Huawei was present at CES Asia 2019 to showcase its latest consumer products in Shanghai, China on June 11, 2019. (Image credit: TechNode/Shi Jiayi)

Huawei still prefers Google’s Android mobile operating system (OS) for its smartphones over its own self-developed Hongmeng OS, according to company chairman Liang Hua, following an announcement on Tuesday that the US government would significantly narrow the scope of its ban on the Chinese telecom giant.

Why it’s important: It had long been suspected that Huawei was developing its own mobile operating system, named Hongmeng, as an alternative to Android by the time Google pulled Huawei’s license to some services in order to comply with a US trade ban on Huawei in mid-May.

  • Without the license, Huawei only has access to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which is available for free. The company will not be able to use popular services within the Android ecosystem, including the Google Play Store, Gmail, and YouTube apps on future Android phones.
  • Now Huawei is likely to regain access to Android after the Trump administration said on Tuesday that it would issue licenses for American companies that want to do business with Huawei “where there is no threat to national security.”

Details: Liang said on Friday at a press conference in Shenzhen that the Hongmeng OS was developed for the internet of things (IoT) devices instead of smartphones, and the company hasn’t decided to abandon Android.

  • “The Hongmeng OS is primarily developed for IoT devices that will reduce latency… In terms of smartphones, we are still using the Android operating system and ecosystem as a “first choice.” We haven’t decided yet if the Hongmeng OS can be developed as a smartphone operating system in the future,” he said.

Wei Sheng

Writing about semiconductors and telecommunications.

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