With the ongoing Huawei security scandal, the company is now afraid of being blocked from using American software from Microsoft and Google. Hence, it has built its own operating system for smart-phones and computers.
The world’s second-largest smartphone player by market share, Huawei currently uses the Google-developed Android mobile operating system for its handsets and Microsoft’s Windows for its laptops and tablets.
Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei’s consumer division, told German publication Die Welt in a recent interview that the company had a back-up operating system if, for some reason, it was blocked from using American-made software. “We have prepared our own operating system. Should it ever happen that we can no longer use these systems, we would be prepared,” Yu said, according to a translation of the original German text. “That’s our plan B. But of course we prefer to work with the ecosystems of Google and Microsoft.”
Yu’s comments were confirmed by a Huawei spokesperson on Friday who said the back-up systems would only be used in “extenuating circumstances” and were “there for basic business continuity in a worst-case scenario.” “We don’t expect to use them and to be honest, we don’t want to use them. We fully support our partners’ operating systems — we love using them and our customers love using them,” the spokesperson told CNBC.
“For Huawei, almost half of its smartphone sales come from China. So 50 percent of the business is anyways secured as Google mobile services — the Play Store is non-existent in China. However, having no access to Google Android and Play Store could affect the other half of the business quite a bit in the near-to-mid-term,” Neil Shah, Research Director at Counterpoint Research, told CNBC on Friday.
“What Huawei has up its sleeves as an Android and Play Store alternative is not proven though it could have a capability of running third-party Android app stores which could alleviate some concerns from the developers and apps perspective. However, users who are fully immersed in Google services might give … Huawei’s own OS a pass initially until (it has been) proven to run services and user experience as good as Google’s,” Shah added.