Google Restricts Huawei’s Use of Android: How Does it Affect Users


from Sputnik News:

Google has restricted Huawei’s use of its Android operating system days after the Trump administration placed the Chinese telecom giant on the US Commerce Department’s “Entity List”.

Why Did Google Impose the Restrictions Against Huawei?

On 15 May, President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring US companies from using telecom equipment from sources the administration deems a national security threat, in an action seen as targeting China, specifically, Huawei, a leader in 5G technology and a global tech business with a reported revenue of over $100 bln.

The next day, the US Commerce Department said it was adding Huawei Technologies Co and 70 affiliates to its so-called “Entity List” in a move banning the Chinese telecommunications giant from acquiring components and technology from American firms without prior US government approval, under the pretext the equipment made by the company poses a national security risk. The decision came into effect on 17 May.

READ MORE: German Economy Ministry Says Assessing Impact of US Blacklisting Huawei

In the wake of these developments, Google, in compliance with the ban, imposed restrictions against Huawei. As Bloomberg reported later, chip companies including Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, and Broadcom have said they will not supply components to the embattled company until further notice.

What Are Huawei’s Prospects?

In practice, severed business deals mean Huawei stands to lose access to Google’s technology and software, with the exception of products openly available.

This means Huawei will have access to the version of Android available through the open source licence, known as Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

Popular Google apps such as Gmail, YouTube and the Chrome browser that are available through Google’s Play Store will disappear from future Huawei handsets as those services are not covered by the open source licence and require a commercial agreement with Google.

READ MORE: China’s Huawei Refuses to Yield to US Demands Amid Blacklisting

Google explained that Google Play and Google Play Protect applications will continue to work for users who already own Huawei devices.

However, when Google launches the next version of Android, it may not be available on devices produced by Huawei. It is also unclear what this means for future Huawei phones, and it remains to be seen if Huawei will even use Google’s Android operating system for its new devices.

How Will Huawei Blacklisting Affect Users?

The short-term impact for those who have already bought Huawei smartphones is likely to be negligible.

Google made a public statement that it will, as far as the US DOC bans allow, continue to support users who have bought existing Huawei devices.

While major OS updates could work, they might be delayed because Huawei would be obliged to wait for AOSP code instead of having early access as an OEM partner.

In a worst-case scenario, major updates may no longer be possible at all, except for security patches.

Earlier, it was reported Huawei had vowed to continue providing security updates and services for its smartphones and tablets.

Read More @