Huawei Regains Access To Key Mobile Tech - But That's Not Enough

The SD Association still counts Huawei among its members, even though the Chinese firm was temporarily removed from that list due to a mid-May ban ordered by United States President Donald Trump.

The clarification arrived several hours back as the organization updated its list of members, i.e. returned Huawei to it. Without direct access to the standards body, Huawei would have been unable to utilize and microSD specification in its commercial products, which would be a particularly significant problem for its mobile unit and its Android smartphones. In a prepared statement issued to the media, a Huawei spokesperson clarified the company never had its membership with the association revoked but simply modified, claiming its temporary removal from the consortium's pages was necessary and not indicative of larger issues.

The executive order put out by the White House several weeks back was promptly enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice, the federal organization tasked with making sure no American companies are supplying Huawei with key technologies, whether hardware or software. It's currently unclear how exactly did the SD Association modify Huawei's status but given how the SD memory specification is a technology many companies contributed to in the past, it seems likely that it doesn't fall under the purview of the order that otherwise did a fairly good job at crippling the Chinese conglomerate's business on a global scale.

In other words, consumers shouldn't be concerned about whether future Huawei devices will have working microSD card slots. There's still that little issue of whether they'll actually exist seeing how pretty much every other key technology the company needs to produce smartphones and tablets remains inaccessible to it, with the exception of a contemporary Android build equipped with Google apps - whose license will also be taken away from it in mid-August seeing how it's currently living on borrowed time thanks to a three-month reprieve granted by Washington.

The fact that the SD Association is still... well, associated with Huawei hence doesn't mean much, though there's no doubt the Chinese manufacturer will currently take any win it can get.

As to whether the U.S. ban is just(ified) is a highly debatable topic but one that ultimately doesn't matter. Yes, the Trump administration failed at projecting the right optics given the timing of the move and how it went about it but come on, it's naive to think optics even exist on its list of priorities and it's not like Huawei didn't give it Washington plenty of reasons to end up on its blacklist in the past.

What happens next is anyone's guess but chances are - it won't be good for Huawei. Its relationship with the U.S. government has always been far from stellar, yet with Trump in the mix and his bullying approach to trade negotiations with China, it's feasible Huawei's smartphone operations end up being crippled in the medium term. Huawei's only unaffected market is China seeing how its own government has been blocking Google services for years but being confined to its domestic customers is still a huge blow to its global ambitions and one that it certainly won't be willing to receive without a fight.

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Dominik Bosnjak

Senior Writer
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]