China's Huawei mobile maker does nothing in the middle. With a seemingly inexhaustible military fund, the company has strengthened its position in several parts of Europe in recent years. Sweden is no exception. On slick start-ups, the company has spotted top phones and then sells them with local celebrities like Danny Neighbor, Zara Larsson and Sarah Schoorstrom.
If it's worth it, it's good if we turn the proverb. Last year, Huawei increased its share of Sverigekakan from 8 to 16 percent, while sales increased by a hundred percent. Globally, one of the few smartphone manufacturers has managed to show positive messages at all when counting the statistics.
In the middle of 2019, the situation – slightly pronounced – sees a little tense. In the ongoing US-China trade war, Donald Trump declared a state-of-the-art situation to provoke a trade blockade against, among others, Huawei. Google quickly announced that it is dealing with the leading and ultimate Android collaboration that includes critical applications such as Gmail, Maps and YouTube. Huawei, an equally important producer of Arm chips, later gave a similar message.
On August 19, the blockade will come into force if nothing happens on the matter. Media reporting is covered with black titles on whether Huawei will survive on the smartphone market, but also on rumors spread over bets on its own operating system. In response Huawei launches its own Huawei Matters website where the company responds to frequently asked questions and provides its version of the events.
Both Huawei and Google have promised that existing models will be upgraded as before, but will also have continued access to the Play Store and their own Google apps. But exactly how it will be with future models is less clear. And what about the newer versions of Android?
Northern Manager: "An interesting challenge"
M3 visited Huawei headquarters in Sweden in Kista to get to know the atmosphere and talk to Scandinavian consumer manager Jackie Zhao. We are not much wiser when it comes to clean questions – many things are still written in the stars – but one thing we know: Huawei's love declaration to Sweden shows no signs of slowing down.
– The Swedes are well informed and make a good choice, giving us strong growth in the premium segment. Especially our investment in camera technology has paid off here and we have had a big impact with last year's P20 Pro. This year, the same thing with the P30 series has gone very well, says Jackie Zhao.
Although Huawei is under strong pressure – not least on the way – he chooses to look with confidence in the future.
"It is our DNA to deal with the difficult challenges. Huawei was founded in 1987 with $ 5,000 in pocket. Last year, we won $ 106 billion. Challenges and difficulties make us stronger. When this happens (the commercial block, a note from eds), it becomes an interesting challenge to deal with, says Jackie Zhao.
We mention the concerns we have seen in Huawei's Swedish consumers about the future. What can we say about Huawei's future in the mobile market?
– Sweden is a long-term and serious investment for us. Whatever happens in the future, users will benefit from the quality and dependable solutions that we have become known for.
Jackie Zhao develops:
– Most importantly, the models that are now on the market and are sold by us and our partners will not be affected. Devices will get all the necessary updates. Customers should not worry about it. Neither our partners nor traders should worry.
An issue that is more difficult to understand affects the future of Android updates. In the autumn Android Q will be released and many wonder if Huawei's latest mobile phones will be able to take part in it. On a UK page, the manufacturer says they "look confident" about Android Q, for example the P30 and Mate 20. The Swedish equivalent only writes "More details will be published in future system upgrade notes".
Jackie Zhao also can not give a definite answer.
– We continue to work to ensure that our users receive the latest updates. As for Android Q, we look forward to how it evolves. When we know more, we will share your information.
What does your relationship with Google look like?
"It remains strong and mutually important. We are incredibly grateful to all of our partners, they have made our success possible. All relationships are profitable. We want to continue working with them.
After Google announced it had cut off connections with Huawei, it soon began to spread a few rumors that the Chinese manufacturer is boosting its own operating system. But on their information pages, the company turns to rumors in a halt, and is currently content with the fact that "continues to give priority to the development and use of the Android ecosystem ".
– At Huawei, we are only trying to deliver the best user experience. We are open to work with many different partners – whether they are based in the United States, Korea or Germany, "said Jackie Zhao.
The more specific he gets when we ask about the recipe for success that has made Huawei rise like a racket in sales lists in recent years. The fact that the company has its newest mobile phones with gratitude is clear, but according to the User Manager there is more to mention:
– We invest a lot in R & D, more than 45% of our employees are active in this field. At least ten percent of what we earn each year is reinvested in innovation. Especially for Sweden, we have a very strong team of employees who work very well as a bridge between Huawei and Swedish society. They know how to communicate with customers and can deliver the right message.
Given the circumstances, Jackie Zhao certainly has a positive outlook for the future.
– I still think we have the necessary to continue to grow and we are very positive. We continue to invest in the Swedish market in different ways with computers, smartphones, tablets and watches. Here we feel comfortable and confident.
The US hit against Huawei – it happened
May 15: US President Donald Trump declares a national emergency. The goal is to prevent US companies from using technology from companies that are considered a threat to national security. Shortly afterwards, the Department of Trade announced that it had created Huawei in the list of companies – to which companies listed on the stock exchange were forbidden to buy parts and components from US companies.
May 19: Google corrects the lead and announces that it reduces significant connections with Huawei. Specifically, this means that collaboration with important software such as Android and security updates and Google applications such as Maps, Gmail and the central Play Store will no longer be available for Huawei. Google also announces that the models are already on the market no covered by the measure.
May 22: The British chip maker broke up with Huawei. The reason is that the company uses US technology in its components. A serious blow to China's mobile maker, which relies heavily on Arm's components in their smartphone production. Over the next few days, several key players announced that they were completing their various co-operation with Huawei.
May 28: Huawei began intense rumors about the launch of its own operating system in June. The rumors are said to have originally come from a Huawei employee, who believes the company has quickly got its own alternative to Android from Google. But the rumors of June are firmly denied by the mobile manufacturer.
June 7: Facebook says they are no longer installing their applications on Huawei phones.
June 10: Normally, the well-informed XDA-Developers site reports that Huawei is working intensively to sell its own app store – App Gallery – to developers who usually live on the Google Play Store.
June 13: New rumors about Huawei flourish in their own mobile operating system. The manufacturer applied for trademark protection for the name in Peru. At the same time, it is assumed that considering the Linux-based Sailfish operating system for future mobile phones.
June 21: Huawei says he is confident that the company's latest mobile phones in the Mate and P series will be upgraded to the upcoming Android version of Google.
August 19: The American blockade comes into force if the situation remains the same as it is now. But before that, long rumors, word wars and uncertainties are expected.