After Huawei’s main suppliers like Google and ARM decided to call off their dealings with the company recently, it seemed like that would be the final piece of bad luck for the company. However, the bad luck continues and it just looks like everything is going downhill for the Chinese giant. If you haven’t been following the news lately, here’s a brief summary for you: President Trump issued an executive order directing US companies to not do business with Huawei due to the company’s links with the Chinese government. As a result, Google decided to cancel Huawei’s license for Android and Google Services. While Huawei did eventually get an additional period of 90 days as a relief, many other key suppliers still decided to follow the President’s orders. One of the biggest blows as a result of this was ARM stopping business with Huawei. This meant that Huawei could not even manufacture its own Kirin chipsets anymore.
SD Association cuts ties with Huawei
However, it looks like things are only going to go downhill from here for Huawei. In another major blow to the company the SD Association has also decided to cut its ties with Huawei. The SD Association is the organization that sets the standards for memory cards. Any company that is not a part of SD Association’s list cannot use any of the memory cards that fall under the SD Association standards. What this means is that Huawei can no longer use microSD cards in their future devices resulting in another major setback for the Chinese company.
Newer Huawei devices use the company’s own Nano Memory format (introduced first on the Mate 20) rather than microSD cards. So, this will probably have no effect on any newer or future phone from Huawei. However, older Huawei phones still use microSD cards but the Chinese giant says that even current devices won’t be affected. This might pose a different problem though. With Huawei not being able to use SD memory in any of its devices, the company might face some manufacturing and shortage issues for its newer cards as it will have to shift everything on to the new form factor especially its laptops as they still use SD cards.
WiFi Alliance has suspended Huawei’s membership
The SD Association cutting ties was not the only latest blow for the company. In a double whammy, Huawei has also lost its membership with WiFi Alliance. WiFi alliance is a massive group of companies that adapt and test their devices to run smoothly with the latest wireless standards being introduced. The Alliance includes companies like Intel, Qualcomm and Apple etc. Being a member of the Alliance means that a company can cooperate with others to make sure its devices do not suffer from any network compatibility issues. Sadly, for Huawei, the WiFi Alliance has decided to suspend Huawei’s membership for the time being. “Wi-Fi Alliance is fully complying with the recent U.S. Department of Commerce order without revoking Huawei Technologies membership. Wi-Fi Alliance has temporarily restricted Huawei Technologies participation in Wi-Fi Alliance activities covered by the order.”, said the official statement from the Alliance.
So, what does the suspension of membership actually mean for Huawei? Well, in the short run, not much. The company can still use WiFi standards that have been released so far without any issues. However, Huawei could face some issues in the long run. For example, in case a new standard comes out, all the members of the Alliance will have a say in how the standard is to be implemented and they would have a chance to test and troubleshoot the new standard. However, Huawei will no longer have any say in the process meaning that it could suffer from compatibility issues or may not even be able use any newer wireless standards due to this.
How much time does Huawei have?
If the current situation persists, things could get very bad for Huawei. Most experts claim that the company saw all of these bans and suspensions coming and has somewhat prepared for them. According to some internal sources, Huawei has already stockpiled a lot of hardware so that it doesn’t run out of production capabilities if the ban does not go away. However, with technology moving forward so fast, you can only stockpile so much. If things stay like this, Huawei’s current supply will only last for around 6 months. This means that the company needs to resolve its issues as soon as possible if it wants to have any chance of survival outside of China.
Huawei does have some leverage over America though. The American giant Apple manufactures most of its devices in China so the Chinese government could restrict Apple’s production capabilities as retaliation. However, things are still unclear and the trade war could go either way. We have heard rumours though that some form of agreement will take place between Huawei and the US government in the coming days. However, if that does not go through, it would be almost impossible for Huawei to recover and the company might actually cease to exist outside China.