EMBATTLED TECH GIANT Huawei has received an unlikely ally in the form of Microsoft boss Brad Smith.
Smith, president and chief legal officer at of Microsoft, has called on the US government to end the ban on Huawei and its subsidiaries, which prevents US firms from supplying parts or software. This includes the supply of Windows operating systems to ship with the company's well-received MateBook range.
Earlier this month, Huawei began selling Matebook devices in China running Linux.
Smith adds that individual governments should be able to handle any national security issues, making the blanket ban on Huawei, which has already caused a range of issues for the biggest names in tech, superfluous.
Speaking to BBC News, he said: "We believe it would be a mistake at the same time to try to draw some new digital iron curtain down the Pacific Ocean - I think that would hold back the United States, would hold back the democracies of the world.
"We're one of a number of companies that have applied with the US Commerce department so that we can continue to provide our software operating system to Huawei for devices like laptops.
"There may be some issues that require some approaches around 5G but one should ask whether that is the right approach for all of the equipment that a particular company might make."
At last count, over 130 companies have applied to the US Government for a licence to trade with Huawei, but to the best of our knowledge, the number actually issued stands at a big fat zero.
The company was forced to launch its latest flagship range, the Mate 30 series, without Google apps aboard, thanks to the ban. It's understood that in-store staff will be on hand to help customers sideload the apps instead.
Huawei has always maintained that it has no ties to the Chinese Government and that the company has been put in a ‘life or death' situation by the ban.
In 2017, the Trump White House brought fellow Chinese tech firm ZTE to its knees with a similar trade ban which left it unable even to repair its staff toilets. μ
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