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Huawei ban: Full timeline on how and why its phones are under fire

"Garrett Cutler" (2019-12-08)


id="article-body" class="row" section="article-body"> Angela Lang/CNET Huawei is the world's No. 1 telecom supplier and No. 2 phone manufacturer, but it's a pariah in countries like the US -- to the point that the FBI reportedly set up a sting at CES 2019. Over the course of 2019, there's been an upswing in scrutiny of the Chinese telecom giant, with a number of countries banning the use of its networking equipment. And its phones are virtually invisible in the US despite its massive presence around the world.

4340796846_046329d114_b.jpgSetting the tone for how the year has unfolded for Huawei, the US Justice Department unsealed indictments in January that included 23 counts pertaining to theft of intellectual property, obstruction of justice and fraud related to its alleged evasion of US sanctions against Iran.

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Huawei has long denied any wrongdoing and continues to maintain its innocence.  

Related: Honor 9X could be the last Huawei phone to use Android

The core issue with Huawei has been concerns about its coziness with the Chinese government and fears that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies. It's the reason why the US banned companies from using Huawei networking equipment in 2012 and why the company was added to the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security Entity List in May, following an executive order from President Donald Trump effectively banning Huawei from US communications networks. 

Now playing: Watch this: What is going on between Huawei and the US? 4:59 The US offered a temporary reprieve to companies, allowing them to work with Huawei until August. That reprieve was then extended to November.

Learn more: Huawei Mate 30 Pro ditches Google Apps, keeps Android. Why it matters.

It can be tough to keep pace with the sheer number of headlines, so here's a timeline. We've put the 2019 events first, with 2018 events below that if you want to dive even deeper.

FAQ: HarmonyOS: What's with Huawei's Android-replacement operating system?

2019
Dec. 2, 2019: Huawei predicts Australia's 5G ban will force it to cut 1,500 jobs.

Nov. 29, 2019: Huawei will apparently fight the FCC decision to exclude it from federal subsidies.

Nov. 26, 2019: Huawei and Samsung see jump in phone sales for third quarter, while others see decline.

Nov. 25, 2019: Huawei unveils its iPad Pro rival, jasa pembuatan lift dumbwaiter the MatePad Pro, for China.

Nov. 22, 2019: The FCC bars Huawei and ZTE from billions in federal subsidies, while senators want Trump to halt licenses that let US companies sell to Huawei.

Nov. 21, 2019: Microsoft scores license to export software to Huawei.

Nov. 20, 2019: Huawei Mate X's folding screen costs $1,000 to fix.

Nov. 19, 2019: Huawei says US license extension doesn't change the fact that it's being treated unfairly.

Nov. 12, 2019: Huawei is reportedly giving staff $286 million in bonuses for sticking through US ban.

Nov. 8, 2019: Trump's tech chief slams countries for "opening their arms" to Huawei.

Nov. 7, 2019: Huawei founder says the company's coping fine with the US trade ban, but stresses the need for open collaboration.

Nov. 5, 2019: Hungary will reportedly work with Huawei in building its 5G network.

Nov. 4, 2019: US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says licenses allowing US companies to sell equipment to Huawei "will be forthcoming very shortly." 

Nov. 1, 2019: Huawei might be working on an iPad Pro-style tablet.

Oct. 31, 2019: The UK general election has apparently delayed the decision on giving Huawei access to the UK's 5G network again. Also, Huawei ships 66.7 million phones in 2019's third quarter.

Oct. 28, 2019: The Federal Communications Commission says it'll cut off funding to wireless carriers using Huawei and ZTE equipment. 

Oct. 23, 2019: Huawei launches the Mate X foldable phone in China and celebrates hitting 200 million phone shipments two months sooner than it did last year. Also, the company's cybersecurity chief says it'd be easier to bribe telecom staff than build backdoors into networks.

Oct. 21, 2019: A Huawei executive acknowledges the company's struggling without Google support.

Oct. 16, 2019: Huawei sold a whole bunch of phones despite the US ban, while a Mate X unboxing video hints at the foldable phone's imminent release. Also, Germany caused an uproar with draft network security rules that would let Huawei work on its 5G networks.

Oct. 15, 2019: Huawei and Sunrise co-build a 5G research center in Switzerland.

Oct. 9, 2019: Trump is reportedly ready to approve sales of US goods to Huawei.

Oct. 4, 2019: Malaysian telecom Maxis signs up with Huawei for 5G.

Oct. 2, 2019: Huawei Mate 30 phones apparently lose backdoor access to Google apps.

Sept. 30, 2019: Huawei opens flagship store in Shenzhen.

Sept. 26, 2019: Huawei apparently is making 5G base stations without US parts, and Norway says it won't ban the company from its 5G rollout.

Sept. 19, 2019: Huawei unveils the Mate 30 Pro phone, Watch GT 2 and Vision TV during an event in Munich. 

Sept. 18, 2019: Huawei urges Australia to embrace Chinese products during its "explosion of innovation," and its Mate 30 event lineup apparently leaks a day early.

Sept. 12, 2019: Huawei's founder is ready to sell his company's 5G tech to a Western buyer. Separately, Huawei is selling MateBook laptops with Linux preinstalled in China.

Sept. 10, 2019: Huawei drops a lawsuit against the US government after its telecom equipment is returned.

Sept. 9, 2019: Microsoft President Brad Smith wants the US government to offer more evidence to back up its Huawei ban. Also, US prosecutors charge a Chinese professor with fraud for allegedly taking a California company's tech for Huawei's benefit.

Sept. 8, 2019: Huawei's Mate X foldable phone could go on sale in October.

Sept. 6, 2019: Huawei skirts US ban with "new" P30 Pro, but only the colors are new. It also shows off the 5G Kirin 990 chip that'll power its Mate 30.

Sept. 3, 2019: Huawei accuses US of using cyberattacks and threats to disrupt its business. It also intends to give universities $300 million annually despite the US trade ban.

Sept. 2, 2019: Huawei announces that the Mate 30 series launches Sept. 19.