Huawei sells folding smartphone with no Google after US ban

Updated 15 November 2019

Huawei sells folding smartphone with no Google after US ban

BEIJING: Chinese tech giant Huawei is selling its first folding smartphone without Google apps or US-made processor chips following sanctions imposed by Washington.

The Mate X, which unfolds to 14.6 centimeters (5.8 inches) wide, went on sale Friday on Huawei’s online store in China priced at 16,999 yuan ($2,422). It competes with Samsung’s Galaxy Fold launched in September.

Huawei Technologies Ltd., China’s first global tech brand, is scrambling to preserve its business following US controls imposed in May on sales of American components and technology to the company, which Washington says is a security risk.

The company is the No. 2 smartphone behind Samsung Electronics and the biggest maker of network gear for phone carriers.

Huawei denies US accusations the company might facilitate Chinese spying. The Trump administration is lobbying European and other allies to exclude Huawei equipment as they prepare to upgrade to next-generation telecom networks.

The Mate X uses Huawei’s Kirin 980 and Balong 5000 chipset instead of chips from Qualcomm or other US suppliers. It comes loaded with Chinese alternatives to Google music, maps and other apps.

The screen unfolds to 14.6 centimeters (5.8 inches) by 16.1 centimeters (6.4 inches).

The Mate X uses Huawei’s EMUI 9 operating system, which is based on Google’s Android. The company can use the open-source version of Android but if US sanctions are fully enforced, it will lose access to Google’s popular music and other apps, making it harder to compete with Samsung.

American officials say companies will be allowed to sell some products to Huawei but they still are waiting for licenses.

Huawei smartphones sold in China already use local music and other apps because Google services aren’t licensed by Beijing.

The company has yet to announce Mate X sales forecasts or plans to sell it outside China.

Huawei unveiled a smartphone operating system, HarmonyOS, in August that it said can replace Android if necessary. The company says, however, it wants to keep working with American vendors.

Huawei reported earlier sales rose 24.4 percent in the first nine months of 2019 to 610.8 billion yuan ($86 billion). Its chairman, Liang Hua, warned in July it would “face difficulties” in the second half.

Also this week, Huawei said it would pay bonuses totaling 2 billion yuan ($285 million) to 90,000 employees in chip development and some other units as thanks for helping to cope with US sanctions.

The full 180,000-member workforce also will receive an extra month’s salary, the company said.


OPEC sees small 2020 oil deficit even before latest supply cut

Updated 12 December 2019

OPEC sees small 2020 oil deficit even before latest supply cut

  • OPEC keeps its 2020 economic and oil demand growth forecasts steady and is more upbeat about the outlook

LONDON: OPEC on Wednesday pointed to a small deficit in the oil market next year due to restraint by Saudi Arabia even before the latest supply pact with other producers takes effect, suggesting a tighter market than previously thought.

In a monthly report, OPEC said demand for its crude will average 29.58 million barrels per day (bpd) next year. OPEC pumped less oil in November than the average 2020 requirement, having in previous months supplied more.

The report retreats further from OPEC’s initial projection of a 2020 supply glut as output from rival producers such as US shale has grown more slowly than expected. This will give a tailwind to efforts by OPEC and partners led by Russia to support the market next year.

OPEC kept its 2020 economic and oil demand growth forecasts steady and was more upbeat about the outlook.

“On the positive side, the global trade slowdown has likely bottomed out, and now the negative trend in industrial production seen in 2019 is expected to reverse in 2020,” the report said.

Oil prices were steady after the report’s release, trading near $64 a barrel, below the level some OPEC officials have said
they favor.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers, a group known as OPEC+, have since Jan. 1 implemented a deal to cut output by 1.2 million bpd to support the market. At meetings last week, OPEC+ agreed to a further cut of 500,000 bpd from Jan. 1 2020.

The report showed OPEC production falling even before the new deal takes effect.

In November, OPEC output fell by 193,000 bpd to 29.55 million bpd, according to figures the group collects from secondary sources, as Saudi Arabia cut supply.

Saudi Arabia told OPEC it made an even bigger cut in supply of over 400,000 bpd last month. The Kingdom had boosted production in October after attacks on its oil facilities in September briefly more than halved output.

The November production rate suggests there would be a 2020 deficit of 30,000 bpd if OPEC kept pumping the same amount and other factors remained equal, less than the 70,000 bpd surplus implied in November’s report and an excess of over 500,000 bpd seen in July. OPEC and its partners have been limiting supply since 2017, helping to revive prices by clearing a glut that built up in 2014 to 2016. But higher prices have also boosted US shale and other rival supplies.

In the report, OPEC said non-OPEC supply will grow by 2.17 million bpd in 2020, unchanged from the previous forecast but 270,000 less than initially thought in July as shale has not grown as quickly as first thought.

“In 2020, non-OPEC supply is expected to see a continued slowdown in growth on the back of decreased investment and lower drilling activities in US tight oil,” OPEC said, using another term for shale.