Will Huawei continue using Google services and apps?
In the midst of a trade war with Beijing, President Donald Trump has barred U.S. companies from engaging in telecommunications trade with foreign companies said to threaten American national security.
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Google said it was "complying with the order and reviewing the implications" but Huawei users have been assured that their current phones will continue to work.
As a result, Huawei can no longer license Google's Android mobile operating system and is forced to use a public version of Android obtained through the Android Open Source Project. The move will also negatively affect US companies since they rely on Huawei for a sizeable business.
In response to the restrictions, Huawei said it would "continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products covering those which have been sold or are still in stock globally".
But the extent to which Huawei will be hurt by the United States government's blacklist is not yet known as its global supply chain assesses the impact.
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Huawei still has access to the open source version of Android which doesn't include any proprietary apps and services from Google. Some users have taken Google for granted in Android while in fact the system can run fine, if not better, without any Google app.
Some other countries had also followed suit slapping various curbs on the use of Huawei and ZTE equipment.
On Thursday, the U.S. Commerce Department added Huawei and 68 entities to an export blacklist that makes it almost impossible for the Chinese company to purchase goods made in the United States.
That could be enough time for Huawei to launch the much-feted Mate X, its first foldable phone and one that many are hoping will ignite consumer enthusiasm for the form factor following the failed launch of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. Some Google services, including Google Play and security software will still function on existing Huawei smartphones. Chip experts have questioned Huawei's ability to continue to operate without U.S. help. Because the U.S. is accusing Huawei of aiding Beijing in Espionage. If that happens, it will affect all major USA tech companies since their hardware supply-chain is located in China.
Huawei executive Richard Yu was reported to have said: "We have prepared our own operating system".
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That would potentially bring it closer to being able to develop a nuclear weapon, something Iran insists it has never sought. And U.S. diplomats said airline companies could be mistakenly attacked by Iran, an idea Iran has dismissed.
If Trump's directive stays, Huawei's consumer business will suffer a big blow even if the company has a contingency plan, especially when it comes to software.