Huawei or Google

Muna Al-Fuzai

It is the most widely circulated story these days, but what made me write this article is the spread of some misconceptions, as if the Chinese company Huawei relies only on Google for its success or that US companies will lose its business. In any case, it is clear that there is an economic war between US and China now in the midst of development and Chinese successes that made Huawei the leading Chinese technology company in the world, posing a technical threat to US companies.

But the problem lies in Google’s Android operating system – Google will stop its dealings with Huawei when it comes to common points in the system. Google issued a statement after the signing of a convention prohibiting US technology transfers to Huawei, and said it is obliged to comply with US law and respect it, thus preventing the provision of some applications in the future. Current users can still get all the features of applications on Google Play Store and other Google apps without problems. So the problem will happen with phones that will be manufactured in the future, not current ones.

The spokesman said Google is committed to this decision that was issued by the US Department of Commerce to put Huawei on the list of companies that cannot get US technology, but will review its implications. The decision came after the US administration of President Donald Trump added Huawei to the list of companies with which US companies can only trade with a license from the government.

I think the problem of blocking Google apps can be an ideal solution for Huawei to create its own app store to integrate all applications and compete with Google Play Store, as well as the Android system, as Google will not provide any updates to its applications or to the system itself. In this way, Huawei will face a problem with its new phones over the inclusion of a large number of important applications and services on Android devices, and its current phones will not enjoy the necessary security updates provided by Google.

I think the growth of the Chinese company in the future may depend on how much people rely on applications by Google – known for its popular search engine – including YouTube, Maps, and Gmail. In China, many Chinese use a search engine known as Baidu, because the government has blocked Google. Therefore, the absence of Google’s search engine on Huawei phones may not affect the internal market, but people prefer to use Google if they want to search for information. This may cause some buyers around the world not to buy Huawei devices.

Huawei’s founder believes his company can continue without access to US software. The company has gained great publicity and everyone is waiting for Huawei’s reaction and what it will do for its users. I think Huawei’s short-term loss is possible, but Google’s long-term loss is also expected. According to Reuters news agency, Google has stopped dealing with Huawei on the level of hardware and software. Everyone knows that Huawei is using Android, and therefore its current phones will not receive Android updates except from open sources. I expect other US companies to follow the same approach as Google, which puts Huawei at greater pressure.

The new Huawei phones will mostly be released with an open-source Android version but will not include Google apps because they need permission. When people from around the world want to find something on the Internet, 89 percent of them use Google. YouTube also is a huge asset to Google now, and used by 1.8 billion people in the world. I think Huawei’s biggest problem will be from Europe, Africa and Asian countries other than China. All things are still under consideration. I believe people will always want to use existing applications, whether from China or America.

By Muna Al-Fuzai

Muna@kuwaittimes.net