Teardown Reveals Huawei Forced To Use Unknown Chinese Parts After US Security Ban
This week Chinese Company Huawei who have been deemed a ‘security risk’ in Australia, was trying to flog a new generation of smart watches, an almost futile task after Australians dumped buying their smartphones, because of a lack of Google Android apps and OS.
Now it’s been revealed that after the Company was blacklisted by the USA due to the major security concerns, the Company has been forced to use Chinese made parts in their devices.
Recently Japanese media Company Nikkei, together with Tokyo teardown specialist Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, took apart Huawei’s flagship model, the Mate 30, to analyse the parts that have gone into the Chinese electronics maker’s top-of-the-range smartphone.
Mate 30, which is compatible with fifth-generation networks, has been launched in several countries including Australia.
While most smartphone brands who are not banned incorporate US or Taiwanese parts the teardown has revealed that 42% are Chinese sourced up from 25% before the ban.
US made parts represent only 1% of the total components value in the Mate 30, down sharply from 11%.
They found that the Chinese components used in this model was 16.5 percentage points higher than in Mate 20 Pro, which was launched before the U.S. sanctions and compatible with 4G mobile networks.
Nikki claims that these figures suggest Huawei was forced to significantly shift suppliers over the year.
In the past Huawei has traditionally used the Android open-source operating system provided by Google.
While Huawei can still use basic Android software, other Google applications are subject to the U.S. sanctions and not available for Chinese makers, these include apps as Gmail, Google Search and YouTube cannot be installed in Huawei’s 5G smartphones.
The banned Chinese Company is currently racing to develop its own OS, dubbed “Hongmeng.” Analysts claim that the company will face huge obstacles in its efforts to expand global sales of its 5G smartphones due to the lack of Google apps.
In the patriotic Communist Chinese domestic market Huawei is gaining an edge over its domestic rivals. Xiaomi, the fourth largest smartphone maker in the world, has been working on chips for its smartphones. But its latest models do not yet contain any chip the company has developed itself.
Xiaomi “had no choice but to continue using Qualcomm chips” for its new 5G smartphones, according to Hideki Maeno, consulting director at Omdia Japan, the Japanese arm of British research company Omdia.
Qualcomm supplies almost all the chips Xiaomi uses in its 5G smartphones. To be sure, Huawei also said in March that it hoped to still be able to use U.S. suppliers and that despite the sanctions, the company spent 70% more with U.S. suppliers in 2019 than a year ago, according to an article by the Financial Times.
U.S. manufacturers also provide many other parts used in Xiaomi phones, accounting for 38% of the Chinese maker’s 5G smartphone components, 12 percentage points higher than those used in its 4G devices. This is also the case for other Chinese phone makers such as Oppo and Vivo.