Huawei MateBook launch in question amid escalating U.S.-China trade war

What you need to know

  • As trade tensions continue to escalate between the U.S. and China, it's unclear whether the Huawei's latest MateBooks will be affected.
  • Huawei, a China-based company, was recently added to a trade blacklist by the U.S. Commerce Department.
  • In a statement to Windows Central, Huawei denounced the Commerce Department's move but could not comment on whether it will impact the availability of the MateBook X Pro and MateBook 14.

Amid escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China, Huawei was placed on an export blacklist by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Huawei's addition to the blacklist, along with 68 of its affiliates, will means that the company will no longer be able to buy parts from U.S. suppliers without first obtaining approval from the U.S. government. But with the new MateBook 14 and MateBook X Pro on the horizon, it's unclear what the move will mean for the launch of Huawei's latest pair of laptops.

"We have not announced US availability so we can't comment at this time," a Huawei spokesperson said in a statement.

While that may not make the fate of Huawei's new MateBooks any clearer, the company thoroughly rebuffed the Commerce Department's move. From Huawei:

Huawei is against the decision made by the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) of the US Department of Commerce. This decision is in no one's interest. It will do significant economic harm to the American companies with which Huawei does business, affect tens of thousands of American jobs, and disrupt the current collaboration and mutual trust that exist on the global supply chain. Huawei will seek remedies immediately and find a resolution to this matter. We will also proactively endeavor to mitigate the impacts of this incident.

The Commerce Department's decision to place Huawei on an export blacklist comes as the Tump administration issued a broader executive order to protect U.S. infrastructure from "foreign adversaries," referring to the issue as a "national emergency." The order gives the commerce secretary broad authority to block transactions with tech companies who have been labeled as being controlled by foreign adversaries, with the goal of preventing potential espionage and threats to critical infrastructure.

The language of the order is relatively broad, but it remains to be seen how much of an affect it will have on the technology sector as a whole.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • "Huawei MateBook launch in question"
    shouldn't the title say US launch instead?
  • If Huawei is barred from buying Intel and NVIDIA hardware and Microsoft software then the country where the laptop is then sold does not matter. It's not that Huawei can't sell here, it's that they can't buy US hardware to even make their products. The US gov't has effectively barred US companies from selling technology to Huawei unless granted an exception, which they have stated is highly likely to be denied. So Huawei can't even make the MateBook since it uses Intel/NVIDIA/Microsoft technology (plus likely some more).
  • Hopefully Trump puts higher tariffs on China as well as penalizing US-based companies employing people outside of the US. I love this guy!
  • "as well as penalizing US-based companies employing people outside of the US." Every electronic thing you own is made in China. Your car has parts including steel from China. Your furniture and clothes are often made in China or Bangladesh. All major American companies employee people in China. Do you really have any idea how the world economy works or how Trump is 100% not ever going to do what you're suggesting here because it'd be stupid and sink our economy (plus drive up all our prices)?
  • He is punishing China and others as they should have been punished for decades, under several presidents, Republican and Democrat. The problem is obvious, and part of the solution is to punish those who have undercut our market for decades.
  • It's a tactic/tax to get more favorable trade with China, not to penalize "US-based companies employing people outside of the US.". "and others" What "others"?
  • Those in the trade war. China is the main one, but I mean in the end it's all the countries that charge US goods tariffs and we charge theirs none.
  • Surely you realize that for every US good that has a tariff there are those that don't? Like the US themselves do tariffs as well? Tariffs are a means to protect your own industry where you need to and to keep goods coming in where you need to. And that's not even the most laughable thing of it all. Do you know why the deficit is as high as it looks like? Because the US doesn't want to count digital goods. All those billions over billions of revenue from Apple, Google, Facebook - not only do they not count them towards the deficit (meaning the 20 billion Apple makes in China for the US count as purely American revenue, instead of money flowing from China to the US), they are not even taxed overseas. Granted, for China it would never turn the deficit around, only make it smaller. But for the EU this is different, there is an actual 100 billion deficit in the EU regarding digital goods traded with the US. But they aren't counted. If they were, the EU would actually have an overall trade deficit with the US.
  • Did you know why the Qing dynasty fall from the word? Your Trump will tell you guys answers.
  • Let me tell you a thing about how tariffs work. The companies in the US that order from China pay them when the goods enter the country. It doesn't affect China at all. All that happens is that the companies in the US raise prices on those goods to make the US customers pay the additional cost. What can happen is that tariffs in the end lead to less demand, which in turn leads to less orders. That's when China will feel anything because of tariffs. Until then, those 50 and soon 100 billion dollar of tariffs are simply hurting one thing: US American consumer demand, because they will have that much less money to buy stuff (be it from the US or China or anywhere else). So in the end, those tariffs hurt only the US economy. And that is exactly what is happening. Demand has not been pushed back. China exports as much as ever to the US. Because Americans want and need those goods, almost no matter the price. Because that's the only place that makes them.
  • Everything is proceeding as I have forseen.....
  • Dude, this isn't Star Wars. And what's with the ellipsis - are we supposed to be waiting for your next vision, or something?
  • You think I really did not see that someday an American President would finally get tough with China? Anyone with a functioning brain could see it was bound to happen. So, yeah I did quote the Emperor. Cause he is awesome!
  • "You think I really did not see that someday an American President would finally get tough with China? " Your icon is a Transformer and your handle is "Sunstorming" so forgive me and the rest of the world for not heeding your geopolitical prophecies on a site dedicated to Windows 10. It's a bit much.
  • ok that sounds reasonable
  • LMAO, that might have been the greatest response ever on this site.
  • Lmao. U think this cartoon prez is getting tough with China is trying to help you and I? He is only out to make himself rich. He already made over $400 Mill last yr while in office. ZTE sanctions were lifted days after Chinese invested in his resort in Indonesia. Hundreds of patents for Ivanka merchandise helped too. That TF toy on your avatar is also made in China BTW. Watch for more backdoor deals to help Trump org in the coming yrs. I get that many want a fairer trade policy to help the middle class. But Trump is not it. He is not afraid to say anything because he never wanted to win, it was for publicity to make more money. Now he won, he is out to make more money for his family.
  • @JamitoFrog, Ad hominem attacks on Trump do not an argument make. Trump sequenced his economic policy very well. If he benefits, it's primarily as a by-product of the benefits to nearly all Americans (some specific groups, mainly farmers and, in this case, tech companies selling to Huawei, will be hurt in the short-term). First step: juice the economy with tax cuts and relaxing business-constricting regulations. This both allows the US to better weather the negative economic impact of upcoming tariffs (they're a tax, and taxes hurts the economy) and puts us in a stronger negotiating position with trading partners (it's more attractive to trade with a country whose economy is booming). Second step: state preference for free trade, but state that we will no longer accept unilateral protectionism by our trading partners, especially China (but not exclusively China). Third step: Reciprocal or stronger tarrifs, not for permanent protectionism, to put teeth on the Second step. As long as the goal is freer overall trade and better protection for property rights including intellectual property, we should all be willing to bear the near-term cost of the tariffs and other barriers to trade. Fourth step (concurrent with second and third): negotiate hard to correct unfair trade policies of our trading partners (especially China), dropping the tariffs when the policies are fixed. Note that where most countries have some form of protectionist tariffs (just about everyone has more of these than the US), China is much worse because it also steels our intellectual property through legal requirements to turn it over to Chinese partners to sell into China and through outright spying and state-sponsored industrial espionage. To achieve that, they may (I don't think we mere citizens can know) also embed monitoring firmware and control backdoors in the devices they export to the US to spy, or provide the potential to spy, on all communications using their equipment and possibly even use those hacker-like backdoors into these devices to exert some level of control in the event serious escalation of tensions or outright war between our countries. That's the concern with ZTE and Huawei in particular. When Trump says that other presidents have failed in allowing things to get to the current state, I strongly agree. The US has consistently put short-term gain for political donor companies over long-term gain for real free trade and intellectual property security. Republicans and Democrats have been guilty of this in different ways, but both sides had failed pre-Trump. Democrats seem to care more about elevating the standard of living in other countries than at home in the US and are vulnerable to Republican attacks that they're blocking trade (that's the caricature of the "high-tax" Democrats), so they haven't done anything. Republicans are largely controlled by the Chamber of Commerce and business lobbyists who want access to cheaper manufacturing and global markets. While the Republican position is reasonable, they are only looking at a 6mo - 2yr time frame, and are not (en masse) willing to suffer tightened or smaller markets in that near term for the possibility of freer trade 3+ years hence. Trump, who is not as beholden to the Chamber of Commerce and other typical power brokers behind the Republican party is able to do the right thing. Fortunately, he has the wisdom and intelligence to do so, or maybe it's just that he's the first real business person in office (Bush had an MBA, but hadn't spent his career building a global trading empire). That's not to say I don't agree with the criticisms of Trump's childishness in many ways -- they annoy me as much as anyone, but on his trade policies, he's handling that perfectly, for the first time in modern history.
  • "Democrats seem to care more about elevating the standard of living in other countries than at home in the US and are vulnerable to Republican attacks that they're blocking trade (that's the caricature of the "high-tax" Democrats), so they haven't done anything." Wow identity politics in full swing. Every shot is taken even when it doesn't apply. I don't necessarily disagree with the trade punishments but you have to acknowledge that for decades it was the US who was actually a major player in spurring the cheaper prices and increased overseas production for our American consumers ...while at the same time turning a blind eye to human rights violations. While "other people" are underpaid in garment factories and working in dangerous conditions digging our oil, we are deciding it's now time to "punish" them ... Like we haven't benefited enough and like we have been "fair" the entire time. Yeah... preserving healthcare for the most vulnerable, choices for women's bodies, and protections for those socially marginalized is just Democrats "elevating the standard of living in other countries". Now in certain states, a doctor helping resolve unwanted consequences of rape will be jailed more than the person who committed the rape. "I guess thats okay, as long as we're rich... Right?" At SOME point, people may realize further economic gain (when it has already been uptrending for the last decade) may not be worth driving society to a choatic conflict ridden mess with citizens of the richest country in the world fighting each other for resources. But money is often prioritized over being righteous and providing for the citizens that make the rich richer but endure the hardships when things crash. It's a risky financial and political game but they have their fortunes as safety nets while they strip the safety nets from under the rest of us. When will people realize...?
  • @Spacepunk, you're conflating economic positions (the only thing I'm addressing) and social positions (e.g., your abortion comments, which is belief-oriented and few people on either side of that issue would argue an economic component to their position -- for those who are pro-choice they believe they are defending a woman's right to have control over her own body, for those who are pro-life, they believe that are protecting the life of a small child who has no one else to defend it). In any case, in criticizing both parties on their handling of international trade, I think I was pretty clearly not defending Republicans in specifically saying they are guilty of opposing taking the needed steps to drive long-term free trade (a very good thing for ALL participating countries and nearly all citizens due to rising GDP, with the exception being the elite few in government who get their money and power from taxing and redistributing their citizens' money). The Republicans in Washington have been short-term focused on this issue, looking only at the on the harm tariffs do to trade while in effect. It's true that they do cause short-term harm, but if the result is reduced barriers to trade in the long term, and/or reduced IP theft, then they are worthwhile. What I am defending are Trump's policies specifically with respect to this trade and tariff issue. Like the senior Democrat in the Senate, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, I support Trump whole-heartedly on this issue. This doesn't mean I love Trump in other areas. I share many of the concerns others have with his Tweets and demeanor, but on this policy, he's the first president since at least WWII to approach this correctly by first bolstering the US economy, then using that strength to break China's stranglehold over American production who uses that control to steal our IP. That would be a problem if it were any country. It's especially concerning given China's socialist/communist single party rule and stated long-term aspirations of global control (look at what they're trying to do to Taiwan, for example, a much better friend to the US than China).
  • This is really bad, Huawei made great laptops for great prices, now that this might happen we will lose a great laptop competitor that could've affected other's laptops strategy.
  • This is really bad for consumers all over the world. This is what happens when you get a clown president that does not care for anything expect making money for himself. American policy nowadays is so incredibly hypocritical its not even funny.
  • Folks calm down there will be future negotiations that will make USA & China international
    sales get better. There has been complaints for many years of Chinese Businesses not
    obeying USA Patent laws & using USA developed Technology without getting any legal
    permission or paying Royalties to USE USA technology.. Another thing is to get cheap
    labor for better profit margins American businesses have moved manufacturing goods
    to China & other countries showing Them how to make integrated circuits & other
    high tech stuff we only knew how to make. Americans have paid a bad price for these
    actions of American Companies who did this. Americans lost jobs that may never
    come back to America. Stolen American Stealth aircraft tech by China have put
    America in Danger. The Communist style government of China is Antagonistic to
    the USA and oppresses their citizens to a degree where they have their Citizens
    put on a rating system & if Chinese Citizens fall below certain standards they
    are Persecuted by their government. I do not really expect China as it is now to
    be as nice to the USA as we desire but for the sake of getting their worker some work
    they will make some deals. I do not trust the Chinese Government
  • Well said Gregory Newman. Whatever one's politics in the US, we should all be able to agree with what you wrote. For all I know, we may disagree on other political matters and even economic matters, but when it comes to stealing our inventions and posing a military threat to our citizenry, I'm glad we are of one voice that we should seek to put a stop to it.
  • "if Chinese Citizens fall below certain standards they
    are Persecuted by their government" Where did you hear about it? I born in China and I'm sure there is nothing you said.
  • @Fang Cheng, very funny. Let's see, just to pick a few, Tieneman Square massacre, where the Chinese government killed people protesting for freedom, the fact that a man of pure peace, the Dalai Lama has had to flee China, in spite of his love for Tibet, and the routine jailing or disappearances of Chinese citizens who disagree with Communist rule. China's economic might does not give its government validity. A government that rules its people rather than reflects their desires, however messy that may be, is a totalitarian regime and deserves the world's scorn until it collapses or cedes power back to the people.
  • Thank you so much USA for screwing everything up for the rest of us.
  • Don't blame US for trying to keep thieves out of its house. Blame the thieves -- China. All the steps that the US is taking are negotiating tactics to try to get China to stop the behavior in which it's engaging. Hopefully for all countries around the world (except for those few at the top of the government in China), the US succeeds, because that will help all countries better monetize the large Chinese market. In the long run, this is also good for most of the Chinese people who will gain access to more options at better prices. The only people who really lose from this (in the long run, admittedly lots of losers in the short run) are those in the power structure in the Chinese Communist party and probably some of the Chinese tech companies who are otherwise getting paid without having to spend as much on R&D investment.
  • What behaviour is China engaging in exactly?
  • Just go back and watch China uncensored to get good idea what's going on.
  • Sin Ogaris, it concerns me that anyone is not familiar with this. I realize not everyone can be 100% up on current events, but this has been going on routinely for decades. Chinese law requires tech transfers to Chinese companies, which then turn around and develop their own products using that tech. China is frequently caught using state sponsored hacking to break into private companies' servers around the globe to access and steal intellectual property, to capture what they can't get from the legal forced-transfers. This is all made much worse by the fact that it's not simple criminal business-on-business spying or typical government-on-government spying, but that it's by a totalitarian Communist government who owns and controls all business in the country, using that tech and theft to control its own people and expand its military influence. More specifically, there was a huge case back in 2010, where Motorola showed evidence of Huawei stealing its telecommunications IP. GE and Siemens raised similar complaints on IP theft. This has continued to present day. To jump to one of the more recent events, CNEX Labs has just a few days ago sued Huawei of orchestrating a multi-party effort to steal its IP. Everyone should know these things. China is not another country like Germany, South Korea, or the US. For free countries like those, trade is a byproduct of freedom and derives from people pursuing their own desires and questing for profit by offering better products to customers. In those countries, the government only has as much power as the people choose to give it. For China, as a Communist totalitarian regime, trade is a tool to hold onto and gain power and used to serve the few in political power. Companies only exist in China at the pleasure of the government, and people's freedom only exists to the extent permitted by the government. It is the antithesis of everything all free-thinking humans should tolerate.
  • Be interesting to see if Huawei push through with their own operating system, hope they do, would love to see a major competitor to the American tech companies... Shame as Huawei hardware is excellent...
  • Yes they do but I think it's only going to be used in China and for the Chinese military. Now smartphone OS we might see that in the US.
  • I thought this was more as a result of the spying allegations than the trade war?
  • The US-China trade war is nothing but to suppress China not to become the largest economy in the world! as simple as that...
  • Lol China is already the largest economy in the world that happen like you know 10 years ago. Lol 😂
  • KJW23, the US economy is larger than China's by most metrics used by economists (but not all, for example in total exports, depending on the measuring methodology, there are some models that show China as larger). However, it is true that China's faster growth rate and much larger population has it on a trajectory to surpass the US in total size of its economy (but not per capita GDP) at some point.
  • Tariff's and Sanctions are nothing but taxes on the US Tax Payer.
  • So you are saying no one else can build cheap stuff lol 😂😂 I'm really sorry you actually would have to pay full price for something. Lol
  • David Mills, that is true that tariffs are a tax, and as such they hurt Americans to some extent. However, not having tariffs is unilateral disarmament, because China has significant regulations and taxes on US (and other country) products coming into China. Much more significantly, China practices forced tech transfer and conducts state-sponsored hacking to steal IP. In other words, trade with China is very, very far from free trade to begin with. If US tariffs can be used as leverage in negotiations with the Chinese government to correct those problems, then it's worth the short term tariff pain and economic cost to achieve the freer and safer trade in the long run.
  • The Commerce Department's decision to place Huawei on an export blacklist comes as the ......Tump....... administration iss..... Please correct!
  • This sucks for Hawaii but they have a plan b. Lol all this means Hawaii build everything in house. I can't wait to see they are desktop software and they mobile software. ;) Cuz Android really sucks.
  • Their OS is still a while away, but their processors are already epic the Kirin processors are pretty amazing.