Google has removed Huawei from the Android partner programme, suggesting that the latter will no longer have access to its android software, proprietary apps and services. As a result of the move, which follows on from a recent blacklisting of the company by the US government, Huawei will likely expedite the development of its own operating system. In the UK, EE and Vodafone quickly followed suit in cutting ties with Huawei, along with British chip designer ARM.
Under US rules the sale or transfer of American technology to a company or person(s) on the ‘entity list’ requires a license issued by the Department of Commerce. US authorities can deny such licences on the grounds that the sale or transfer of such technology will harm US national security or foreign policy interests.
The US and its allies have long been suspicious of Huawei, claiming to have intelligence stating Huawei has received funding from the Chinese military and intelligence services. Huawei denies these claims and insists it is a private company.
The European Commission made recommendations in March 2019 that at national level each Member State complete a national risk assessment of 5G network infrastructures by the end of June 2019. This includes assessment of the risks associated with engaging with suppliers deemed a threat to national security interests. The European Commission has also recommended that Member States should exchange information with each other and with the support of the Commission and the European Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), will complete a coordinated risk assessment by 1 October 2019. Huawei’s involvement in 5G development throughout the EU will now be further in doubt after the decision by US authorities.