Sanc­tions are a Huawei hang-up for 4m

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Front Page - By Matthew Field

UP TO four mil­lion Bri­tish con­sumers could be stuck with in­creas­ingly use­less Huawei mo­biles af­ter the Chi­nese firm was blocked from re­ceiv­ing fu­ture soft­ware up­dates due to US sanc­tions.

The cri­sis-hit com­pany’s phones are in dan­ger of rapidly be­com­ing ob­so­lete fol­low­ing the ex­piry of a tem­po­rary li­cence al­low­ing it to use apps and An­droid up­dates from Google

Huawei is at risk of be­ing un­able to re­new the li­cence af­ter be­ing black­listed by the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion in May last year, with US com­pa­nies barred from sell­ing tech­nol­ogy to it with­out ex­plicit gov­ern­ment ap­proval.

The US claims that Huawei equip­ment can be used by the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment for es­pi­onage – some­thing that Huawei has re­peat­edly de­nied. Older Huawei phones, de­vel­oped be­fore May 2019, are still ex­pected to have the sup­port of crit­i­cal se­cu­rity fea­tures. These in­clude Huawei’s P30 and Nova ranges. Phones de­vel­oped af­ter May 2019, such as the busi­ness’s P40 range, were com­pletely blocked from us­ing Google’s apps when Huawei was placed on a US black­list.

Huawei has around a 10pc mar­ket share of UK smart­phone sales. The Of­fice for Na­tional Statis­tics es­ti­mated around 79pc of UK adults own a smart­phone, or 41m peo­ple, mak­ing it likely that as many as 4m Bri­tons own a Huawei de­vice. Last year, Huawei sold a to­tal of 240m phones world­wide.

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