After Huawei, US reluctant to tackle Honor

Huawei has been the target of an intense technology embargo from the United States. Honor could follow.

So far, 2021 has not been a great year for Huawei. Hard hit by the relentless technological embargo of the United States, both software and hardware, the Chinese manufacturer has seen its positions in the smartphone market collapse. Even in China, its precinct, the brand has plummeted in the rankings, overtaken by Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, Honor and Apple.

Another Chinese company could soon meet an equally unenviable fate: Honor. According to the Washington Post, the intelligence community of the United States seeks to assess the danger that the manufacturer may represent for national security. The question is not trivial: Honor is a former division of Huawei, which was sold to a Chinese consortium in November 2020.

Honor, the next victim of the US high tech embargo?

In its September 20 edition, the American newspaper reports the hesitation of American intelligence agencies on what to do. The nightmarish scenario for Honor would be to be on a blacklist in turn, which would deprive it of the American software ecosystem, such as Google’s products and services on Android, but also of various components sold by the United States and its partners. allies.

The fact is that after the split between Honor and Huawei, agreements were made with American companies, since the first came out of the bosom of the second. In particular, the giant Qualcomm, specializing in the design of chips for smartphones, sells some of its components to Honor so that it can equip its 5G smartphones with them. Three models are affected.

The Honor Play 4 Pro 5G equipped with a temperature sensor // Source: Honor

Huawei’s influence in Honor is an open question: many executives and engineers have switched to Honor. Additionally, Honor has financial ties to Chinese state emanations. But, unlike Huawei, Honor is not a telecoms equipment manufacturer. This is a big difference with Huawei, whose activity in 5G networks has fueled the concerns of the secret services.

Since the Biden administration took office earlier this year, it has shown no clear signs of slackening its relations with China – Huawei has thus not benefited from a relaxation of sanctions. Rather, they tend to become more and more confrontational. From then on, Honor could in turn become a victim of the tensions between the two superpowers.

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