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Huawei suffers as US security sanctions bite

By Francis Jay

Company admits challenges with replacing banned Google services, despite sales growth

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei has admitted that it is struggling to find alternatives to the Google apps that usually sit on its Android-powered smartphones. The company is subject to a US export ban after claims in Washington that its equipment could be used for spying.

The ban has yet to hit sales – Huawei posted results earlier in October showing a 26 per cent surge year on year – but the revelations have sparked fears that profits could be affected further down the line. At present, existing customers can still access Google services on their mobile phones, but users of new Huawei models won’t be able to.

Joy Tan, vice-president of public affairs at Huawei US, told the Financial Times that the company had found replacements for many of the components it previously imported from the US, but that alternatives for services like Google Play and Maps were years away from being ready.

Ms Tan said: “After the entity list, we were able to figure out some of the alternative solutions. The most challenging part is Google-managed services. We can continue to use the Android platform, since it is open-source, but we cannot use the services that help apps run on it.”

Huawei has denied that China uses its equipment to spy on other countries. But other nations have taken action against the company, with many voicing concerns about the use of Huawei equipment in local 5G mobile phone networks.

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