Google has just dealt a massive blow to Huawei by announcing the smartphone manufacturer will not be able to use their Android operating system in the future.
The news comes after US President Donald Trump made an emergency declaration prohibiting American telecommunication firms from installing foreign-made equipment which could pose a threat to the country’s national security.
Huawei, a Chinese company, currently holds a 15 per cent share in the worldwide smartphone market, while Apple hold 17 per cent.
As well as Trump’s declaration, the US Department of Commerce has separately placed the Chinese smartphone manufacturer on a list of companies that could be a risk to national security.
In response to Trump’s decision, Huawei issued a statement which read:
Restricting Huawei from doing business in the US will not make the US more secure or stronger; instead, this will only serve to limit the US to inferior yet more expensive alternatives, leaving the US lagging behind in 5G deployment, and eventually harming the interests of US companies and consumers.
In addition, unreasonable restrictions will infringe upon Huawei’s rights and raise other serious legal issues.
Now, Google has responded to the current situation, saying:
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.
There are currently no changes set to be made to current phones, though it is expected Huawei devices will not be able to download new software or security updates. It is also expected that new Huawei phones will not come with Google apps like Maps or YouTube.
Huawei will still be able to access the Android operating system through the open source license, known as Android Open Source Project (AOSP), as it is free to anyone who wants to use it. However, Google will stop providing Huawei users with technical support or access.
Huawei added, via BBC News:
We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.
The recent moves mark an escalation of tension between China and the US in terms of trade, as earlier this month, authorities in the US more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. Beijing then retaliated by upping its tariffs on imported US products, creating uncertainty for businesses and consumers.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.