Tech giant Huawei has been affected the most in the wake of the rising tensions between the US and China over the trade war. It is banned from selling phones and telecom equipment in the US. Huawei heavily relies on Google as it uses Android OS on its smartphones. In the wake of recent US sanctions, Google will no longer offer official Android support to Huawei. This has forced Huawei to develop its own OS.
According to a report on Chinese newspaper Global Times, the new OS is likely to be released in August or September this year. Huawei’s Android alternative will be called “HongMeng OS” in China, and “Oak OS” in other markets. From what we know so far, the OS will be able to run Android apps and will come with Huawei app store.
After the U.S. government recently restricted the use of Huawei equipment, Google revoked Huawei’s Android license. However, it did grant temporary access till the end of August. After this point, Huawei will no longer have direct access to Android OS from Google. Huawei is said to be intensively testing the OS to ensure all bugs are ironed out before the release.
To continue offering Android, Huawei will have to rely on Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for updates. It will also lose access to Play Store and other Google apps. The Oak OS is likely based on Linux, but we will know more about it in the coming months.
Financial Times recently reported that Google warned the U.S. government of the potential risks of blacklisting Huawei. Google believes that Huawei’s Android alternative could be less secure and pose a bigger security threat. The hybrid system from Huawei “is likely to have more bugs in it than the Google one, and so could put Huawei phones more at risk of being hacked, not least by China,” the report added.