Since the US government blacklisted Huawei, the Chinese company has practically disappeared from foreign markets. The former climber on the smartphone market is now concentrating on domestic production.
The Chinese manufacturer Huawei has to adhere to a strict US trade ban and therefore has no access to certain technologies and components. The company therefore invests a lot of money in research and development to replace these parts with domestic alternatives.
13,000 Chinese-made components
In a speech, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei indicated that the tech company has replaced thousands of parts in its products with its own components over the past three years to circumvent the US ban. This is shown by a transcript published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University on its website. According to this, there are said to be more than 13,000 parts to which Huawei no longer has access due to US sanctions and is therefore now producing them itself. The company has redesigned 4,000 circuit boards alone, which has now stabilized production. Huawei says it will invest $23.8 billion in research and development in 2022. That’s an amazing number, because according to stats Apple, the world’s most valuable company, spent only slightly more on R&D that same year, at $26.5 billion.
Read more: New US sanctions could mean the final end for Huawei
Huawei is still looking for ways to circumvent the US ban
From the transcript However, it is not clear in which type of devices the 4000 new circuit boards are used. Huawei is primarily a telecoms equipment maker, but it also makes its own smartphones, laptops, and accessories like headphones. The company is not allowed to buy chips and technologies from US manufacturers, nor to sell its own equipment in the US. A large part of the global chip and circuit board production can be traced back to US companies. Although they have their products manufactured in China, Huawei is still not allowed to buy them.
Although Huawei continues to offer its own smartphones, these use older chips from the US manufacturer Qualcomm. These are also special versions that come with 4G instead of 5G technology, since Qualcomm is not allowed to sell them to Huawei. The integration of Google services is also prohibited, which is why the smartphones come without the Google Play Store. Instead, Huawei relies on its own AppGallery for installing apps and games. However, the international versions of Huawei smartphones still have the Android operating system installed, which is being developed by Google. However, this is open source and therefore non-commercial, which is why it is not affected by the US ban. In China itself, Huawei still installs the HarmonyOS as the operating system, which was developed entirely in-house.
With material from Reuters