Ng Han Guan / AP
Google announces that it will no longer offer Android updates for the phones of the Chinese telecommunications company Huawei. This decision follows a US order ordering US companies to no longer do business with foreign companies that undermine the interests of national security.
Google, owned by Alphabet, "suspended relations with Huawei that require the transfer of hardware, software and technical services, with the exception of those available to the public via open source licenses," said a spokesman. first announced Reuters. In a statement, Google confirmed this news: "We comply with the order and consider the consequences," said a spokesman, according to CNBC.
In practice, this means that Huawei will not be able to get a license for Google's Android operating system. Users of Huawei phones will lose access to updates as well. Future versions of Huawei smartphones running Android will not be able to access popular Google applications, such as Gmail, YouTube and Google Play Store, which allow users to easily download third-party applications.
Huawei is one of the largest smartphone providers in the world, just behind Samsung. By losing access to Google's latest software, Huawei may be struggling to compete in the global smartphone market, reports CNN.
Google is not the only company to cut ties with Huawei. US chip makers such as Intel, Qualcomm and Broadcom have told their employees that they would stop providing Huawei, Bloomberg said. And the Nikkei Asian Review reported that the German chip maker Infineon also stopped shipments to Huawei.
The Trump administration last week limited the sale of US technology that seemed to target Huawei. A decree signed by the president declared a "national emergency" and prevented American companies from dealing with foreign technology companies that "posed an unacceptable risk to US national security". The Commerce Department announced that it would add Huawei and its subsidiaries to a list of companies that are generally banned from buying US technology.
Huawei, who denied the spy charges of its users, said it was prepared for the possibility of losing access to US companies. In March, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer products division, told a German newspaper that Huawei had prepared its own operating system in case it lost access to Android. "It's our plan B," Yu says. "But we prefer to work with the Google and Microsoft ecosystems, of course." According to Bloomberg, the company has stored enough chips to continue operating its phone business for months.
According to Ryan Koontz, an analyst at Rosenblatt Securities Inc., the US ban could have a major impact on China's ability to build 5G networks, as Huawei is dependent on US components such as semiconductors.
"The extreme scenario of the failure of Huawei's telecommunication network unit would delay China for many years and could even be considered an act of war on the part of China," Koontz told Bloomberg. "Such a failure would have massive implications for the global telecommunications market."