The future of much of Huawei’s product portfolio – business and consumer alike – remains uncertain with the end of the company’s 90-day trade ban looming large. Some clarity on the effects of the trade ban come today from The Information, offering details of a cancelled project.
Huawei’s broadening its consumer electronics offerings, with laptops on the rise and word that the company will get into the TV space (it has via its Honor sub-brand), so it won’t come as much of a surprise that the company is/was/shouldbe/mightbe/couldhavebeen/mightstill 🤷♂️ collaborate with the a big G on an Assistant-powered speaker.
It’s not unusual to see tech companies moving into tech-adjacent spaces like home entertainment – the manufacturing is similar to what they’re used to (& might even use similar components). Smart speakers are a booming, growing market (especially here in Australia) and that makes for quite an attractive revenue opportunity if a company can capture consumer attention.
The word is that the project was expected to see a major global rollout with an external focus (outside of China), but it’s now dead in the water following the addition of the company to the US DoC Entity List.
What happens next is likely up to neither company. Huawei won’t be removed from the Entity List, but the US government has indicated it’ll issue licences for companies doing business with the Chinese giant.
While Google (nee Android) is the subject of much speculation around those licences, we don’t know what the company will seek (or might even have been issued), nor whether there’s a desire from Huawei to continue the project given its dependence on US technology.