Tech firm Google has cut ties with Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei Technologies and will no longer license its Android operating system to the company. One industry expert called the move an “instant kill switch” to Huawei’s desire to overtake Samsung in the global market.
CNBC reports that tech giant Google will no longer be licensing its Android mobile operating system to Chinese tech manufacturer Huawei, severing ties with the firm. Google has reportedly suspended all business activity with Huawei which includes the transfer of hardware, software and key technical services.
This move was made by Google after Washington chose to place Huawei on the “entity list” which means that American companies must obtain a license in order to do business with the Chinese firm. As a result, Huawei can no longer license Google’s Android mobile operating system and is forced to use a public version of Android obtained through the Android Open Source Project.
A Google spokeswoman commented on the news stating: “We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications. For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices.” A Huawei spokesperson stated that the Chinese firm is “evaluating the possible impact of this U.S. government action on consumers.”
The spokesperson added:
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.
Experts believe that the move may have a significant impact on Huawei. Nicole Peng, the vice president of mobility at tech market analyst firm Canalys stated: “It will be like an instant kill switch for Huawei’s ambition to overtake Samsung in the global market.”
Huawei’s new phones will lose access to some key features with the loss of its Android license, this includes the Google Play Store which is the primary app store for Android users. Neil Shah, a research director at Counterpoint Research, commented that Huawei will be forced to rely on third-party app stores stating: “This makes a clear disadvantage for Huawei’s own (operating system) vs the Android (operating system) shipped on Samsung or other phones firstly in terms of lack of all the apps available on the Google Play store, quality of apps (some might be dated), potentially less secure as they will not be screened by Google or follows Google’s monthly secure patches and overall user-experience of the store.”
Shah added: “So all the apps from US players will not be available out of the box and users will have to sideload it or Huawei will have to make it available via third party or own branded Android compatible app store which is going to be a humongous task for Huawei.”