Japanese and UK firms suspend launch of Huawei 5G devices

Major technology firms in the UK and Japan have suspended the launch of new Huawei gadgets including 5G devices. The decision by EE and Vodafone of the UK and KDDI and Y!Mobile of Japan comes in the wake of a trade war between USA and China that has crippled the Chinese smartphone maker. American tech giant Google on whose android platform Huawei smartphones run suspended business with the Chinese firm last week.

The Japanese and UK companies said they cannot launch Huawei’s new devices because of uncertainity over how the trade spat between China and the US will be resolved. Huawei was banking on the next generation 5G network rollout in the UK and other nations across the world to boost the sale of its popular smartphone. It has also been working hard to overthrow Samsung as the biggest smartphone maker in the world after deposing Apple in second spot early this year.

The US had earlier on unsuccessfully piled pressure on its allies to boycott Huawei products due to security fears. It is alleged that the company created backdoors in its telecommunication gadgets with the aim of espionage. The daughter of the founder of the Chinese telecoms giant was arrested in Canada at the end of 2018 with the possibility of extradition to the United States. Ms Meng Wanzhou, who also serves as Huawei’s chief financial officer, was arrested on allegations of potential violations of US sanctions against Iran.

Even though the US department of Commerce this week postponed the commencement of the ban by three months, giving users a window to find other suppliers, customers around the world are still in indefinite limbo. The world was anticipating Huawei’s Mate X foldable smartphone which had attracted much enthusiasm especially when its competitor at Samsung failed miserably early this year. All preorders at the four UK and Japanese firms have been cancelled. The UK will roll out 5G network this year while Japan will do so in 2020.

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Meanwhile, Huawei has sued the US government in a federal court over the decision to ban business between the firm and American companies.