Ren has spent 30 years building Huawei and keeping out of politics. Huawei has become so large the U.S. government is running scared. Almost everyone – including the British Prime Minister and the German Chancellor – believes the US attack on Huawei is about commerce, not security.
But corporations are pragmatic. “Operators who have the choice are electing not to go with Huawei out of precautionary principle,” writes a very well informed Australian as the Singapore carriers choose Europeans over Huawei. Singapore is predominantly Chinese and the carriers have close relations with Huawei. They chose to protect themselves from US retribution.
India and China fought a deadly battle at 4,000 meters in the Himalayas. Immediately, a public cry went up to boycott the Chinese. ZTE had won the contract at India’s government telco, BSNL but Economic Times now reports that it will be rebid with ZTE and Huawei excluded.
These are bee stings, not fatal blows. The Google exclusion is costing many phone sales in Europe, but Huawei’s replacements are getting better. In the long run, Huawei will probably make more money from services than it loses from the reduced phones sales.
Only the blockade at TSMC is a serious blow. SMIC, with strong government backing, will one day allow Huawei to manufacture all chips in China. That’s at least two years away, however, and Huawei instead will have to buy chips from Microtek and maybe Samsung in the interim, raising the cost.
Ultimately, the Chinese government will do whatever is necessary for Huawei to survive and thrive, of course.