Huawei’s Revival – Is it even legal?

Huawei used to be one of the biggest companies in the tech industry. They constructed 5G infrastructures and made excellent smartphones. At one point, Huawei almost overtook Samsung to become the top in market share. However, as we all know, Huawei was under a lot of investigation and suspicion due to its transparency. Noone knew who the head of the company was and who funded the company. In the end, a lot of countries, especially the United States, considered the Chinese government to be the main supporter of the company, and that Huawei has been using their products to “steal” consumers’ personal information. US President Donald Trump immediately banned Huawei products in the US and forbade any company to form a relationship with the Chinese tech giant. 

After the “Huawei ban”, many countries and companies started to keep away from Huawei. The once industry-leading tech giant lost their rights to construct 5G networks in multiple countries and orders stopped coming altogether. Still, perhaps the most critical punch was on their phones. Huawei used to use Google’s Android operating system. It’s the same OS that Samsung and Xiaomi phones use. If yours is not an iPhone, the only alternative in the market is the Android, yet Huawei just lost the rights to use the Android OS. This was a huge problem because “Google” means much more than just an operating system. It includes Youtube, Gmail, Playstore, and all Google related services. Huawei lost all of them and as a result, their market share dropped over 20%. Now, they’re not even in the top 5. 

For over a year now, we haven’t heard much about Huawei. Now, the company seeks to restore itself to its former glory using the help of their sister brand: Honor

Honor was a brand created by Huawei in 2013. It was made to be Huawei’s sub-brand that sells mid-range phones while Huawei focused on the premium market. Honor would sell Huawei phones to sell basically the same devices at a lower price some time. When we say basically the same, we’re not exaggerating. Both the Honor phones and Huawei phones use the same Kirin chips. Honor phones run a software called the “Magic UI” which is a copy of Huawei’s “EMUI.” They also tend to have a very similar design to each other. 

Last year, Huawei sold Honor, and since Honor is no longer owned by Huawei, they got all the rights that Huawei had been banned from. Honor was free to collaborate with American companies, they were free to sell their products in North America, and got Google Services in their phones once again. Now, they’re separate companies and no longer have any relationship with each other.

Here’s the interesting thing: their phones still look the same. Huawei Nova 9 and Honor 50, which were both announced days apart from each other this year, have identical button layouts, identical speaker positioning, identical camera placements, and same weight and size. This similarity goes the same with Huawei Nova 8i and Honor 50 Lite. Those two phones are also twins. It’s not only bar phones that look alike. Honor’s “new” foldable phone Honor Magic X looks a bit too much like Huawei Mate X2. 

Today, Honor serves more countries than Huawei, has Google services, and is now working on the premium market. Alas, Honor has become the new Huawei. 

sejun lee

My name is Sejun, I'm a junior, and I enjoy playing sports and watching movies

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