The US crackdown on Chinese technology companies has escalated to new heights with the news that Google, Intel, Qualcomm and Infineon have all suspended dealings with Huawei Technologies according to reports by Reuters and The Verge.
Losing access to updates, support and future version of Google’s Android OS is a huge blow to Huawei as this means that future handsets will have to ship with either the Open Source version of Android (which includes no support for Google apps and services) or a new OS.
Huawei has been rumoured to be working on their own OS – something that has been confirmed by sources close to the matter who claim that it’s meant to be similar to One Plus’ Oxygen OS or Meizu’s Flyme OS which allows for sideloading of Google apps and services.
According to a tweet from Android, Google services on Huawei devices will continue to function on current devices (which include the Mate 20 and P30 series) however there is no mention as to how long these services will continue to function and what will happen to these devices once Android Q is released in a few months.
For Huawei users’ questions regarding our steps to comply w/ the recent US government actions: We assure you while we are complying with all US gov’t requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device.
— Android (@Android) May 20, 2019
Huawei has sent out an official statement stating that they have “made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world” and that as one of Android’s key global partners, they “have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry.
Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.
We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.”
Meant as a reassurance, the statement gives no answers as to how the company will resolve this issue or how this impacts current Huawei owners or what this means for their upcoming handsets.
All eyes are currently on Huawei but this unprecedented move by Google will make other Android handset manufacturers question whether remaining with Google is a good idea as it leaves them susceptible to the possibility of facing similar sanctions and restrictions should Donald Trump decide to issue more executive orders banning non-US technology.