Huawei endured a challenging 2019 owing to the US trade ban against it, forcing it to reduce its reliance on US-made parts and services. The company still recorded major growth due to phones that still have Google services and its home market, but it expects 2020 to be even more challenging.
Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei told attendees of the World Economic Forum (h/t: CNBC) that he expects the US to step up its actions against the firm in 2020.
“This year the US might further escalate their campaign against Huawei, but I feel the impact on Huawei’s business would not be very significant,” Ren was quoted as saying.
“This year in 2020, since we already gained experience from last year and we got a stronger team, I think we are more confident that we can survive even further attacks.”
The Google question
Huawei has been forced to procure components from alternative suppliers or to rely on in-house manufacturing in the wake of the US trade ban. But the Chinese manufacturer has still been able to rely on some US suppliers for parts, provided that US-derived IP reportedly makes up less than 25% of said part. However, recent reports suggest that the US government could introduce an even stiffer ban, lowering the threshold from 25% to 10%.
Software is arguably the biggest issue for the firm’s consumer products though. Huawei isn’t allowed to use Google Mobile Services on new smartphones and tablets, and this remains an issue for the firm. In fact, the Huawei Mate 30 series isn’t available with Google services, while the P40 series (its first flagship line of 2020) is also expected to miss out on Google goodness.
We’re definitely expecting Huawei’s global smartphone shipments to see slower growth or even a decline in 2020 if the Google hurdle isn’t addressed then. But the company is trying to provide its own alternatives, incentivising developers to publish apps on its AppGallery store, for one.
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