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KUCHING, May 20: Google today announced that it will restrict its Android smartphone operating system for Huawei devices.
The move came after the Trump administration added Huawei to a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with unless they have a licence. This forms part of the US-China trade war.
In a statement, Google said it was “complying with the order and reviewing the implications”.
The statement said Google has “suspended the transfer of hardware, software or technical services to Huawei except what’s available via open source”.
However, Google assured that current Huawei Android users would still have access to its Google Play app store.
Chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm were also reported to cut supplies to Huawei.
Meanwhile, Huawei, in a counter-statement, said it had built its own operating system for smartphones and laptops to be used in case it was forced to stop using Google and Microsoft products.
In addition to using the Android mobile operating system for handsets, Huawei uses Microsoft Windows for its laptops and tablets.
Huawei’s consumer division CEO Richard Yu told German publication Die Welt in a recent interview that the company had a backup operating system, in case it was blocked from using US-made software.
“We have prepared our own operating system. Should it ever happen that we can no longer use these systems, we would be prepared.
“That’s our plan B. But of course we prefer to work with the ecosystems of Google and Microsoft,” he was quoted as saying.
Huawei, in the second quarter of 2018, had surpassed Apple as the world’s second-largest smartphone brand after Samsung.
At the time, out of 355.2 million units of smartphones shipped worldwide, 20 per cent were Samsung followed by Huawei at 14.6 per cent and Apple at 13.2 per cent. — Dayakdaily