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Google suspends business with Huawei

Future Huawei phones will not have access to Google apps such as Chrome, Gmail, YouTube and Google Play.

May 21, 2019 11:50 IST
Google suspends business with Huawei

In a huge blow to Huawei, Google has suspended all business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services and cancelled its Android license.

The statement from Google read, “We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications. For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices.

Note

The move comes after the US Commerce Department added Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and 70 affiliates to its “Entity List” thus, banning the telecom giant from buying parts and components from US companies without the US government approval. It comes amid the ongoing trade war between the US and China.

What does Google’s order mean?

The move implies that Huawei can no longer license Google’s proprietary Android operating system and other services that it offers.

Instead, Huawei is now only able to use a public version of Google’s operating system through the Android Open Source Project.

It means future Huawei phones will not have the Google services that users have come to expect on Android devices.

Impact

  • With the move, Google apps such as Chrome, Gmail, YouTube and Google Play will cease to exist on the upcoming Huawei phones.
  • The move could impact the future of Android on smartphones made by the Chinese company and its sub-brand, Honor. It would also impact future updates to Huawei phones.
  • Huawei largely relies on Android for the smartphones it sells outside of China. Within China, the company uses a modified version of Android that doesn’t have Google apps preinstalled because the search giant’s services are blocked there.
  • However, in foreign markets, Huawei’s smartphones run Android complete with Google apps.

How will this impact existing users of Huawei phones?

  • For now, Google has stated that the users of Huawei phones will retain their access to Android services and continue to be able to update their apps.
  • However, unless the restriction is removed on Huawei by Google and the US, there is a huge chance that in the future, Huawei phones will not be able to run Android apps and services such as Gmail, YouTube, and Chrome in the future.
  • It is also unclear whether the existing Huawei phones will get further Android OS updates or not from Google.
  • Access to Play Store is a crucial part of the Android experience and is significant for Huawei in markets outside China.

Huawei

What is Huawei?

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics manufacturer, headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.

In the first quarter of 2019, Huawei was the second-largest smartphone maker by global market share.

Around 49 percent of Huawei’s smartphone shipments in the first quarter of 2019 were to international markets outside of mainland China, as per data from research firm Canalys.

The company has previously laid out its ambitions to become the top player in smartphones by 2020. But the latest move by Google could put a dent in that.

Is Huawei prepared for the suspension?

The Chinese tech giant has stated that it has been preparing for a situation such as the current one when it is facing the threat of losing access to software from US companies such as Google and Microsoft.

The company announced that it has been developing an in-house operating system alternative to Android.

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