HUAWEI HAS BEEN THROWN a surprise lifeline this weekend after the US-China trade war was put on a semi-sort-of-hold-type-thing.
Speaking, because he can, at the G20 World Leaders Summit, bit-part actor Donald Trump, best known for his cameo as a barely-animated sprite in the video game "Trump Castle II", confirmed that any escalation in tariffs between the two countries would be put on hold, and Huawei would be allowed to trade with US companies again.
But don't be fooled into thinking it's all over and Huawei has weathered the storm. This deal simply says that Huawei (and a few other firms) will be granted licences overriding the ban, for specific products that are "widely available".
Essentially this means that the handset division is likely to see more freedom to do its thing, but the wider ban remains very much in place, and that Huawei remains on the ‘Entity List' of companies barred from trading with the US without specific permission.
At present, the finer details of the plan are yet to be revealed and as such, it's not clear, for example, what Google's long-term relationship with Huawei will look like, or indeed if it will have one.
It could be that Huawei uses the work it has already done of a replacement operating system to break free of its ties to Google, though most would argue that's a pretty risky strategy for a company brought to its knees.
Supporters of the ban have said that any softening of the attitude towards Huawei and China, in general, is at odds with the fears over the security of Chinese electronics and that it demonstrates that the real issue at play was the trade war, not a genuine fear of ‘back doors' being used by the Chinese government.
Full details of the agreement will filter out in the coming days, but for this week, at least, it's business as unusual. μ
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