Google’s Huawei ban

Google blocks Huawei access to Android after blacklisting due to some security and privacy concerns

The Trump administration adds Huawei to the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Entity List via executive order, thereby blacklisting the company as far as U.S. corporations are concerned.  The world’s second biggest smartphone maker, Huawei, has been barred by Google from some updates to the Android operating system. The US tech firm is suspending all business activity with Huawei related to “non-public” transfers of hardware, software and technical services.

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei had told reporters “we have already been preparing for this. It is expected that Huawei’s growth may slow, but only slightly. Policies that threaten trading partners one after another rob companies of risk-taking attitudes and the U.S. will lose credibility.”

Huawei’s phones are unavailable to buy in the US following concerns by the US government of the company’s links to the Chinese government, so a ban of this nature won’t really affect US consumers. Instead, it’s more likely to have an effect in the UK and Europe, some of Huawei’s biggest phone markets.

What does this mean for existing Huawei users?

Existing Huawei smartphone users will be able to update apps and push through security fixes, as well as update Google Play services. Unfortunately, when Google launches the next version of Android, it may not be available on Huawei devices. Alongside that, YouTube and Maps are some of the few apps that won’t be on any of the Huawei devices.

Why has this happened?

The Chinese tech giant has been accused of spying by the US Government. This is the reason why they have been banned, as part of the escalating cold war between the two countries.

When will the ban apply?

Even thought the ban has already come into force, the Trump administration has issued a licence that will allow US companies to keep doing business with Huawei for the next three months.

Huawei claims there is no spy software nor hardware. If this was confirmed, not only US ban would apply, but Huawei’s smartphones would also breach the GDPR privacy requirements.

Do you require assistance with GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 compliance? Aphaia provides both GDPR adaptation consultancy services, including data protection impact assessments, and Data Protection Officer outsourcing.

Cristina Contero Almagro

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