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  • Huawei logo is seen in front of displayed Google Play logo in this illustration taken May 20, 2019.

    Huawei logo is seen in front of displayed Google Play logo in this illustration taken May 20, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 May 2019

The U.S. Commerce Department on Monday created a temporary general license restoring Huawei’s ability to maintain existing networks and provide software updates to existing Huawei handsets. The license lasts until Aug. 19 and eases restrictions imposed last week.

Global markets opened on Monday with fears of retaliation from China after the Trump Administration blacklisted Huawei Technologies on Thursday and Sunday tech giant, Google, announced it would suspend its business with China’s top mobile maker.

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“We have already been preparing for this," Huawei founder and chief executive officer Ren Zhengfei said on Saturday foreshadowing the latest news.

Since then the company has reiterated that it “will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.”

This comes as the Trump administration added Huawei Technologies to a trade blacklist, immediately enacting restrictions that will make it extremely difficult for the company to do business with U.S. counterparts.

In compliance with this measure, on Sunday Google announced that Huawei will immediately lose access to updates to Google’s Android operating system. The next version of its Android smartphones will also lose access to popular services including the Google Play Store, Gmail, and YouTube apps.

“Huawei will only be able to use the public version of Android and will not be able to get access to proprietary apps and services from Google,” a Google spokesperson said, which will affect the rising tech giants sales of smartphones across the world. 

However, after a global outcry from users, Google will temporarily allow holders of current Huawei smartphones with Google apps to continue to be able to use and download app updates provided by the company, yet future operating system updates might not be allowed.

The U.S. Commerce Department on Monday created a temporary general license restoring Huawei’s ability to maintain existing networks and provide software updates to existing Huawei handsets. The license lasts until Aug. 19 and eases restrictions imposed last week.

Meanwhile, Huawei has also said that it will maintain its intention “to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally,” which likely means that the tech company will accelerate its processes to find a replacement operating system to ditch Android and Google. 

Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said on Monday that his government “learned of the news from media reports,” adding that “in the meantime, China supports Chinese enterprises in taking up legal weapons to defend their legitimate rights.”

As escalating tensions continue to mount between China and the U.S., Trump has announced that he'll meet face-to-face with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit late June, hoping to find a new channel to deescalate the situation. 

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