Huawei Cancels Release of New Laptop After US Tech-Ban

Chinese tech-giant Huawei has backed out of releasing its newest laptop after losing its footing in the United States market after tech bans put in place by President Donald Trump, according to a CNBC report on June 11.

This is the first instance of Huawei canceling a product launch since the tech ban was put in place. Huawei’s technology still relies on critical hardware and software from U.S. companies.

The United States added Huawei to its “Entity List,” which forbids certain companies from doing business in the United States, on May 15, according to the Commerce Department.

Companies like Intel and Microsoft are now not allowed to sell to Huawei. The CNBC report says that the new computer operates on Windows and uses Intel processor chips.

A Huawei employee told The Information that the company was planning to unveil the new computer at the CES Asia 2019 trade show taking place in Shanghai.

Later, Huawei’s CEO, Richard Yu, said that Huawei had already planned to launch the new laptop series, but that is now being put on hold indefinitely, according to CNBC.

Huawei has began developing its own operating system, called Hongmeng, since 2012. The new OS is intended to replace Microsoft’s Windows and Google’s Android system. However, Huawei will likely face many challenges in its attempt to rapidly develop its own operating system and hardware.

A Hong Kong Economic Times (Chinese) report on May 20 said that the two major problems of the Hongmeng OS are related to encoding data and compatibility with existing apps.

With years of experience, both Google and Microsoft software can easily encode all forms of media. However, the Huawei system can not decode files in the same ways that the above two can.

On top of that, most popular apps are now designed specifically for Android, Windows, or Apple’s iOS environments.

Thus far, Huawei hasn’t cancelled any of its other releases, including smartphones, according to The Information report.

After the U.S. ban on Huawei was put into place, global tech companies began moving away from the Chinese tech giant. Alphabet Inc., which owns Google, was the first of many to suspended trade with Huawei. Processing chip makers, optical component makers, radio frequency chip makers, and other major device makers have been continuously cutting ties with Huawei since May 19.

Security Concerns

On May 15, President Trump signed an executive order to protect U.S. computer networks from “foreign adversaries.” The order banned use of telecommunications equipment from certain firms, which led to blacklisting Huawei.

Chinese law from 2017 compels all Chinese organization to comply with “national intelligence efforts” and “protect national intelligence work secrets they are aware of.” Any data passing through Huawei’s hardware could thus be directly accessed by the Chinese regime at will.

John Suffolk, vice president of Huawei, emphasized at a parliamentary hearing in the United Kindgom that the company follows the laws. At the same time, he said that the former CEO worked for China’s spy agency.

Huawei was also charged in January with stealing trade secrets from wireless carrier T-Mobile.

On May 9, the FCC voted to deny China Mobile’s bid to provide its telecommunication services in the United States. Prior approval given to other Chinese companies were under review.

The concern for hardware comes as countries look for ways to roll out high-speed 5G networks. Huawei is a major supplier of such hardware, and has already installed such networks in parts of the United Kingdom.


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