Following US crackdown on Chinese technology companies, Google has cut off Huawei’s Android license. Google has barred the world’s second biggest smartphone maker, Huawei, from some updates to the Android operating system, dealing a blow to the Chinese company.
The move comes after the Trump administration added Huawei to a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with unless they have a licence. Last Wednesday, the Trump administration added Huawei to its entity list, which bans the company from acquiring technology from US firms without government approval. And Google said it was “complying with the order and reviewing the implications”.
Huawei has been under increasing pressure from President Trump and the US government over fears that its equipment could be used by the Chinese government to spy on American networks and in 2018, US intelligence agencies cautioned against using Huawei and ZTE devices, and US politicians have described Huawei as “effectively an arm of the Chinese government.” However, Huawei maintains that it is not possible for the Chinese government to poison its equipment with back doors.
Huawei is now restricted to using the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), cutting the company off from critical Google apps and services that consumers outside of China expect on Android devices. That also means Huawei will only be able to push security updates for Android once they’re made available in AOSP, assuming the company uses its own update system. It’s not clear yet how this will affect the full range of Android integrations that Huawei depends on, but we will update this story when we receive additional clarification about the impacts of Google’s decision.
However, existing Huawei smartphone users will be able to update apps and push through security fixes, as well as update Google Play services. But when Google launches the next version of Android later this year, it may not be available on Huawei devices and future Huawei devices may no longer have apps such as YouTube and Maps.