The Trump administration has extended the executive order that bars US companies from working with Chinese telecoms companies Huawei and ZTE for another year until May 2021. It was originally signed in May 2019 and while it doesn’t name specific companies, those are the two most obviously affected (via Reuters).
That order in May 2019 fell under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, initiated as the government claimed working with or using technology for mobile networks made by Huawei or ZTE compromised US national security.
Aside from the political implications of a US/China trade war, the ban has affected the global smartphone market. Huawei’s handsets released after May 2019 have not been legally allowed to support or run Google services, effectively hamstringing the company’s smartphone sales growth in Europe.
In its native China where Google is all but absent Huawei has been largely unaffected.
Even though the ban has been in place for a year, a series of exemptions issued by the US Commerce Department have allowed Huawei to continue business in some areas, including issuing Google-verified software updates to pre-May 2019 hardware.
The current extension expires on 15 May 2020. It is unclear if another extension will be granted.
The situation means that Huawei almost certainly will not be able to release a phone with Google support, services and apps until May 2021 at the earliest. It will likely continue in its development of Huawei Mobile Services and its own AppGallery platform.
In the long run, it might mean that Huawei is able to establish a third mobile ecosystem next to Google and Apple. Huawei phones can still run Google’s Android platform, but cannot use its Play Store for apps or run any Google software.