Huawei Runs Into More Roadblocks

Posted on May 24, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Hardware with 33 Comments

After the US government backlisted Huawei, the company’s been facing a lot of problems. And now, it’s getting some more roadblocks in the industry.

Nikkei is reporting that Huawei has faced a couple of new bans following the US government ban. The Wi-F Alliance has “temporarily restricted” Huawei’s membership, which means it will no longer be able to have a say on the standards for wireless technology.

Elsewhere, the SD Association, which is known for developing the standards of the SD Card, has also removed Huawei as one of its members That means Huawei will also no longer be able to participate in discussions for the future of SD Card standards.

And lastly, JEDEC, which sets semiconductor standards, no longer has Huawei as one of its members. Huawei has apparently withdrawn its membership from the JEDEC, which includes companies like Qualcomm and Samsung Semiconductor. Qualcomm and others have already stopped supplying chips to Huawei following the US Government ban, so that’s not a surprise either.

Huawei will continue to be able to use these standards, but they simply won’t be able to have a say in the future of these standards. It remains unknown whether the US government will reverse its decision to ban Huawei, but this could severely affect the relationship between the Chinese and the American tech industries. As Nikkei noted, the continued trade tension between the US and China could lead to Chinese tech companies not relying too much on the US going forward and working on their own standards instead.

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Comments (33)

33 responses to “Huawei Runs Into More Roadblocks”

  1. ken_loewen

    Should that say "Nikkei is reporting"?

  2. BudTugglie

    What, exactly, is Huawei accused of? Have there been tests that show the equipment leaking data? Not hard to devise an experiment. This all sounds like politics to me.

  3. MikeGalos

    Without membership in the various organizations they also won't be able to use the logos for stating compliance with those standards.

  4. Daekar

    It amazes me the noise that has been made over this when there is no noise at all made over the fact that there are more US companies than you can shake a stick at which are - and have been for a long time - banned in China. It's like people can't stand the idea of a symmetrical trade relationship.

    Check out the latest podcast by Ben Thompson over on Stratechery if you want a nice balanced fact based discussion free of hyperbole.

    • nbplopes

      In reply to Daekar:

      Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, multiple high end cloths brands .... ... are in the Chinese Market. Name one big tech company now that is in the US market.


      Symetrical much? You have no idea you are talking about.

      • Daekar

        In reply to nbplopes:

        Ah, Dunning-Kruger at its best. Come back after you've taken a few courses on modern Chinese history and learned about their current policies for foreign corporations.

        • skane2600

          In reply to Daekar:

          Studying modern Chinese history to determine if Huawei has any backdoors in their equipment? A novel approach. Some of us believe in an engineering approach.

          • Daekar

            In reply to skane2600:

            That's not what I said at all. I never mentioned backdoors. Reducing the issue to that one question is absurd oversimplification and reveals lack of understanding of the bigger things in play here. Go listen to Ben Thompson's podcast "Exponent" for a good discussion of this topic.

            • skane2600

              In reply to Daekar:

              I know that isn't what you said, but the conduct of the Chinese government is irrelevant to the question of whether Huawei's equipment is compromised or not. At the end of the day that's the only issue that matters. Unless Ben Thompson has information that can answer that question there's no point in listening to it.

    • wright_is

      In reply to Daekar:

      The problem is, the China ban bans them in China. The USA ban is banning Hauwei from ALL markets, not just the US market.

      The US ban affects me directly, as a EU citizen, even though I should not be directly affected by laws pertaining to America. They have turned this from a US-ban to Team America World Police.

      Given the reach of what the USA government has done here, I'll certainly be looking to make sure any future purchases of products, whether electronics or not, are not encumbered by US influence.

      • Daekar

        In reply to wright_is:

        That's inaccurate. The US cannot ban them from all markets, they can only control other US companies. The fact that nearly all high level technology is somehow dependent on US IP does not give her government extra-national jurisdiction.

        It's also a fact that the current asymmetry goes deeper than just a few banned US companies. You should really listen to that podcast, they do a better job explaining it than I would.

        As far as looking for technology products without US IP in them... They basically don't exist. If you want to buy anything with a chip in it, the pickings are going to be very slim indeed. It would be almost impossible to use any software services too which are not running on US-owned or designed hardware, let alone software. Should that been a concern for the rest of the world? Well yes, at the very least parts of it, the parts with foundational principles which are highly non-congruent with those of the US and Europe. Having control over the infrastructure over which your country's communications and computing takes place is a no-brainer from a national security and autonomy perspective... The problem for the rest of the world is that the technology doesn't exist, may not find a market, and will take years to develop regardless. China almost certainly will go full steam ahead in this, and damn the cost. If Europe doesn't do it themselves, they've then got two choices: put their infrastructure in the hands of the totalitarian Chinese or the Democratic USA.

        • Vladimir Carli

          In reply to Daekar:

          I have a question. You write that the US government "controls" US companies. How is this any different from China allegedly controlling Huawei? This is hypocrisy at the next level...

          • Daekar

            In reply to Vladimir:

            They must obey the laws of the United States, including those about export restrictions. That is true of the companies of all nations, and I would think that a desirable state compared to the alternative.

            That doesn't mean the US government has direct control over the companies. You're conflating two things that are not the same. Western ignorance of Chinese culture really is a liability.

  5. garumphul

    All this does is make it absolutely clear to every company outside the US that relying on US-based (or controlled) chips, software, services or standards is a direct threat to their business. They have every incentive (primarily fear of losing money) to develop their own standards and cut out US companies completely.

    This is not a fight the US had much chance of winning, and these sanctions made it exponentially worse.

    This is a very bad thing.

  6. Andi

    A champion of the industry that invested in excess of 10 billion $ in pure R&D in one year, the sole leader in 5G, is getting obliterated in a classic case of protectionism. If America cannot be a leader in 5G then no one can.

    • moruobai

      In reply to Andi:

      Andi: I think your comment is a little oversimplified. Things have come to a head recently, but Huawei has a long history of using their telecom equipment for spying and stealing trade secrets. They have been investigated by multiple intelligence agencies (MI6, CIA), countries (e.g. Netherlands, Poland, Australia), and companies (e.g. Vodafone found hidden backdoors). This company reeks man.

    • ecumenical

      In reply to Andi:

      Lol "champion of the industry." Cry me a river. They grew rich in part because the Chinese government literally bans US and EU companies from competing fairly in China - they have to operate through joint ventures with Chinese companies so that the local companies can openly steal their tech, or they are simply banned outright like Google.

      Moreover, this company is directly under the thumb of the Chinese Communist Party, an institution that sees the United States as a direct adversary. I can't say I feel particularly bad that they won't be involved in setting standards or deploying infrastructure in the US.

      • spacein_vader

        In reply to ecumenical:

        If you were only stopping them in the US that would be akin to the Chinese ban in foreign companies. By extending it to anyone doing business with Huawei you essentially try to force the rest of the world to do what the US wants.

        While that's nothing new it doesn't mean the ROTW is massively pleased about it.

        ARM is a good example, UK based and Japanese owned what business is it of America's what they do outside their shores?

    • lvthunder

      In reply to Andi:

      What a load of BS. They can be a 5g leader. Wifi, SD, and semiconductor has nothing to do with 5g.

      • nbplopes

        In reply to lvthunder:

        Are you naive?

        Any company that breaks the US embargo to Huawei can face US sanctions.

        ARM, for instance, it’s not American and is already complying with the embargo so not to give any opportunity for sanctions upon them..

        So no. Most probably, commercially being a leader in 5G in the western axis is out of the question.

        • Daekar

          In reply to nbplopes:

          ARM is complying because some of their technology is based on American tech. The company was partially founded by Apple... Did you know that?

          • nbplopes

            In reply to Daekar:

            As I said, any company dealing with a US blacklisted company may face sanctions in the American Market. As it seams, you are not even allowed to sit at the same table (check how the company is being banned from so called open standards groups) This regardless of their nature or country. This is not just a cosmetic blacklist.

            ARM is just one of them.

            Do not understand how your remark contradicts my point. As I said, ARM it’s not American. A lot of great tech you enjoy was not actually founded and developed in US. It’s quite normal companies cross license stuff.

            • Daekar

              In reply to nbplopes:

              You're correct, of course, both in that ARM isn't American and that cross licensing is common. Exactly like the licensed IP that ARM has from US companies which has made them concerned that the ban applies to them.

          • wright_is

            In reply to Daekar:

            No. The company was founded by Acorn Computers. The chip was used in their Archimedes RISC Machine range of computers at the end of the 80s and into the 90s. They split the chip design out to ARM. Apple invested in ARM at one point.

  7. nickysreensaver

    Keep roadblocking! We'll survive. They will to. They'll just have less companies to steal from.

    From a very recent Wall St Journal article by By Chuin-Wei Yap and Dan Strumpf in Hong Kong with Dustin Volz, Kate O’Keeffe and Aruna Viswanatha in Washington May 25, 2019 12:00 a.m. ET

    On a summer evening in 2004, as the Supercomm tech conference in Chicago wound down, a middle-aged Chinese visitor began wending his way through the nearly abandoned booths, popping open million-dollar networking equipment to photograph the circuit boards inside, according to people who were there.

    A security guard stopped him and confiscated memory sticks with the photos, a notebook with diagrams and data belonging to AT&T Corp. , and a list of six companies including Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. and Nortel Networks Corp.

    The man identified himself to conference staff as Zhu Yibin, an engineer. The word on his lanyard read “Weihua”—an accidental scramble, he said, of his employer’s name: Huawei Technologies Co. The next day, says Peter Heywood, a co-founder of telecoms research firm Light Reading, the engineer appeared rumpled and bewildered, saying it was his first time in the U.S. and he wasn’t familiar with Supercomm rules forbidding photography.

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