Huawei gets banned from using microSD cards in future smartphones [Updated]

What you need to know

  • Huawei has been banned from being a member of the SD Association.
  • This means future Huawei phones likely won't be able to use microSD cards.
  • The Wi-Fi Alliance also "temporarily restricted" Huawei.

Updated May 29, 2019: Speaking to Android Authority, a Huawei representative confirmed that the company is once again a member of the SD Association — meaning Huawei can continue to use official SD and microSD standards in its devices as per usual.

The representative also noted that Huawei was never actually "banned" from the Association. Instead, its membership with the organization was "temporarily modified" to comply with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

In any case, it's good to see that things are back to normal. At least on this front.

This past week's been a tough one for Huawei. The Trump Administration banned the company from working with U.S. suppliers, meaning that Huawei's relationship with Google will effectively end after August 19. We also saw Huawei lose its relationship with ARM, the company that helped build Huawei's in-house Kirin processors.

Now, it's been confirmed that Huawei has been removed as a member from the SD Association.

The SD Association is the non-profit organization in charge of overseeing SD card standards, including microSD cards used in smartphones. While current Huawei phones with microSD card slots will continue to work just fine, this likely means future devices from the company won't have this functionality.

MicroSD cards in current Huawei phones will continue to work like normal.

While that's certainly not good news, it's not the worst blow Huawei's received during this mess. Last October, Huawei unveiled its own proprietary system for expandable storage using its "NM Cards." While not as convenient as being able to go out and buy any microSD card to add more storage, at least Huawei has a backup system in place to account for this loss.

On a similar note, the Wi-Fi Alliance also "temporarily restricted" Huawei from its group. Similar to the SD Association, the Wi-Fi Alliance is in charge of creating/managing Wi-Fi standards for various technologies. Furthermore, Huawei voluntarily removed itself from semiconductor organization JEDEC.

Commenting on this news, Huawei told Nikkei:

Huawei values its relationships with all partners and associations around the world and understands the difficult situation they are in. We are hopeful this situation will be resolved and are working to find the best solution.

Just when it doesn't look like things can get any worse for Huawei, stories like this pop up and make the entire situation look even grimmer than it did before. It's hard seeing a future in which Huawei bounces back from everything happening right now, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see how all of this plays out over the coming weeks and months.

Trump says 'very dangerous' Huawei could be part of U.S.-China trade deal

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • I'm sorry but this becoming some bullsh*#@
  • Luckily they don't use them anyway. That aside, looks like Bluetooth and WiFi and USB are next on the list and it's just getting ridiculous now. I'm glad most level headed Americans are now seeing what this for what it really is now. Blatant bullying and manipulation
  • My heart is bleeding for those Chinese factory workers LOL
  • The ones building iPhones?
  • Actually I don't see it as that at all. Dracarys!
  • Nope. We see a crooked company getting the stuffings pounded out of it because they won't stop being crooks. When their most recent publicly known criminal actions were trying to steal technology from a supplier at E3 this year, they're clearly not stopping their actions. Criminals get punished in a civilized society.
  • Like I said most "level headed" Americans...
  • You're not being very level headed either.
  • Just because he walked in a store and bought a Huawei phone he now knows all about the company and this ban. He is a freaking joke
  • Oh well good they will sink to htc level
  • Less competition is never ever good.
  • Agreed. Competition keeps things healthy and interesting.
  • HTC is where they are at because of poor marketing and bias, not because they lie and steal and pose risks to national security.
  • When it rains it pours.
  • You guys are kinda missing that Huawei is the bad player here. ARM is a UK company. The SD association was formed by Toshiba, SanDisk, and Toshiba, and is now made up of 900 member companies, who apparently agree that Huawei has issues. I won't rehash the whole list here, but they got what they deserve for their long history of misconduct. The situation may have been escalated by the stupid trade war, but it goes back way before the current administration.
  • Are you trying to be a voice of reason with facts? Seriously?! 😁
  • Whoa, hold on a minute.....there are no good guys here. Remember, it was our own government spying on American citizens with the compliance of the tech companies. All this nonsense about Chinese malfeasance (via Huawei, ZTE, etc) is nothing but smoke and mirrors by the U.S. government because it knows that it cannot compete with China on 5G technology right now, so it has to stall.
  • 5G is the real reason for sure.
  • Of course the real reason is 5G. U.S doesn't want their networking infrastructure being owned /dominated by a Chinese company that has close ties with their government.
  • Jeffy5 - So... if a person gets pulled over for drunk driving and driving through red lights, they should ask if the officer verbally abused their spouse to see if they are "worthy" to write a ticket? Huawei is currently banned by Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Taiwan. Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands are also considering banning Huawei. Germany and France have implemented safeguards to protect specifically against Huawei backdoors. Dutch telcom company KPN has banned Huawei equipment from their core 5G networks for security reasons, and the UK also refuses to use Huawei 5G equipment. Huawei has settled out of court on espionage charges, and there is no reason for any company to install backdoors to gain hidden access to products after they are sold. The only motive is deceit. Yep, sounds legit to me!
  • You're making stuff up as you go along. The UK has never refused to use Huawei 5g equipment for starters
  • You sound pathetic and desperate.
  • CHECK YOUR FACTS FIRST > The UK and Canada have never refused Huawei from installing their equipment and in fact are being installed as we speak. These cellular 4G/5G towers made by Huawei are replacing the ageing 3G/LTE equipment made by Nokia more than a decade ago.
    Plus Huawei phones continue to sell very well and are extremely popular in Canada where most people have a Blackberry, Samsung, or an old Windows Phone.
  • This cannot continue, it will all be sorted in the near future.
  • But, where's the pudding?
  • Most Americans don't even know what a Huawei is.
  • As they say in Canada, it's my way or the Huawei!
  • Questions, Questions..... With all that is happening with Huawei, the question that needs to be asked is why is the U.S. in this dominant position in the first place to be in a position to totally freeze out a competitor that it doesn't like? It claims that Huawei has backdoors in its phone technology that would be harmful to U.S. security - as if we haven't spied on our own citizens. The real issue here is that China is so far ahead of the U.S. in 5G technology that we need time to catch up with our 5G infrastructure. This position that our country is taking will only end up in doom for us.
  • China steals and repackages tech. Where have you been the past 50 years? Why do you think a lot of companies IN China take so long to come to the US? They'd be used on arrival. You can't sue them in China. Its rigged.
  • Sued on arrival*
  • So Huawei will develop its own os instead of android (that will run Android apps) and use its own memory card system (or just make phones with already huge storage space) and keep selling gazillions of phones outside the USA (as it already does).. The worse part is that instead of killing the competition, the USA is pushing Huawei to become monster competitor (in the future at least... Meaning an alternative to Android and ios... Instead of an android royalty paying sheep)
  • What developers will develop for their OS? Samsung tried that, and it didn't work out well... Tizen says hi. Also. Sailfish, BB10, Windows Phone/Mobile, Ubuntu, Firefox OS, webOS, etc. OS doesn't matter. They're just app launchers. Ecosystem and developer support do.
  • What you are forgetting is they have been banned in the USA for quite a few years now in terms of phones and also China is a different market. They have also come out and said they have there own android os that is not part of Google but will use android apps all developers need to to is move them to there own app store. (no recoding ect needed) but what people also forget is China don't much if any of googles apps so even though they will be missing things like Gmail, Google maps ect chana has its own they use and in a way removes the boltware attached to Google android. Intresting times as this could see others split away Samsung are at a point they could move away as there own app store is growing. Only time will tell but definitely makes things intresting.
  • All of this is bring back memories of the early 2000s where every phone manufacturer had their own OS, proprietary charging cables, etc.
  • And what exactly happens when China stops selling motherboards and ram, etc to the US? China also has many ways to hurt our precious tech
  • China Manufactures. They don't sell. There are a lot of Mobo and RAM vendors not Chinese. If the Chinese companies can't sell here then it puts a lot of economic pressure on them, as manufacturing is a big sector there.
  • According to a story today, the Chinese are considering banning sale of their rare earth minerals to US companies. Those minerals are necessary for not only the mobile industry, but several other industries as well.
  • Keep it simple.... Don't buy products from a company owned by the Chinese Communist Party.
  • Seems like the BlackBerry story all over again. O loved my passport.
  • Interestingly Huawei phones are extremely popular in Canada simply because there are so many people switching from Blackberry, older Samsung, and old Windows Phones over to something like Huawei P20, Mate 20X, etc.
  • I will never figure out why capitalist USA actually does business with communists China in the first place.
  • Because the US a social-democratic country. There is no true capitalist country. The US has strong ties to socialism - whether it's social assistance to the poor to farm aid due to poorly thought out economic policies.
  • Folks don't understand the underlying reason for all this. It's because the Chinese government made a law that all Chinese based companies must allow access to data when called upon and give it to their leaders. Aka: this would allow China to spy through the infrastructure if Huawei deployed 5G. Same for phones - they would be required by Chinese law to give them a back door to the devices. Research this folks. It's not about taking out competition. Even if Huawei has no bad intentions within, the physical location of their company establishes a direct threat to national security and privacy. The US is only allowing Samsung and Norwegian based companies to roll out a safer version of 5g in the US. Good luck to the countries allowing them and ZTE to deploy. I'd get rid of my phone if it were a Huawei... and fast.
  • It's probably a good thing the alphabet is in public domain, because at the rate they're going, they'd probably be banned from using the word Huawei on their stuff too.
  • Trump , how the hell did you Yanks vote him into the he White House ?
  • I love the fact that NOBODY says S*%t about Lenovo when they got busted for sypware in their laptops and PC's and then they bought Motorola! How many times a month we here of apps Bering banned on play store? LIKE MICROSOFT NEVER STOLE TECH FROM SOMEONE.
  • Who buys Lenovo?
  • Who buys Motorola? Really?
  • ZTE was punished for similar practices years ago. Unfortunately the Chinese government, and other Chinese companies, never understood (feared) that ZTE was the example. To all the defenders of Huawei, read this Wall Street Journal report on some of the Huawei's "R&D" (Robbery & Deceit).
  • Didn't the US bail them out last year? According to a tweet from Trump: “President Xi of China, and I, are working together to give massive Chinese phone company, ZTE, a way to get back into business, fast,” Trump tweeted. “Too many jobs in China lost. Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!” This was after they had been caught violating trade sanctions. So if ZTE is such a security risk, why did we bail them out? I know, that wasn't the reason for their troubles at that time, but they still had a history of security issues. And yet, we just had to help them get back into business. That right there makes me think this is less about the administration's explanations and more about something else.
  • My favorite lie that keeps getting told by the tech media for Donald Trump is that getting removed from a standards body (that helps decide a standard) is the same thing as no longer being able to purchase or use a technology. We've now seen the US tech media tell this lie about:
    Arm Processors
    SD Cards
    Wifi Not having a voice in a standard isn't the same thing as no longer being able to purchase and use a technology. You folks should be ashamed for spreading fake news.
  • How will this affect using Huawei's tablets?
  • Aren't many EU countries on Huawei side claiming that USA has zero proof Huawei is spying and are planning to do business with them regardless of USA
    The only facts are Amazon and Google are "spying" on everyone and so does US government
  • Boy they really don't like those guys eh?
  • This situation has become stupid. It's mostly a trade-war tactic. With a few genuine security issues buried deep inside it. I wonder who Trump will hit next?