Why Is Huawei Under Fire?

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Have you noticed that Huawei has been under fire recently? We discussed previously how Huawei has gone from a respected technology giant to a banned service within the US. What caused all this, and what has happened so far?

Why Huawei Is Under Scrutiny

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The main issue that countries have with Huawei right now is that the company has very close ties to the Chinese government. Huawei was vying to become the world’s best supplier of 5G, but many countries feared that by adopting Huawei’s plans they would be allowing them to spy on data transfers and report the details back to the Chinese government.

So far, the US has been the biggest advocate for banning Huawei, banning their products from their own country while also convincing allies not to allow them to build an infrastructure within their borders.

Is this Outrage Recent?

Not at all! In fact, the dispute between the US and China over Huawei has been going on since 2012. The US has been wary of the company ever since, going so far as to deny secret agents from purchasing Huawei devices.

Also, in December 2018 the CFO of Huawei was arrested in Canada for allegations of trading with Iran. This was a big deal due to the US’s sanctions on Iran, which Huawei was supposedly not obeying.

As such, it’s key to realize that the conflict with Huawei wasn’t something that exploded overnight. This was a gradual, escalating tension that reached its peak over a single event.

What Caused the Outrage to Peak?

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The straw that broke the camel’s back was Huawei’s moves to steal key features of “Tappy,” a smartphone stress-test robot designed by the US company T-Mobile.

Huawei made a deal with T-Mobile that allowed them access to Tappy, and Huawei began using it to ensure their phones were up to par. However, Huawei began to overstay their welcome by smuggling secrets about Tappy’s design and even stealing components from it. The stolen components were returned but not before  Huawei employees had analyzed every inch of it.

At the time, Huawei claimed these were just rogue employees and that they had no intention of stealing information. In 2017 Huawei was fined $4.8 million for the espionage, but the jury claimed that it was, in fact, the individual acts of the thieves and not a sign that the company itself was trying to spy on T-Mobile.

That, however, has changed. Investigators pried into Huawei employee emails and found the entire company working with one another to take secrets from the US. The US had proof that Huawei really was trying to spy and steal from them; as such, they decided to ban the company from trading with the US.

What Does this Mean for US Consumers?

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Simply put, customers in the US won’t be able to buy Huawei products anymore. This was dictated by an executive order from President Trump who made it law.

Because of this new law, any US company that works with Huawei has also ceased trading with them, such as Google. It’s important to note that this decision to cut off from Huawei wasn’t a decision the companies themselves made; rather, it was forced upon them due to the executive order deeming it illegal.

As such, if you own a Huawei device, you may find it hard to get updates for it. If you own a Huawei smartphone, the operating system on it may stop receiving updates because of the ban. Currently, there’s a 90-day window which Huawei is allowed to trade in, so you may see some reparative actions occur over the coming months.

If you’re still curious about getting Huawei products, they plan to make their own operating system to rival Android.

Smartphone Espionage

Huawei has come under major fire recently, but it wasn’t over a single event. It was the final straw over a long-lasting tension that has finally bubbled over into a country-wide ban.

Do you buy Huawei products? If so, how does this ban affect you? Let us know below.

Simon Batt Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.


  1. With this president maybe US tech companies will have to migrate to the European Union their headquarters to avoid these acts against free commerce that will make them loose money.

  2. I had a Huawei P8. Great hardware but horrendous software. EMUI is probably one of the worst implementations of Android ever. I hope Huawei will get a reprieve from the US witch hunt. And I also hope Huawei use a better Android version.

  3. “The main issue that countries have with Huawei right now is that the company has very close ties to the Chinese government.”
    Were these countries naive and they just woke up? In China you do not start and run a company without close oversight by the government. All companies in China have ties to the government and do government’s dirty work. They see it as working to make China #1.

  4. The ban on Huawei is the right decision.
    They are closely linked to the Chinese government, and are engaging in theft, eaves dropping.

    You will see a lot of trolls, ridiculous comments defending them, attacking president Trump as “dictator” ironically while defending a totalitarian China communist regime linked shady company.

  5. The US logic should lead to a ban on all Chinese products. Every single Chinese company is an extension of the government.

    Even non-Chinese companies, like Apple who have happily made their extensive data collection available via iCloud, is an extension of the government.

    Playing this out… we all know that US telecoms, commercial OS makers, websites… all share their data with the US government legally and not. The US even has their allies legally required to share data. Australia is anti-encryption.

    Is the move against Huawei the right move? It makes little difference in the grand scheme. It certainly doesn’t make a difference in my life when every single US product or service is spying on me and sharing this data. Little difference in the UK, little difference in the West. It’s a drop in the bucket.

  6. “The main issue that countries have with Huawei right now is that the company has very close ties to the Chinese government.”

    as opposed to “tech companies in the US fiercely fighting against NSA and the Government” (that funnels to them bajillions of $ thru “stock market” and “venture capitalists” that sh*t their pants for companies with no distinguishable business plan – go ask Twitter about that, literally…)

    “The US had proof that Huawei really was trying to spy and steal from them”

    as they had “proof” of WoMD in Iraq, and that story ended so well, right?

    I have zero problems with cynicism and “reasons of State”; some problems arise when I’m supposed to swallow the fairy tale as well.

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