Huawei Removed From Standards-Setting Bodies in Another Setback After US Ban

May 26, 2019 Updated: May 26, 2019

Huawei has been removed from three key standards-setting organizations, in the latest blow to the company flowing from the U.S. export ban.

The SD Association, the trade group that sets standards for SD and micro SD cards, removed Huawei from its member list. According to technology news website Android Authority, this means that world’s second-largest smartphone maker will not be able to use SD or microSD cards’ slots in its future designs.

Meanwhile, the JEDEC Solid State Technology Association, a body which sets standards for semiconductors, told Asian Nikkei Review that Huawei voluntarily withdrew its membership.

Wi-Fi Alliance, the organization that sets standards for wireless technology, also told Nikkei it “temporarily restricted” Huawei’s participation.

Following the U.S. ban, which effectively barred Huawei from doing business with U.S. suppliers, several American companies, including Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Intel, suspended their business with the company.

Foreign companies have followed suit, including UK-based chip designer ARM, German chipmaker Infineon Technologies, Japanese parts’ supplier Toshiba.

SD Association

SD Association, in a statement to Android Authority on May 24, confirmed that it removed Huawei from its member list in compliance with the U.S. ban.

Going forward, the company will be barred from using the storage solution in any of its devices.

Most Huawei phones use microSD cards, but the recent high-end P30 and Mate20 series use its own proprietary Nano Memory (NM) cards, which cost four times the price of microSD cards.

An analysis by Chinese media cnBeta on May 24 said Huawei’s NM cards are unlikely to become the main storage solution in the market due to its high price-tag and limited track-record. Other cell phone makers are also unlikely to use this technology, the outlet said. 

JEDEC

JEDEC is a semiconductor standards group that counts chipmakers Qualcomm, Cisco, HP, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), Samsung Semiconductor, and Toshiba Memory among its members.

Being a JEDEC member grants the company a right to participate in the standards-setting processing, and thus influence standards in favor of its business.

Taiwanese media Technews first reported on May 22 that Huawei and its chipmaker subsidiary HiSilicon were suspended from JEDEC as a result of the restrictions imposed by the U.S. government.

This information was confirmed by a JEDEC spokesman on May 24 who said Huawei had voluntarily quit the organization, the Nikkei reported.

While standards published by JEDEC are open to the whole industry, Huawei’s exclusion from the standards-setting process means it is now relegated to simply following such standards if it wants to compete in the overseas market.

Wi-Fi Alliance

Wi-Fi Alliance is the worldwide network of companies that supplies the service of wireless internet connection. It also owns the Wi-Fi trademark.

The body defines standards for Wi-Fi technologies and programs, and certifies whether products meet such standards.

The alliance includes companies such as Apple, Cisco, Intel, Qualcomm, Microsoft, Dell, Nokia, Samsung, Sony, LG, Broadcom, Comcast, and Texas instruments.

As of May 24, Huawei was “temporarily restricted” from the organization, according to Nikkei, due to the U.S. ban.

An unnamed senior chip industry executive told Nikki that: “Those alliances and consortiums are mostly for big deep-pocketed western companies to show their muscles and to make contributions when the new standards are formulated.”

The executive added that “[Huawei] could always develop their own standards within China but if you are going overseas and link to other people’s network you need to accept the standards.”

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