Briefing: Facing Android ban, Huawei says proprietary OS may be ready by end-year

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Huawei’s mobile chief expects self-developed OS to be ready for market roll-out as early as year end – South China Morning Post

What happened: Huawei mobile business chief executive Yu Chengdong said that the smartphone brand may roll out an Android-compatible OS later this year, or at least “no later than spring next year.” The Huawei OS would support a broad range of devices, from phones to tablets, TVs, computers, automotive, and smart wearables. Android web and mobile applications will be compatible with the OS. The company has not confirmed or commented on the statement.

Why it’s important: The announcement comes right on the heels of a move last week that rocked China’s tech world: the blacklisting of Huawei and affiliates by the US government which effectively bans the company from installing Google services on its devices. Huawei has been preparing its own OS system, not least for just such an eventuality, which may win it some independence from US software companies. However, an additional executive order by US President Donald Trump sets up broader barriers to trade, which could also affect not only Huawei’s international market but also its long-term hardware development. Facing such obstacles, an earlier release of Huawei’s homegrown OS, if successful, may bring partial alleviation but is far from a panacea for its problems.