Huawei’s misfortunes began back in 2019, when the Trump administration placed him on the Entity List, prohibiting him from doing business with US firms. With the recent change of guard in the country, there was hope that the government of Biden would show some leniency to Huawei. That possibility seems bleak now that the President’s appointment as Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo, has said (h/t Bloomberg) that she sees “no reason” why Huawei and other Chinese companies should not remain subject to the trade embargo.
“I understand that parties are placed on the Entity List and the Military End-User List generally because they pose a risk to US national security or foreign policy interests. I currently have no reason to believe that entities on those lists should not be there. If confirmed, I look forward to a briefing on these entities and others of concern,” said Raimondo, responding to written questions from Senate Republicans about her stance on Huawei and Hikvision.
In response to Raimondo’s remarks, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the eastern country remains opposed to sanctions imposed by the US on its companies. “We urge you to stop this wilful oppression of Chinese companies,” said Wang Wenbin at a press briefing held in Beijing on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Huawei is witnessing a significant decline in its global market share of smartphones. The company has lost its position in the top five smartphone vendors’ list, with a 35 percent drop in shipments in the fourth quarter of 2020.
With these latest developments, it looks unlikely that Huawei will get any reprieve from the stringent US sanctions anytime soon. It’s developing its own operating system to offset the loss of Google Mobile Services (GMS). However, that might not be enough to regain lost user interest.