In direct retaliation and response to Google’s ban for all its smartphones on the Android mobile operating system (OS) platform, Huawei said it has its own OS it would launch in due course.
Earlier today, Google announced it has severed ties with Huawei on its Android platform.
Huawei is the world’s largest telecoms company and the world’s second-largest maker of smartphones after Samsung.
Google said in a statement that it will henceforth not include Huawei’s devices in its updates for its Android OS as long as the US sanction on China’s Huawei subsists.
Huawei came under the hammer of President Donald Trump after the company was accused of stealing America’s intellectual property and its close ties with the Chinese Communist Party, CCP.
Huawei has strongly denied all the allegations calling them baseless and unfounded. But the latest ban from Google has endangered the global ambition of Huawei at least in its coveted position as the second largest maker of mobile phones, a position it won over from Apple Inc’s iPhone.
However, Huawei is not going to take the Google ban less seriously. In a stern response, the company has now been reported to be planning an official release of its own mobile OS.
According to a report by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), it has developed its own operating systems (OS) for both smartphones and computers, which can be used on its devices in the event that current systems provided by US technology giants are no longer available.
Citing a German news media Die Welt, Huawei’s mobile chief Richard Yu Chengdong, said in an interview that the Chinese company has developed a proprietary OS as tensions between the company and the US government could impact the availability of US-made operating systems used on Huawei devices.
SCMP said the latest revelation buttressed its earlier report which revealed the existence of a years-long project to build an alternative to Google’s Android OS. Huawei started building its own operating system after a US investigation into Huawei and ZTE Corp in 2012, a person familiar with the matter said in the report.
However, it seems Huawei will exercise some restraint in its rollout of the OS until it becomes its last option as Yu added that:
“We have prepared our own operating system, if it turns out we can no longer use these systems [Android], we will be ready and have our plan B,”
Moreover, Yu’s strong statement was further toned down by a spokesperson at Huawei who hinted that the company could be doing underground talks to see how to resolve the matter as soon as possible.
“Huawei does have backup systems but only for use in extenuating circumstances. We don’t expect to use them, and to be honest, we don’t want to use them,” said a Huawei spokesperson on Thursday. “We fully support our partners’ operating systems – we love using them and our customers love using them. Android and Windows will always remain our first choices.”
This information also accentuates a reported response from Huawei’s founder, Ren Zhengfei. He was said to have told Japanese press on Saturday that the recent US sanctions would affect its growth, “but only slightly.”
“We will not change our management at the request of the U.S. or accept monitoring, as ZTE has done,” he said in the brief statement.
The Chinese government has also come out to defend Huawei. Spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, Lu Kang, made remarks in response to German media reports that years of scrutiny by Britain, Germany and the European Union (EU) have found no obvious “backdoors” in Huawei products, while security loopholes are often spotted in products made by Cisco of the United States, as evidenced by ten “backdoor” incidents exposed since 2013.
He told state-owned Xinhuan news agency that: “We’d like to see the U.S. comment on the findings,” Lu said at a press briefing, adding that since the “Prism gate” incident, the U.S. has remained silent over evidence alleging its illegal practices of cyber attacks and thefts.
For the purpose of gaining competitive advantages, the United States, judging others using its own standards, has resorted to smear tactics against other countries’ enterprises without providing convincing evidence, he said.
“The conclusions of Europe’s scrutiny have proven Huawei innocent, and showed the U.S. suppression against other countries’ enterprises with state power is unjustified,” Lu added.
It is yet unclear the name of the mobile OS and when Huawei plans to roll it out. The cost impact of the Google ban has not also been revealed by the company but Huawei is still a very profitable and large company because of the size of its business across the global telecoms value chain.
Its battle with the US still rages on. Huawei’s CFO and the daughter to the founder is still on trial in Canada and could be extradited to the US on various charges. China has not also responded as to what it plans to do with American tech companies operating in China.
The next few days will mark a watershed in the global trade and technology space.