Within a few days of revoking Android license for Huawei, Google believes that Android should be exempted from the ban. Indeed, it’s quite surprising, and a welcome move considering the fact that restricting Huawei from using Android OS could have an adverse effect on the growth of global smartphone industry, which is already declining with each passing quarter. It’s important to note that Huawei is the second largest smartphone manufacturer accounting a sizeable share of smartphone shipments every quarter.
But, is this the only reason Google wants to favour Huawei for? or, there is something else Google is rather anxious about!
The US-China trade war intensified further after the US commerce department banned US firms to have any trade agreements with Huawei. The ban has restricted Huawei from using Android OS in its upcoming devices and the existing devices will also not get updates and security patches.
However, the biggest concern for Huawei is that it will not be able to provide Google apps like Youtube, Maps and even Gmail on its devices. This is a major setback to the company and makes it difficult to compete in the global market. It pushed the company to fuel the efforts to launch its own OS, named Hongmeng, a hybrid version of Android to counter the ban. However, whether the new OS would be based on the Android version which they currently have in China or come up with altogether new OS is not officially announced.
Meanwhile, the US commerce department has temporarily lifted the ban but it is valid only for 90 days.
Google is trying to keep Android exempted from the ban for companies, especially Huawei. Citing security threats which the US could face if ban if not being lifted, Google has urged the US government to not to restrict Google from providing Android license to Huawei.
Google is of the view that if the ban stays then Huawei, the world’s second-biggest smartphone manufacturer, will be left with no other option but to launch its own OS. The company believes that considering the Chinese company’s not-so-compelling performance in operating system space, Huawei OS would be more vulnerable to hackers. The forked version of Android will not have the additional security features that Google offers through its Google Play Protect which automatically scans viruses and malware. Besides, apps downloaded from the Google Play store is safer than any other app stores currently available.
Due to the possible vulnerability in the Huawei OS, any sensitive information shared by the US smartphone users using Huawei devices could potentially land in the hands of hackers easily. And all of this will be a big threat to the US national security considering the smartphone market share Huawei accounts for globally.
Undoubtedly, the ban on Huawei is hurting many tech giants of the US. Google and Qualcomm are already worried about financial losses that could be occurred due to the ban. Google will instantly lose a lion’s share of the smartphone market if Huawei succeeds in implanting its own technologies. It is important to note that rumours have started making rounds about the possible release date of Huawei’s new OS. The company is reportedly gearing up to introduce OS to get rid of Google Android completely, sometime in early Q4 2019.
How the US government and the Commerce ministry will react to Google’s request and what action they will take, only time will tell. But, if the trade-war tension continues for war, billions of dollars will go down the drain.