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Huawei Restricted From WiFi & Electronics Standards Groups

Mitch Wagner
5/24/2019

Huawei Technologies had its voice muted at key standards bodies that set the direction for WiFi, SD Card storage and other electronics.

The damage starts at the Wi-Fi Alliance, which sets standards for the wireless technology. Wi-Fi Alliance "temporarily restricted Huawei Technologies participation in Wi-Fi Alliance activities" covered by the recent US Department of Commerce order restricting US companies from doing business with Huawei.

"Wi-Fi Alliance is fully complying with the recent U.S. Department of Commerce order without revoking Huawei Technologies membership," a spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Wi-Fi Alliance members include Apple, Qualcomm, Broadcom and Intel.

JEDEC, which sets semiconductor standards, said Huawei has "voluntarily decided to withdraw membership" until US restrictions are removed, according to a report on Nikkei Asian Review. JEDEC membership includes Qualcomm, Xilinx, Samsung Semiconductor, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, SK Hynix and Toshiba Memory, as well as HP and Cisco.

Additionally, Nikkei said, "Huawei also has disappeared from the member list of the SD Association, which is known for developing the standards of the SD Card, the most popular memory card format used in portable devices."

The SD Association temporarily modified Huawei's "membership rights to ensure compliance with the U.S. Department of Commerce Orders," a spokesperson for that group said in an email.

Huawei can still use technologies related to those organizations, because the standards are open to the whole industry. But Huawei will no longer have a voice in writing those standards, Nikkei said.

In response to a query from Light Reading, Huawei said: "We value our close relations with our partners, but recognize the pressure some of them are under, as a result of politically motivated decisions. We are confident this regrettable situation can be resolved and our priority remains to continue to deliver world-class technology and products to our customers around the world."

We have a query in to JEDEC.

Why this matters
Exclusion from standards bodies are further blows in the fight between the US and China, and they have the potential to hurt everyone. Huawei loses its voice in setting direction for key industry technologies, while the industry loses the voice of a major supplier in setting those technologies. Service providers are squeezed in the middle -- facing potentially another hurdle in using Huawei technologies on their own networks, and offering it to customers, while getting that technology to operate with other suppliers' products.

All in all, not a great way to end the week.

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— Mitch Wagner Visit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on TwitterJoin my Facebook GroupRead my blog: Things Mitch Wagner Saw Executive Editor, Light Reading

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