This morning, the world woke up to what can only be described as a bombshell. Google said it was suspending Huawei’s access to its Android operating system for smartphones. After some initial confusion, it became clear that Huawei will not be able to use the Android operating system for any new phones that it makes and sells. At least till the US Government doesn’t remove the restrictions it has put in place for American companies from doing business with Huawei. Now finally, Huawei has responded to the matter, in a statement shared with News18.
“Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry. Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally. We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally,” says Huawei.
For consumers, the biggest worry is what happens to existing Huawei and Honor phones which millions may be using worldwide. “We assure you while we are complying with all US gov't requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device,” Google has clarified in a statement posted on Twitter from the @Android account. This means that the Google Play Services as well as the Google Play Protect option will continue to get updated on existing Huawei and Honor phones. It is still not clear if Google will ship the monthly security updates to Huawei to share with existing users, but chances of that are minimal.
However, That should put a lot of consumers at ease.
Huawei makes flagship phones including the P30 Pro and the Mate 20 Pro, and has an extensive line-up of phones under the Honor umbrella as well.
Google took this step of restricting Huawei’s access to Android just says after President Donald Trump used an executive order to declare a national emergency amounting to threats to U.S. technology last week. Huawei and 68 of its affiliate companies were added to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Entity List, which prevents U.S. companies from continuing to do business with them—this includes buying and selling components and hardware, buying and selling software or services, without having a requisite license from the US government for continuing to do business with these companies.
The bone of contention remains the suspicion that Huawei hardware and software products have a hidden backdoor, which allow the Chinese government to snoop on data around the world. This has been the perceived issue with Huawei’s mobile network equipment and it is the same with smartphones as well.