Wealth Management

Huawei considers rivals to Google's Android after US ban

Bloomberg/Justin Chin

  • share this article

The Trump administration signed an order that could restrict Huawei from selling equipment in the US, putting Huawei on a blacklist, threatening its supply of American components from semiconductors to the Google apps that run on its smartphones.

Wednesday 22, May 2019

(Bloomberg) --Huawei Technologies Company said it’s working on its own operating system for its mobile handsets and will consider rivals to Google’s Android, after the US blacklisted the company, threatening its partnerships with chip, component and software suppliers.

The Chinese telecom equipment giant stated that it was in talks with the Alphabet unit about how to proceed after Google confirmed it would cut access to some of Huawei’s operating system features for the company’s new devices in response to the announcement.

Abraham Liu, Huawei’s Representative to the European Union Institutions, said that should Google’s system no longer be available, then the alternative option will naturally come out, either from Huawei or someone else.

Liu said Huawei had been working on its own operating system but that he did not have the details about when this would be ready and the telecom equipment manufacturer would do everything in its power to mitigate the impact of the US decisions.

"Obviously there is a challenge here, I hope that very soon that the leaders from my consumer business group will be able to share with you our new strategy based on the new situation,” said Liu.

Android continues to power Huawei’s smartphones globally and the Chinese company depends on Google’s most popular apps to win mobile phone shoppers. Huawei phones outside China have used a version of Android that comes with a package of Google services, including search, Maps, YouTube as well as the Play store for downloading a range of apps.

There are few major alternatives to Android, the dominant operating system for smartphones. Blackberry shut down its OS in 2016, Microsoft has all but ended support for its Windows Phone system and Samsung Electronics’ Tizen is used for the company’s smartwatches.

The US Department of Commerce granted a 90-day relief for certain US broadband companies and wireless customers using Huawei equipment. For Huawei phone users, the temporary reprieve means Google will be able to provide key Android security updates during the 90-day time frame, but future Huawei phones will still lack Google’s apps.

"For existing models already in market, there is no major impact, for the future one, both teams are still working together to figure out what to do,” said Liu.

Huawei is said to have stockpiled enough chips and other vital components to keep its business running for at least three months. It’s been preparing for such an eventuality since at least the middle of 2018, hoarding components while designing its own chips.

TAGS : Huawei, Google's Android, US-China Trade war, US Department of Commerce , Android security , Google’s apps, Abraham Liu

print this article