How Will Biden's Policy Towards Huawei Affect the Middle East?

Published November 20th, 2020 - 04:00 GMT
How Will Biden's Policy Towards Huawei Affect the Middle East?
Huawei has reported a minimum of 22% year-to-year decline in sales compared to 2019. (Shutterstock: EJ Casanova)
Highlights
Being the factory of the world, tariffs or sanctions imposed by the US on Chinese products have had direct impacts on global markets, including the one in the Middle East.

With new political changes in the US, the world can't help but wonder what policies will the new administration take towards China, the world's second-largest economy, especially after the soon-leaving Trump administration had a complicated relationship with it, signing a trade deal earlier this year, before cracking down on major Chinese businesses.

Being the factory of the world, tariffs or sanctions imposed by the US on Chinese products have had direct impacts on global markets, including the one in the Middle East.

Receiving the harshest blow due to what the Trump administration described as "national security concerns," the telecommunication giant Huawei has been under huge pressure, since the US imposed a number of sanctions on it and banned American and Asian suppliers from working with it. The biggest issue for Huawei throughout 2020 has been the deprivation of Google services previously necessary for its devices to run the Android operating system. 

Despite still being amongst the world's biggest sellers of smartphone devices, only overthrown by Samsung earlier this month, Huawei has reported a minimum of 22% year-to-year decline in sales compared to 2019, including its Chinese market that has seen a contraction of about 15%.

While this drop can be largely attributed to the coronavirus pandemic which has negatively affected consumers' behaviors, there is no doubt that many smartphone users have been hesitant to purchase Huawei's devices for fear of losing irreplaceable services.

Even before the pandemic hit on a global level in early 2020, Huawei's numbers in November 2019 had shown that the Chinese giant had lost its second place in the GCC market, which was led by Samsung with about 47%, followed by Apple with 18%, while Huawei had only 17% of the market share.

Now, hopes of a new trade approach between China and the US are rising, as the president-elect Joe Biden prepares to take over the White House next January.

In an interview with the US-based CNBC, Huawei's chief technology officer Paul Scanlan expressed his hope that the new US administration will "reset" relations with his company, and that Biden's digital policies and administration might work closely with China to resolve the different challenges, which Huawei hopes could result in lifting sanctions against it.

If the Biden administration succeeds in ending the months-long sanctions on the Chinese tech company, its sales can potentially achieve a great boost in the Middle East, as its devices are often celebrated for its high functionality and affordable prices, especially as the region prepares to overcome the economic challenges that emerged since the COVID19 outbreak.

Would you buy a Huawei device now? Do you think US policies towards China will affect your decision when you look for a new smartphone?

 


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