LONDON — The Chinese technology giant Huawei on Monday began to feel the painful ripple effects of a Trump administration order that effectively bars American firms from selling components and software to the company, ramping up a cold war between the two countries over technology and trade.
The fallout began when Google cut off support to Huawei in recent days for many Android hardware and software services, according to the companies. The move, a response to the Trump administration’s order last week, could hamstring Huawei by restricting its access to future versions of the Android operating system. Google is also limiting access to popular applications like Maps, Gmail and the Google Play store in new handsets made by Huawei, the world’s second-largest smartphone-maker, behind Samsung.
Chipmakers have also started stepping back from dealings with the Chinese firm. German supplier Infineon said Monday that it would restrict its business with Huawei. And Intel and Qualcomm, two of the world’s largest chipmakers, have told employees to cease working with the Chinese company until further notice, according to Bloomberg.
The mass flight of U.S. technology companies from Huawei, one of China’s proudest corporate champions, is a stark escalation in the high-tech battle that has simmered between the two powers for years.
China has long prevented many U.S. internet giants from providing services within its borders, and it has placed tight strictures on how other U.S. technology firms can operate. The enormous commercial potential of the Chinese market made it hard for the companies to put up much of a fight as Beijing declared, in effect, that their business interests were subservient to China’s national security interests.
Now, the U.S. government is showing that it, too, has ways of getting foreign companies to play by its rules in the name of upholding national security. Its asset is not a giant, untapped market for technology products, but the technology itself — the know-how and capabilities without which Huawei would not have achieved so much of its success.