Huawei may roll out own alternative to Android this year, report

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BANGKOK, THAILAND - 2019/01/16: The Huawei logo seen displayed on a Android smartphone. (Photo by Guillaume Payen/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Chinese telecom giant Huawei says it could roll out its own operating system for smartphones and laptops in China by fall after the United States blacklisted the company, a report said Thursday.

The international version of the system could be ready in the first or second quarter of 2020, said Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business, told U.S. broadcaster CNBC.

The company was dealt a blow this week with Google’s decision to partially cut off Huawei devices from its Android OS following a U.S. order banning the sale or transfer of American technology to the firm.

“Today, Huawei, we are still committed to Microsoft Windows and Google Android,” Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business, told CNBC. “But if we cannot use that, Huawei will prepare the plan B to use our own OS.”

The Global Times, a Chinese state-run daily, reported Monday that the platform — named “HongMeng” — was undergoing trials and will gradually replace the Android system.

“We don’t want to do this but we will forced to do that because of the U.S. government. I think the U.S., this kind of thing, will also not only be bad news for us, but also bad news for the U.S. companies because we support” U.S. businesses, Yu told CNBC. “We don’t want to do this but we have no other solution, no other choice.”

The U.S. Commerce Department, which added Huawei and 68 of its affiliates to an “entity list” last week, on Monday announced a 90-day reprieve, allowing some services to continue.

Meahwhile, China said Thursday it had lodged solemn representations with the U.S. after it blocked Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei from buying U.S. goods.

Commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a weekly briefing that China will take steps to help its companies improve their ability to cope with risks.

“As for the bullying actions by the US, the best response is for Chinese companies to continue growing,” Gao Feng said at a press briefing, adding that Beijing had raised “solemn representations” with Washington.

He said China hoped that the U.S. will behave rationally and correct its dangerous actions.

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