Huawei is a global telecommunications supplier and phone manufacturer, but it remains a pariah in countries like the US. The Chinese company has come under huge scrutiny in recent years, and countries like the UK and Sweden have banned the use of its equipment in their 5G networks. Huawei’s phones are also virtually invisible in the US despite their huge popularity around the world.
The company’s chairman predicted that 2020 would be “difficult” for Huawei, and there certainly were challenges. The US continued to pressure allies to block Huawei from their next-generation 5G wireless networks. In July, the UK banned Huawei from its 5G infrastructure: The company’s equipment must be removed by 2027 — a decision that Huawei found “disappointing” as 5G becomes increasingly mainstream — and UK carriers will be unable to install Huawei 5G gear starting in September 2021.
In Belgium, a pro-Huawei influence campaign used fake accounts to criticize legislation that could limit its access to the country’s 5G contracts in December 2020, according to The New York Times.
Huawei’s phone sales also declined 41.1% year over year for the fourth quarter of 2020, Gartner reported on Feb. 22.
The core issue with Huawei has been concerned about its coziness with the Chinese government and fears that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies. It’s the reason why, in 2012, the US banned companies from using Huawei networking equipment and why the company was added to the US Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List in May 2019, following an executive order from then-President Donald Trump that effectively banned Huawei from US communications networks. A year later, Trump extended the order until 2021, and it’s unclear what stance President Joe Biden’s administration will take.
The US initially offered a reprieve to companies, allowing them to work with Huawei through a temporary general license, but the Commerce Department accused the company of exploiting the rules to continue using US technology in its semiconductor design. the US government tightened those rules in August 2020 and said the temporary general license wouldn’t be extended further.
Huawei has long denied any wrongdoing and continues to maintain its innocence.
It can be tough to keep pace with the sheer number of headlines, so here’s a timeline going back to 2018.News Source: CNET