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Here’s What Google Android Restrictions Mean for Huawei

Huawei said it would continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering all the devices sold as well as in stock globally

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The Google name is displayed outside the company's office in London, Britain. VOA

After Samsung, Huawei has the biggest share in the global smartphone market but it now faces a huge challenge after Google barred the Chinese giant from some updates to the Android operating system.

As a result of the new restrictions introduced amid the bitterly fought US-China trade war, existing users of Huawei devices are unlikely to receive Android updates when Google introduces the next version of the operating system.

However, the existing users of Huwaei and Honor devices would be able to use the Google Play Store and security from “Google Play Protect” would keep functioning.

“The ban will accelerate Huawei’s efforts to gain self-reliance. Huawei has been focused on developing its software and app assets along the lines that it has done with its chipset business,” Prabhu Ram, Head, Industry Intelligence Group, CyberMedia Research (CMR), told IANS.

The Chinese technology giant earlier this year confirmed that it has developed its own proprietary operating systems (OS) and is ready to implement those in case its legal battle with the US leads to a ban on services like Android and Windows.

But until it rolls out any such system, the Android restrictions are likely to hit its consumer business, according to experts.

“The Android bombshell has serious implications for Huawei mobile consumer business. While it won’t affect its China business, it will impact it globally,” Ram said.

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A woman stands at a Huawei booth featuring 5G technology at the PT Expo in Beijing, China, Sept. 28, 2018. VOA

“About half of Huawei’s smartphone shipments last year went to users outside of China. That’s the portion that will be impacted if it no longer has access to Google Play and Google Mobile Services,” Bryan Ma, technology industry analyst at International Data Corporation (IDC), said in a tweet.

According to a report in The Telegraph on Monday, the ban means new Huawei phones will no longer be able to access certain apps, like Google Maps and YouTube, and existing phones will not be able to update their Android operating systems.

The restrictions come after the Donald Trump administration added Huawei to a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with unless they have a licence.

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It also means loss of Android licence for Huawei, forcing it to use the open source version of the operating system.

“Huawei has made substantial contributions to development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefited both users and the industry,” the company said.

Huawei said it would continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering all the devices sold as well as in stock globally. (IANS)

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Absence of Google Apps Hurting Huawei the Most

Ahead of the next round of trade talks between Washington and Beijing, US President Donald Trump's administration is mulling to issue licenses to some American firms that will let them sell non-sensitive equipment to Huawei

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FILE - A man uses his smartphone outside of a shop selling Huawei products at a shopping mall in Beijing, May 29, 2019. VOA

Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has confirmed that the US sanctions were hurting it badly, especially the absence of Google’s core Android software, Play Store and popular apps like Search and Maps on its devices.

According to a Financial Times report quoting a senior Huawei executive, the company hasn’t been successful in finding replacements for Google apps which are very popular on Android devices across the globe.

“There are so many Android users in Europe and south-east Asia. They’re so used to these Google applications on top of Android phones,” Joy Tan, Vice President of Public Affairs at Huawei US, was quoted as saying on Sunday.

“We can continue to use the Android platform since it is open-source, but we cannot use the services that help apps run on it.”

Also Read: DPIIT Sends Questionnaire to Amazon, Flipkart on FDI Norms Adherence: Report

Under the terms of the previous US trade ban, Google was barred from selling Android license to Huawei, meaning its phones could use the base open-source code, but would not have access to the all-important Play Store and Google apps.

A temporary licence was issued which allows Google to support and update the Android OS currently running on existing Huawei devices.

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Huawei smartphones are seen in front of displayed Google Play logo in this illustration picture, May 20, 2019. VOA

However, the trade ban has affected the development of future products. Huawei is also working on its own operating system HarmonyOS but that is far from reality.

Despite trade restrictions put in place by the US, Huawei last week generated 610.8 billion yuan ($86 billion) revenue during the first three quarters of this year, an increase of 24.4 per cent year-on-year, with a net profit margin of 8.7 per cent.

Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business, during a media interview last month, said that if the situation does not change with the US government, the company would start using its HarmonyOS.

The newly-launched Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro doesn’t have access to Google Play services.

Ahead of the next round of trade talks between Washington and Beijing, US President Donald Trump’s administration is mulling to issue licenses to some American firms that will let them sell non-sensitive equipment to Huawei. (IANS)