How the US trade war is changing Huawei

 ·17 Oct 2019

The conflict between the United States and China, and its subsequent effect on Huawei has forced the company to grow more than it expected.

Speaking at the 2019 MyBroadband Conference in Midrand, Gauteng, Huawei chief technology officer Akhram Mohamed said that Huawei has been forced to adapt as a result of the US trade ban.

“I think the situation is pretty fluid currently,” Mohamed said. “It is quite unfortunate that Huawei as a major IT company is caught in the crosshairs of this ugly trade conflict.”

He added that the company is optimistic things could be resolved in the future, but it is also evolving its approach to focus more on software and become more self-sustaining.

“We are not under any illusions, and these circumstances have forced us to adapt,” Mohamed said.

“We have launched Harmony OS and we are moving onto Huawei Mobile Services to account for the lack of Google Services.”

“In the near future, we will look at Huawei as a software company as well. Had this not happened, we would not have grown so quickly on the software capability front,” Mohamed added.

Huawei previously stated that it was working on a complete software ecosystem which it hoped to launch in South Africa alongside its next generation of flagship smartphones.

This could solve the problem of Google services being unavailable on Huawei devices if this remains an obstacle to the company by then.

Big things coming in South Africa

While it delayed the launch of the Mate 30 Pro in South Africa to ensure the quality of consumer experience is preserved, Huawei is still launching exciting products locally.

This is especially true in the realm of 5G connectivity and devices, which Akhram said could be a great way to improve the number of South Africans connected to high-speed broadband.

Mohamed previously told MyBroadband that Huawei was planning to expand the range of 5G devices on offer to South African consumers as Rain’s 5G network grew.

He stated the company’s outdoor CPEs, Mi-Fi routers, and other 5G-compatible hardware would be available before the end of the year.

When asked whether he thought 5G would be a competitor to fibre, Mohamed said that he saw it as initially a complementary product.

“I think 5G is a complementary service and technology,” Mohamed said. “It’s not so much right now about performance, it’s about connecting more people.”

He added that more 5G-capable products would be on the way to South African consumers, including a smartphone with a 5G modem landing in the second quarter of 2020.

This would coincide with the launch of the company’s next-generation P-Series flagship smartphones.

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