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Telcos assure Huawei devices will continue to function

Photo from Huawei Facebook

Telecommunication giants Globe Telecom, Inc. and PLDT, Inc. have assured that all Huawei devices will continue to function normally on their networks.

Google Play and security from Google Play Protect will also keep functioning on existing Huawei devices, Google has assured.

These assurances were issued after the United States government issued an Executive Order prohibiting U.S. persons and companies from engaging in business transactions constituting “any acquisition, importation, transfer, installation, dealing in, or use of any information and communications technology or service” with any company owned or controlled by a “foreign adversary” as a means of protection from U.S. national security risks.

This means that Google and other American companies can no longer supply software and hardware to Huawei, a Chinese company.

But since the Chinese company uses Android, which is an open source operating system and available to everyone, Huawei mobile phones and other devices will continue to function.

The US Department of Commerce has, meanwhile, issued a 90-day license allowing Huawei to maintain its current devices until August 19, 2019. This means that Huawei devices will continue to receive licensed software updates and patches until then.

“We have received assurance from Huawei that the company will continue to provide security updates and after sales services to its device users using the Globe network. We wish to assure our customers that the current situation at Huawei will not impact its network services,” Globe said in a statement on May 20, 2019.

PLDT and mobile services arm Smart Communications, Inc. said they “will work closely with Huawei in addressing concerns regarding future firmware and software updates for phones, pocket WiFi units, and other devices.”

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), in a separate statement, said the US trade ban on Huawei will have “little impact in the Philippine telecommunications industry.”

“The local telcos have made pronouncements that they will diversify in their present and future procurements of equipment to make their networks more robust and future proof,” the department said.

On cybersecurity concerns, the DICT said there has been “no incident of a national security breach” from either network using Huawei devices.

The US imposed restrictions on Huawei amid a raging trade war with China.

In Europe, where Huawei has captured about 20% of the Android-based phone market, Huawei deputy chairman Ken Hu spoke out against mixing politics with technologies, saying an integrated global ecosystem, not walls in trade, is needed.

He called the US ban "totally unjustified" and warned that this sets a dangerous precedent.

"It goes against the values of the international business community, cuts off the global supply chain and disrupts fair competition in the market. This could happen to any other industry and company in the future if we don't jointly confront these issues," he said. (Ventures Cebu)

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