic trail and are now in the process of launching equally useful and marketable (if not more) technology, without the help of the Big Brother.
Whose war was this anyway?