Things are getting a lot worse for Huawei. After the US Ban on the Chinese company, more and more US companies are forced to exclude Huawei and stop all trading with them. The absence of Play Store and other Google Services is just the tip of the iceberg and the least impactful one. Intel, Qualcomm, and Broadcomm followed with similar statements and no longer do business with Huawei, at least until the ban will be lifted.
This is normal since all the above-mentioned companies are US companies and they must follow the law. But there among them are some names that raise a few eyebrows. For example, ARM is a British company and it has no obligations. Still, they send an internal mail saying that all relations with the Chinese company will be put on hold. Qualcomm and Intel do not pose a serious problem for Huawei since they can always switch to a Chinese supplier for the components that are currently provided by them, however, Huawei designs and manufacturers their own mobile chipsets that are built on ARM architecture. This could potentially ruin their chipset business and Huawei may be forced to switch to a third-party supplier for their CPUs. The biggest name is Qualcomm and since it too had seized business with Huawei, few alternatives remain: Samsung and Mediatek to name the biggest other two. Samsung rarely sells its Exynos CPUs, especially to it’s biggest rival. Another name is the SD Association, who did not release an official statement yet, but has removed Huawei from the list of consortium members displayed on the site. What that will mean for future smartphones is hard to say for now.
Why non-US companies decided to follow this route is unclear. Strictly from a legal point of view they had no obligations. I know that I am going into dangerous territory with some conspiracy theories, but it seems that the US is somehow forcing actions on Huawei from more and more entities in order to make things a lot worse for them. Now, I don’t expect this to last a lot longer. All are actions taken by the US in a trade war with China. The Chinese will surely react with their own rules and eventually, some negotiations will take place. What will be the final outcome is hard to tell, since both Donald Trump and Xi Jinping are stubborn and won’t want to let the other win.