LONDON — Europe has been one of Huawei’s biggest success stories. Now it is on the front line of the trade and technology war between China and the United States.
The move by Google this week to cut off Android support to phones made by Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant, will hobble their European users and highlights how deeply the Continent relies on American and Chinese companies for gadgets, apps and internet services.
From its early days selling equipment to wireless carriers, Huawei has expanded at an extraordinary rate in Europe, capturing more than a quarter of the smartphone market. Google’s action is “potentially catastrophic” for Huawei’s hopes in Europe, said Ben Stanton, a senior analyst at Canalys, a research firm.
The Trump administration’s order this month barring American telecommunications firms from using foreign-made equipment that could pose a threat to national security — exactly what Washington has accused Huawei of doing — is likely to have a knock-on effect on smartphone users’ experience. Google Maps and other apps, for example, will not be supported.