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Google suspends Huawei's Android license (Update: Huawei responds)

By Cookie Monster - on 20 May 2019, 5:51pm

Google suspends Huawei's Android license (Update: Huawei responds)

The Huawei P30 Pro.

Updated on 20 May, 5.50 pm: Huawei responded to the suspension of its Android license on its Facebook page:

Huawei has made substantial contributions to the 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 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 have been sold or 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.

The official Android Twitter account also posted a statement on the matter:

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.

Originally reported on 20 May, 7.15 am.

The "worst-case scenario" has happened to Huawei; Google has suspended the Chinese company's access to Android apps, OS and security updates days after the U.S enforced a ban to prevent its companies from working with Chinese equipment providers.

A source told Reuters that Google has stopped business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services although Huawei can continue to use the Android Open Source Project. Google is still discussing internally on the details of the specific services affected by the suspension

“Huawei will only be able to use the public version of Android and will not be able to get access to proprietary apps and services from Google,” the source said.

What this means is that future Huawei phones will not come with popular Google apps (e.g. Gmail, YouTube and Chrome) as these services are not covered by the open source license and require a commercial license with Google. Huawei also "immediately" loses access to Android OS and security updates. Existing Huawei devices which have access to the Google Play Store will still able to update their apps as the app store is not affected by the U.S ban.

The suspension is unlikely to affect Huawei in the Chinese market as most Google apps and services are already banned in the country. However, Huawei's mobile efforts in international markets are likely to take a hit.

Huawei has been preparing for a scenario like this since 2012. The Chinese company reportedly started developing its own OS with the help of former Nokia engineers after the U.S started an investigation against Huawei and ZTE 7 years ago. In a recent interview, Huawei CEO Richard Yu shared that the company is ready to replace Android and Windows on its devices if it can no longer use these systems. 

Source: Huawei, @AndroidReuters via Engadget