Hard hit from Google to Huawei: the American company Res Tringió the Chinese technological giant the use of Android, its operating system.
The decision comes after an executive order from US President Donald Trump, which imposes restrictions on Chinese technology.
But why is this cell phone manufacturer so controversial?
Google’s restriction is part of a decision that implies that new devices from the Chinese company, the world’s second-largest smartphone manufacturer, will lose access to some applications and upgrades.
Last week Trump declared a national emergency to protect America’s computer networks against «foreign adversaries,» a few words that analysts believe are directed primarily at the Chinese technological giant.
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced that it will delay the imposition of sanctions on the Chinese company and issued a 90-day temporary license that allows some companies to continue to support Huawei’s existing networks and devices.
While it is best known for its cell phones, Huawei also manufactures a lot of communications equipment that is used worldwide.
But why are other countries also concerned?
For a complex series of allegations involving international espionage agencies, stolen robotic arms, almost indestructible glass plates coated with diamonds and alleged secret deals with Iran.
5G: Very fast but not so sure?
Huawei is in talks with countries around the world to provide the systems that will allow the next revolution in mobile telephony networks: 5G.
The 5G will revolutionize what we do with our cellphones and with many other devices.
The system will be so fast and sensitive that it will have a wide variety of uses, such as cars without driver.
And China’s rivals claim that, if Huawei is at the heart of a country’s 5G infrastructure, the Asian giant could spy on messages that travel through networks or disconnect them, causing huge disruptions.
Even before Trump’s recent executive order, the US was already pressuring its Western allies to avoid the Chinese company.
Most of this pressure focused on the group called Five Eyes, formed by the United States plus the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, whose espionage agencies have a close relaciónmuy and share huge amounts of information Secret, often electronically.
The United States threatened to stop sharing material with any of these English-speaking countries installing Huawei’s 5G equipment.
«If a country adopts this and includes it in some of its sensitive information systems, we will not be able to share information with them,» warned U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Huawei repeatedly denied that he was a spy for the Chinese government, but critics recalled that Chinese law makes it impossible for companies to refuse to help them with information gathering.
And it also referred to the US economy, warning that the ban «will only force the US to accept worse but more expensive alternatives, which will leave the country behind in the deployment of 5G and, over time, will harm the interests of Companies and consumers in the United States. »
Perhaps, in part, America’s fear of spy Technologies is based on its own behavior.
Edward Snowden, a former employee of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), revealed that for years American espionage agencies had hacked data from major U.S. technology companies. , like Google and Yahoo, and had tried to undermine encryption technology.
The robotic arm scandal
If the problems of ultra wireless networks are somewhat abstract, another of Huawei’s scandals is a little more straightforward: one of his engineers was accused of stealing a robotic arm.
The employee claimed that the computer, which is used to repeatedly touch the screens of the cellphones to test them, accidentally dropped into the suitcase when it left a design laboratory of the company T-Mobile.
The T-Mobile company accused Huawei of stealing its technology.
The German company, which at the time was associated with Huawei, did not believe the explanations, and the two technology companies ended up in court.
The scandal was revived after some emails raised doubts about the claims that the engineer acted alone and suggested that it might have been led by top executives in China.
This is one of the reasons that Huawei’s chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada with an extradition order from the United States last year.
Double game with Iran?
Meng is still struggling with attempts to extradite her to the United States for that accusation, which she denies, and for other charges linking Huawei to Iran.
Meng is said to be part of a plan to dodge US sanctions against Tehran through a company called Skycom.
Part of the indictment against Meng points out that he lied to the banks and the US government about trade agreements with Iran.
Meng, who is the daughter of the founder of Huawei and denies all the charges, could face up to 30 years in prison if she is extradited to the United States and condemned.
Shattered screens and broken promises
But Huawei’s problems in America don’t end there.
According to Bloomberg, the FBI is investigating the technology giant for an alleged breach of the international arms Traffic Regulation (ITAR) for the handling of an almost indestructible diamond-coated glass sample.
Super strong screens would be worth a fortune to any cell phone manufacturer.
If you ever dropped your cell phone, you know how easy it is to break the screen, and how expensive it is to fix it.
A cell phone with an unbreakable screen would be a boon to any technology company.
The company Akhan Semiconductor INC. Was in talks with Huawei about its latest type of glass, incredibly rugged and wearing a thin layer of artificial diamond.
Bloomberg claims that a sample was returned to the manufacturer with months of delay and badly damaged.
An FBI investigation led Akhan Semiconductor Inc. To suspect that Huawei had taken the U.S. sample to analyze it, which would be illegal because diamond-coated materials are restricted due to their possible use with laser weapons.
The Chinese company denies this version of the events.
It’s not the end of the story
Huawei offered to sign «non-espionage agreements» with foreign governments.
But, despite the scandals, Google’s decision and president Trump’s executive order, Huawei remains a key global player.
For many countries, especially in Africa and Asia, the price of their technology compared to European and American means that, only for the cost, it has a huge market share insured.
Even in the United Kingdom, one of America’s closest allies, there is still debate about whether to use the company’s products to build the 5G network.
In early May, the British defence minister was dismissed after a scandal over the decision to include Chinese components in «non-central» areas of the network.
This decision is currently in the air and, like many other things related to Huawei, has an uncertain future.