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Google blocks future Huawei phones from receiving Android updates

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Google parent company Alphabet has discontinued its relationship with Huawei. This applies not only to Android but also to all other Google apps. However, open source software is excluded.

Alphabet Inc. has terminated all trade relations with Chinese firm Huawei with immediate effect, according to Reuters news agency. The decision affects all Huawei hardware and software. The world's second largest smartphone manufacturer loses immediate access to all updates of the Android operating system. However, the components of the mobile operating system that are under open source licenses are excluded from the block.

Huawei's smartphones sold outside China will also lose access to other Google apps and services such as Play Store and Gmail as a result of this decision. According to the Reuters source, internal discussions are still going on about exactly which services are affected by this block.

Even if Huawei can still access the free parts of Android, Google will probably stop all support and any further cooperation with the Chinese manufacturer. There have been no comments made by Huawei or the US Department of Commerce so far.

The background to the decision is a decree issued by US President Donald Trump. This not only prevents US companies from buying hardware for 5G network expansion from companies such as Huawei. In principle, the blacklist prohibits all trade relations with Huawei. The US government accuses the smartphone maker and mobile network of spying for the Chinese government. Huawei rejects these accusations rigorously. Most recently, the company said that CEO Ren Zhengfei would dissolve Huawei if the Chinese government ever demanded it spy on its behalf.

In March, Huawei's smartphone boss Richard Yu let it be known that he had his own operating system in reserve. If a situation ever arises in which other operating systems (like Android) can no longer be used, be prepared. Now, Huawei might actually have to fall back on its own OS.

Huawei responds to the ban

We reached out to Huawei for an official statement and received the following response. The statement was originally issued in German. It has been translated for our English language audience.

"Huawei has made significant contributions to the development and growth of Android worldwide. As one of Android's global key partners, we have worked closely with their open source platform to develop an ecosystem that benefits both users and industry.

"Huawei will continue to provide security updates and services for all existing Huawei and Honor smartphones and tablets. This applies to devices sold and in stock worldwide.

"We will continue to work on developing a secure and sustainable software ecosystem to provide the best possible user experience worldwide."

Google makes a statement

Meanwhile, Google has made it clear via Twitter that this restriction does not affect existing Huawei devices. The Play Store and Google Play Play Protect will continue to work on these smartphones.

Qualcomm, Intel and more follow Google

Yesterday evening, the news that Google had ended trade relations with Huawei caused a stir. It has now become known that other large US companies are also planning to cut ties with the Chinese manufacturer.

Chip manufacturers such as Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx and Broadcom are said to have already informed employees internally that Huawei will not be supplied for the time being, according to company sources. This further marginalizes the world's largest provider of network hardware and the second largest smartphone provider after it was blacklisted by the Trump administration on Friday.

Qualcomm provides Huawei with processors and modems for its smartphones, whilst Intel is its main supplier of server chips. Xilinx sells programmable network chips and Broadcom is a supplier of switching chips. Many of components are also important for the expansion of the 5G network. Representatives of the chip manufacturers, however, have so far rejected a statement.

This not only disrupts the business of American chip giants, but also delays the introduction of the 5G mobile communications network worldwide, including in China. The move is likely to have serious consequences not only for Huawei itself, but also for the global semiconductor industry, which depends on the world's second-largest economy.

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Cutting trade relations with Huawei is likely to delay 5G expansion worldwide. / © O2

How long will Huawei's reserves last?

In preparation for the current suspension of trade relations, Huawei is supposed to have been stockpiling chips and other important components since mid-2018, at the same time design its own chips. However, this stock is only supposed to last a maximum of three months. The Huawei leadership, however, assumes that this will be sufficient to resume trade relations with the USA in the necessary areas.

How do you say we settle this trade war? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Reuters

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Julius Stiebert

Julius Stiebert

Julius has been working as a technology journalist since 2005, although he took a few breaks to travel the world. He's part of AndroidPIT since May 2019, carrying an iPhone with him most of the time. In his spare time he's taking photos - not always digitally.

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  • Aamir 1
    Aamir Jun 12, 2019 Link to comment

    Google u have not done it fair, you would have not listened to US government after Google LLC is not US's father's nor mother's. Now get ready for huawei to come back & just watch huawei will f__k you very hard & bad, already the journey has begun from russia. Do lock your homes while sleeping or yarning or else any huawei fan will get in your homes.

  • CJ Brown 29
    CJ Brown May 21, 2019 Link to comment


    Until I see a benefit with this trade war? I cannot give a thumbs up when I know consumers will have to pay more for things (unless there is a another Country that can manufacture on the same level as China and will respect intellectual property and creates less pollution).

    Recycling and Building Supplies - there is so much that we trade with China (or what feels like an exchange), I have to ask what other Countries can we do business with instead (and are they ready to do so immediately)?

    • 28
      itprolonden May 22, 2019 Link to comment

      Never in history have consumers paid more for something because of a trade war. Sometimes security is the most important thing.....

  • CJ Brown 29
    CJ Brown May 21, 2019 Link to comment

    As a consumer, losing one manufacturer of smartphones and tablets is not a benefit ..... but neither is what Huawei is being accused of something to ignore (we've watched OnePlus thrive even after ending things with CyanogenMod, but at the same time Oppo hasn't done anything Huawei is being accused for with evidence to back up these accusations).

  • Alec Black 12
    Alec Black May 21, 2019 Link to comment

    America !!.....war mongering its prison work force to look out for making its war products ....may a horrific earthquake sink the Evil dirty non-ethics country.

    Ghifari AL Mukhtar

    • 28
      itprolonden May 22, 2019 Link to comment

      Then why don't you stop taking our money and take care of your own security?

  • 25
    Deactivated Account May 20, 2019 Link to comment

    I am not a Huawei fan anyway. I don't like EMUI or Kirin, both in terms of actual delivery as well as the aesthetics of its hardware and software, which even if beautiful were less practical and more annoying. We are not loosing number one, we aren't loosing Samsung or Apple. We can develop our own 5G infrastructure without Huawei. And as far as smartphones are concerned, other than the caveat with EMUI, I never liked Huawei smartphones overall because they lacked in camera consistently (like Pixel, Samsung and Apple), in Audio department, displays as well (compared to Samsung and Apple), and slow updates.

    Georgian Ilie

    • 5
      Ghifari AL Mukhtar May 20, 2019 Link to comment

      Apple Qualcomm and Google won't survive the shit-storm Trump unleash on itself. You don't know shit about Technology astetics my arse

      • 28
        itprolonden May 21, 2019 Link to comment

        Wow! Angry much? Tell you what, when you get some help and education come back and talk to the adults.

  • yotzmach 8
    yotzmach May 20, 2019 Link to comment

    This will force the Chinese players to develop an alternative eco system - a real competition with Google. We may end up benefiting from this.

    Gavin RunebladeDeactivated Accountsteven

    • 25
      Deactivated Account May 20, 2019 Link to comment

      Based on my experience with various operating systems including Symbian and Windows Mobile OS, in today's world third party support and third party apps are extremely important for the very existence of a platform, and web apps aren't the things yet, because most people don't have issues with current system of apps, that although apps take storage, mobile data is costly too.
      So Huawei might get some support in China and by some big developers from China and abroad, other than that overcoming this shock is a very difficult uphill climb, and a real technological challenge, specially considering how keen Chinese are at copying and reverse engineering their stuff, they simply lack the deep philosophy, inspite of their ancient culture, to conceive and bring to the world, their own shining stars.

    • 17
      Gavin Runeblade May 20, 2019 Link to comment

      I had a very similar thought the first time I heard that Huawei was working on its own operating system. More competition is usually good. So let's see what happens, an dhope for the best for consumers.

    • 28
      itprolonden May 22, 2019 Link to comment

      Good luck with that. Who will develop for it?

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