Google and Huawei: Donald Trump’s boycott sparks global stampede to freeze out Chinese firm

Michael Bow
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Google and Huawei: Donald Trump’s boycott sparks global stampede to freeze out Chinese firm

President Donald Trump’s dramatic intervention to blacklist Huawei reverberated around the world on Monday as Google and a host of chipmakers cut ties with the Chinese smartphones giant.

The tech colossus responded to the US sanction by banning Huawei from using future versions of its popular Android operating system, which Huawei uses to run smartphones.

That is likely to stymie the Chinese firm, the world’s second-biggest smartphones maker, in its efforts to offer apps like Youtube and Chrome in future, while current Huawei users may be barred from Android updates .

In the US, chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm and semi-conductors manufacturers Xilinx and Broadcom were also reported to have frozen supplies to Huawei to comply with the order.

Chipmakers’ stocks in Europe fell on fears EU tech hardware firms may also have suspended shipments to Huawei.

The Nikkei Asian Review said German-listed Infineon had stopped shipments, sending its shares down 3% to the foot of the country’s blue-chip index.

UK-based Dialog Semiconductor, listed in Germany, also fell 3% but declined to comment on its Huawei-based business.

The US Commerce Department added Huawei to a trade blacklist on Friday, meaning US companies have to get permission to deal with Huawei.

Dozens of affiliates are also named, including three financing companies in the UK: Huawei Global Finance UK, which employs 180 people and has an address in Bishopsgate, and Proven Glory and Proven Honour, both based in the British Virgin Islands.

The latest move is a dramatic escalation of the trade war between the countries, moving the battle from industrial and agricultural products into a digital sphere, dragging in Silicon Valley giants.

Huawei has been suspected of close links with the Chinese military. Google did not immediately confirm its move, first reported by Reuters, saying: “We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications.”

Kate Bevan, editor of Which? Computing, said: “It’s unacceptable for consumers to be left without adequate security on their mobiles and Huawei owners will be seeking urgent reassurance that the safety of their devices will not be compromised.”

A Huawei spokesman said it would “continue to provide security updates and after-sales services” to existing Huawei products sold or still in stock.