Huawei operating system HarmonyOS: “Android switching can be done immediately”

The American ban on Huawei continues, but in the meantime, the Chinese telecom company has its own operating system ready for smartphones and other smart devices. The alternative is called ‘HarmonyOS’ and was presented today at a press conference in Dongguan. The operating system could replace Android “immediately” if needed, according to CEO Richard Yu.

As you know, the Chinese company has been working on an operating system for a while. With HarmonyOS, Huawei focuses on smart devices – such as wearables, smart TVs and smart cars – but the OS can also run on smartphones.

However, it is not yet clear to what extent Huawei will use its own system to replace Android. According to CEO Yu, Huawei still prefers to run their phones on Android, but a switch to HarmonyOS is now an option. “If we cannot use (Android) in the future, we can immediately switch to HarmonyOS,” said Yu.

The fact that Huawei is holding back such a plan B has to do with the American ban that still applies to the Chinese company. US companies are therefore not allowed to trade with Huawei unless they have a permit. That means that the license on Android is also compromised because the mobile operating system is from (the American) Google.

HarmonyOS will appear on “smart screen products” later this year, perhaps smart TVs. The system will be used on other devices for the next three years. The rollout starts first in the home market of China, where the system also goes by the name of HongmengOS.

Huawei does not want to keep the Android alternative to itself. The operating system is launched as an open-source platform: that means that other companies can also use the operating system.

American ban

In the meantime, the US government has not yet taken a decision on the permits that companies need to be allowed to do business with Huawei. That is what Bloomberg press agency writes based on insiders.

The postponement would be a reaction to the Chinese decision to stop purchasing American agricultural goods. Last week, US trade minister Wilbur Ross announced that his ministry had received around fifty applications. They were assessed and a decision arrived according to Ross.

The United States has made such a permit necessary to be able to check what items are going to Huawei. According to the US, Huawei has close ties with the Chinese government and the company poses a threat to US state security. Huawei denies the allegations.

The Verge, CNBC
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