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Tech disaster hits Huawei

Top News | Charlotte Luo and agencies May 21, 2019
<p>Google&#39;s move to cut off Huawei&#39;s access to its hardware, software and services is a disaster for the technology firm and its users in the long run, said Francis Fong Po-kiu, honorary president of Hong Kong Information Technology Federation.</p><p>He told The Standard that although Huawei is developing its own system, it will not solve the issue overnight.</p><p>&quot;Even if they developed a system now, where will the apps be coming from?&quot; asked Fong. &quot;It takes time to develop apps. Without an ecosystem in support, it&#39;s difficult for Huawei to live on.&quot;</p><p>One of Fong&#39;s phones is a Huawei product. He said the smartphone is functioning normally at the moment.</p><p>&quot;The Android system is working. Apps can still be updated. It can receive and send e-mails through Gmail as usual. But it&#39;s unknown how long it will last.&quot;</p><p>Fong said two new Huawei phones scheduled for launch by Britain&#39;s Vodafone in July may be affected.</p><p>He said Huawei has sold phones in Asia and Europe with advanced camera systems that have seen a large number of Hongkongers switch over in recent years.</p><p>But he warned that Hongkongers are used to using Google&#39;s apps like Gmail and Google Map.</p><p>&quot;There are many other alternatives to choose from that use Android - Samsung, Sony, LG, and Xiaomi.&quot;</p><p>Fong said the United States issued an &quot;embargo&quot; on telecom-gear giant ZTE, forcing it to compromise and pay fines and deposits, which is similar to Google&#39;s ban on Huawei, before it can return to production. He believes Huawei will eventually compromise, as ZTE did.</p><p>The issue is drawing heated debate online.</p><p>Some say their Huawei gadgets will soon become &quot;phones for the elderly&quot; in which the main functions are just making calls, setting alarms and using as a flashlight.</p><p>Chartered financial analyst Edwin Tam said it is nearly impossible to keep using Huawei phones without Google apps. &quot;It&#39;s much easier to replace a phone than stop using all Google services,&quot; he said.</p><p>Tam updated all his phone apps upon learning of the ban, which does not affect users at this point. He will switch phones when he cannot use Google services.</p><p>Huawei phone users will continue to be able to use and download app updates, a Google spokesman said.</p><p>&quot;Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices,&quot; the spokesman said.</p><p>The suspension could hobble Huawei&#39;s phone business outside China as it will immediately lose access to updates to Google&#39;s Android operating system.</p><p>Google will stop providing Huawei with access, technical support and collaboration involving its proprietary apps and services, a source said.</p><p>According to the StatCounter website, in April the biggest share of the mobile phone market in Hong Kong is held by Apple, accounting for 50.7 percent. Samsung ranked second with 24.24 percent. Huawei has 7.1 percent. The fourth is Xiaomi (5.8 percent) and fifth LG (2.84 percent) .</p><p>Google&#39;s Android system has a 74.85-percent share of the global market as of last month, while Apple&#39;s iOS has 22.94 percent.</p><p>Huawei-related stocks slumped yesterday.</p><p>Smartphone equipment suppliers Sunny Optical Technology fell 4.99 percent to HK$72.40, and Q Technology dropped 8.32 percent to HK$5.73.</p><p>5G-related stocks also fell. China Tower fell 6.38 percent to HK$1.76, and ZTE 0.2 percent to HK$19.62.</p>


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