Huawei ban

The Rise and Fall of Huawei Explained

The Rise and Fall of Huawei Explained

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  • Post last modified:March 7, 2023
  • Post category:Tech
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  • Reading time:10 mins read
Huawei ban

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past two years, then you have probably heard about the Huawei ban by the United states government. Many allegations have been put forward against Huawei and in this article we are going to demystify what the hell is going on.

We are also going to discuss how Huawei was caught in the middle of a feud between two super power countries. To understand all this we must first understand how Huawei started and reached the level of success that it has today.

The start and rise of Huawei

Huawei phone infront of the chinese flag

Huawei was established in 1987 by Ren Zhengfei after being discharged from the People’s Liberation Army in China. Due to Ren’s military history, Huawei landed some of it’s first big contracts. Huawei started growing into a large enterprise and one of it’s methods was by buying out other companies. In early 2000’s Huawei was facing scrutiny and allegations of stealing technology from other companies and branding it as their own.

As stated earlier Huawei was growing by buying out other companies and when it tried this method in other western countries it got banned to strong relations with the Chinese government. By around the year 2003, Huawei established it’s handset division and started manufacturing phones. Huawei continued making handsets and breaking innovation boundaries. In 2016,Huawei predicted that it would be the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world in five years.

Huawei phone on top of a laptop

By 2018 they surpassed Apple and became the second largest manufacturer of smartphones behind Samsung. Huawei was seemingly doing well but there is some twist to this. Apparently, there was an ongoing feud between China and the United States in 2018 which led to the ban.

As a matter of fact, in the same year 2018, the US government passed a bill which hindered the Federal government from doing business with Huawei and other Chinese retailers. This escalated really quickly as other developed countries followed the US in crippling Huawei. But to understand how the disagreement came about in the first place, we need to take a brief history lesson on the relationship between the United States and China.

Brief history between the United States and the Chinese government

Relationship between huawei and the chinese government

For the longest time, China had been a communist country meaning it had no economic relations with other nations. But in the 1970’s China started opening up and in the year 2000 American President, Bill Clinton signed The US China relations act of 2000 which paved way for China to join the World Trade Organization a year later.

The main purpose of this act was to benefit both countries in that United States businesses and individuals would also take part and gain from the Chinese market which had certain restrictions in the past. Almost immediately Chinese goods started flooding the United States market from toys to consumer electronics.

In the mid 2000’s US citizens started noticing that most manufactured products came from China. This trade agreement benefited China economically and in the year 2006, China surpassed Mexico as being the second largest supplier to the United states with Canada topping the List.

The flags of China

Their economy was doing extremely well such that four years later in 2010, China surpassed Japan and became the world’s second largest economy. United Sates companies also benefitted greatly from this agreement as most of the US products were being manufactured in China then sold back to the US.

The reason for doing this was the affordable manufacturing costs in China hence earning companies more revenue. In 2015, the Chinese government set a plan that in 10 years, by 2025, they would be the world’s leading economy. One of the goals was to ensure the Chinese yuan would be more powerful than the US Dollar.

This got the Americans quite nervous and this is where the feud started stirring up. In 2018, a trade war between the United states and China exploded.

What has Huawei got to do with all this?

Huawei logo

Well, Huawei is a very big company dealing with a lot of technology equipment. Apart from smartphones, they also deal hugely with telecommunication equipment which includes all the 5G infrastructure. It is so sad that Huawei had to be involved in all this. The United States claims that Huawei uses it’s infrastructure sold to consumers to spy on US citizens.

No solid evidence was released but there are two hypothesis two this. Either the evidence is a concern to national security or the simple fact that there was no solid evidence in the first place. Either way Huawei suffered the loss. Since the United States banned any of it’s businesses from interacting with Huawei, the company has been struggling ever since.

The relationship between google and huawei

The most painful bit of all this was that Google had no other choice but to withdraw it’s services from Huawei. This includes Google apps such as Youtube, Playstore, Gmail and many more. But just to clarify something, Huawei still uses the Android core. As confusing as it may seem, Android is open source meaning anyone can utilize it, the only lacking feature is the Google Mobile Services(GMS). In the midst of all this, Huawei was not waiting for a miracle to happen.

Instead, they had a plan, as if they knew this day was going to come. They are currently using Harmony OS on their devices. Harmony OS is very interesting in many ways. First of all it is a distributed operating system based on a micro Kernel which means that the code is not based on one device. This means that if Huawei manages to pull it off with Harmony OS, they could potentially have a tight and well integrated ecosystem similar to Apple’s.

Huawei’s master plan

Huawei ecosystem

Since Huawei does not rely on Qualcomm for their Snapdragon chips, they are able to design a highly efficient chip catered to their smartphones. The Processor that they use for their devices is the Kirin chipset. Just to clarify another thing Huawei has not ditched Android entirely.

Although it does not use The Android operating system, it still utilizes Android’s Core which the Harmony OS is based off. This means that most Android apps can run on the Huawei phone. Huawei has also replaced the google play store with it’s own Huawei App Gallery. Since Harmony OS is not an entirely new operating system as it is based off Android, Huawei has incentivized developers to upload their apps on their own app gallery as no code needs to be changed.

Devices in the Huawei ecosystem

Many developers are taking this opportunity because there is less competition in the Huawei app Gallery hence their Apps can grow and get better recognition. So despite lack of google apps Huawei is still not ready to throw in the white flag. As a matter of fact people have found a way around this problem and somehow get Google services to work in Huawei handsets. I really have faith in Huawei and can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Nelly Njeri

    Back in my childhood days, Huawei used to be so popular and It hit me that I did not know about the ban!

  2. Nancy Wambui

    No wonder my huawei tablet keeps disappointing me

  3. Carson Anekeya

    The geopolitical context sheds light on the intricate dynamics that led to such decisive actions and their far-reaching implications for the technology sector. Really didn’t know about the ban. Thanks for sharing.

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