Google curtails Huawei’s access to Android updates and Google services
20 May 2019
In order to comply with the US government’s decision to ban the supply of equipment and other products and services to Huawei, Google recently curtailed the company’s access to future updates to the Android operating system as well as to the official Play Store and other Google services.
In line with the hardline stance of the Trump administration towards Chinese companies, popular American chip-makers such as Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, and Broadcom have also stopped supplying processors and other hardware to Huawei, indicating that Chinese company will have to incorporate products from other suppliers in its future smartphones and other devices.
Huawei may have to use its own hardware & software products to power future smartphones
While existing users of Huawei’s smartphones will not suffer because of Google’s recent decision and will be able to use Google services such as the Play Store, Maps, Chrome, and Drive apps, the ban will affect future smartphones unveiled by the company. However, the ban will not stop it from using the open-source version of the Android operating system which is free to use for all OEMs.
What this means is that Huawei may have to incorporate an in-house operating system along with accompanying apps and other hardware in its future smartphones in order to provide the best experiences for customers around the world until US companies start supplying equipment and software to it again.
Considering that the US-China trade war is presently at its peak and Huawei has faced multiple accusations from the US government about allowing China to eavesdrop on communications using backdoors in its products and equipment, Huawei has indicated several times that it was expecting a ban on the supply of software and hardware products from US companies.
Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s comsumer division, told German magazine Die Welt in March that his company had developed its own mobile operating system and had a Plan B in place in order to continue operating in the event of a ban on its use of US-supplied equipment and services.
Meanwhile, the Chinese ministry of foreign affairs has indicated that it will assist Chinese companies “in defending their legitimate rights through legal methods”. In March, Huawei filed a lawsuit in the United States against the government’s decision to ban the use of its products by government employees.
Huawei banned from 5G equipment trials as well
“The US Congress has repeatedly failed to produce any evidence to support its restrictions on Huawei products. We are compelled to take this legal action as a proper and last resort. This ban not only is unlawful, but also restricts Huawei from engaging in fair competition, ultimately harming US consumers,” said Huawei chairman Guo Ping.
The government’s decision to ban the use of Huawei devices by government employees was taken after U.S. intelligence agencies warned that Huawei’s equipment could be misused by Chinese government agencies to spy on American nationals and government employees.
The government had previously banned both Huawei and ZTE from participating in the development or testing of 5G networks following an investigation into a possibility of China carrying out large-scale surveillance using equipment sold by the two firms in the U.S.
There have also been reports suggesting that the US Department of Justice is planning to pursue legal action against Huawei for stealing trade secrets from T-Mobile. The investigation was initiated after the U.S. District Court in Seattle found in 2017 that Huawei had indeed gained access to trade secrets from T-Mobile and asked the company to pay $4.8 million to T-Mobile as damages.