The White House is meeting with executives from some of the country’s biggest semiconductor companies today, that do business with Huawei.
This meeting is going to include the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow. Who will be meeting with executives from Qualcomm, Broadcom, Intel and Micron – all of which are Huawei suppliers.
A separate report says that Google executives are also expected to be present for this meeting. This report also noted that the Huawei ban is likely on the agenda, but “not the reason why they are convening the meeting”.
President Trump put Huawei on the Commerce Department’s Entity List back in May, citing national security concerns. This means that US companies are not able to do business with Huawei. That includes selling parts to Huawei, as well as allowing Huawei to use its software – which is the case for Google and Microsoft. Last month, President Trump said that some US firms would be able to resume sales to Huawei, but there hasn’t been much talk about how companies can go about doing this once again.
After the ban was put in place, companies slowly but surely started cutting ties with Huawei. Google was the first one, and it was a major blow to Huawei. Google cut off its Android license, which meant that it wouldn’t get early access to Android updates, it also wouldn’t get help from Google in optimizing Android for their hardware. Huawei would have to stick with AOSP Android, which is very bare-bones. That also meant, no Google services. Which is fine for phones in China, but that essentially would kill its business outside of China.
Others followed suite, including Microsoft, Qualcomm, Intel, Micron, ARM and many others. Some, which were not US-based, have resumed working with Huawei though, like ARM. As they are not banned from working with Huawei, technically. Since this ban took place in late May, many companies have come to Huawei’s aid. Stating that this ban is going to hurt the US more than it’ll help. And banning Huawei would lead to a bigger national security issue, according to Google.
The Huawei ban was basically a tool for President Trump to use to bargain a better trade deal with China. It’s unfortunate for Huawei that it came to this, as it was a pawn and couldn’t really do anything to defend itself. Its reputation is pretty much finished, after this ban, even when it does get completely lifted. Many people aren’t going to trust Huawei anymore. And that’s going to be a big issue for Huawei to contend with, especially if it wants to grow outside of China.
It’s unclear if anything will come out of this meeting, in regards to moving forward with working with Huawei. But it wouldn’t be surprising to see these companies press Secretary Mnuchin and Economic Advisor, Kudlow on what is next in the Huawei ban. As these companies are looking to get licenses to work with Huawei once again.