Following the total ban on U.S. tech support for the Chinese gadget giant HUAWEI, Microsoft has quietly removed HUAWEI MateBook laptops from its online store last month. However, Microsoft just recently made the laptops available again, but with a caveat: it will only sell "existing inventory".
As stated on their brief note for The Verge, Microsoft confirms that it is "resuming the sale of existing inventory of HUAWEI devices at Microsoft Store." This could mean the store will not resupply its HUAWEI inventory once its current stock sells out.
Currently, there are three Matebook laptops listed in the Microsoft store: the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro, the HUAWEI MateBook D, and the HUAWEI MateBook 13. In addition, Microsoft will continue to provide software updates to HUAWEI laptop users, but this is only for laptops out on the market.
This is a bit of good news for HUAWEI, one of the major casualties of the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. HUAWEI was about to announce a new laptop lineup, scheduled for CES Asia last week, but decided to postpone the announcement in light of the current situation between the two countries.
New developments in this ongoing issue are favoring HUAWEI at the moment. Google has relisted HUAWEI as one of its partners for the Android Q Beta program. Google is also actively pushing to continue providing tech support to the embattled Chinese company. Other companies, like Qualcomm and Intel, are also reportedly lobbying for an easing of the ban.
Microsoft told the American news company CNBC that it is committed to "providing exceptional customer experiences".
"We have been evaluating, and will continue to respond to, the many businesses, technical and regulatory complexities stemming from the recent addition of HUAWEI to the U.S. Department of Commerce's Export Administration Regulations Entity List. As a result, we are resuming the sale of existing inventory of HUAWEI devices at Microsoft Store," an unnamed Microsoft spokesperson told CNBC. He/she also added, "Our initial evaluation of the U.S. Department of Commerce's decision on HUAWEI has indicated we may continue to offer Microsoft software updates to customers with HUAWEI devices."
With Microsoft selling its products again, HUAWEI would be able to continue to exhaust its current stock, as it plans to take new steps to deal with the current ban. HUAWEI is already developing new operating systems for both its laptops and smartphones, saying that these will be ready before the year ends.