The US action against Huawei had unintended consequences. Some of them appear on the surface.
The Trump government is trying to prevent the Chinese telecommunications company from selling its technology in the US and banning American companies from selling products to the company. Now, Google warns that Huawei has banned updates to its ubiquitous Android operating system that the restriction, according to the Financial Times (Paywall) could become a national security problem. This is because Huawei, the world's second largest mobile phone manufacturer, is likely to quickly develop its own parallel Android version, which may have more software bugs and be more susceptible to hacking.
Meanwhile, chip makers like Qualcomm, Intel, and Xilinx are announcing the sale of technology (paywall) to Huawei. The embattled Chinese company has responded by storing chips and components and driving the development of alternatives.
Facebook, which has more than 2 billion users around the world, says its app will no longer be preinstalled on cell phones, according to Huawei Reuters. For the time being buyers of Huawei mobile phones can still download the app from the Google Play Store. However, this option will no longer be offered if the relationship between Google and the Chinese company is removed.
These actions increase the potential risk to American companies. US technology companies will lose their sales to Huawei, and the ban could also slow down the worldwide adoption of new technologies. For example, the introduction of self-driving cars could be boosted by 5G transmissions, and Huawei appears to be the only supplier able to offer a reliable 5G kit on a large scale and at a low cost. Restrictions could reemerge on Google and Facebook, which rely on their apps being installed worldwide to collect data and sell advertising. And then there is the potential for harmful retaliatory action by China, which could hit major US companies like Apple, which could do business there, blacklist it), and the Chinese telecom comes out intact, it could be even more prominent as it was forced to develop new technologies in-house. If the American blacklist does not strangle Huawei, it could come out stronger and more innovative than before.