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HUAWEI has lost immediate access to Android and Google (Updated)

Update: HUAWEI is now said to be working closely with Google to resolve the recent restrictions placed on it.

Published onMay 21, 2019


Update #4: May 21, 2019 at 08:00 a.m. ET: HUAWEI is “working closely” with Google on a solution to the recent U.S. restrictions placed on it, according to Reuters earlier today.

Huawei’s representative to the E.U. institutions, Abraham Liu, told the publication HUAWEI didn’t blame Google for the decision, which was compelled to cut its business ties with the company.

“They (Google) have zero motivation to block us. We are working closely with Google to find out how HUAWEI can handle the situation and the impact from the U.S. Department of Commerce decision,” Liu said.

Liu also claimed HUAWEI was the victim of U.S. “bullying.”

“This is not just an attack against HUAWEI. It is an attack on the liberal, rules-based order,” Liu said.

Update #3: May 20, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. ET: The U.S. Commerce Department has created a temporary 90-day license that restores HUAWEI’s ability to provide software updates to existing HUAWEI handsets. Read more here.

Update #2: May 20, 2019 at 5:07 a.m. ET: HUAWEI has responded to Google’s forced cutting business ties with the manufacturer. The firm noted in an emailed press statement that it’ll provide security patches and after-sales service to all existing devices:

HUAWEI has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry.
HUAWEI will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing HUAWEI and HONOR smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.
We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.

The news comes a few days after the U.S. Commerce Department added HUAWEI to its Entity List. This means U.S. firms will need to seek government approval if they want to engage in business dealings with HUAWEI. Aside from Google, Intel and Qualcomm have also cut business ties with the manufacturer in order to abide by the listing.

Update #1: May 19, 2019 at 11:50 p.m. ET: Google has released a new statement regarding the HUAWEI situation, this time via the Android Twitter account. As seen below, the company states that current HUAWEI (and likely HONOR) phones will continue having access to services like Google Play and security from Google Play Protect.

Also read: Intel, Qualcomm join Google in cutting off business with HUAWEI

Google plans to comply with the U.S. government’s order to place HUAWEI on its Entity List. It’s still unclear what effect this decision will have on the future of HUAWEI.

For HUAWEI users’ questions regarding our steps to comply w/ the recent US government actions: We assure you while we are complying with all US gov’t requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing HUAWEI device.
— Android (@Android) May 20, 2019

Original article: May 19, 2019 at 3:14 p.m. ET: Google has suspended business operations with Huawei effectively immediately, a forced move that will have a dramatic impact on HUAWEI devices across the globe.

According to Reuters, citing a source close to the matter, Google was forced into suspending business with HUAWEI that “requires the transfer of hardware and software products.”

“HUAWEI Technologies Co Ltd will immediately lose access to updates to the Android operating system, and the next version of its smartphones outside of China will also lose access to popular applications and services including the Google Play Store and Gmail app,” Reuters noted.

This effectively means no further Android security updates for devices new and old, including the recent P30 and P30 Pro, Mate 20 Pro, and many more.

Google’s actions come after the U.S. Commerce Department’s announcement on Wednesday, which placed HUAWEI and some 68 affiliates on a so-called Entity List, a trade blacklist, following an executive order signed by U.S. President Trump.

This is the same list that ZTE was added to and subsequently removed from, over the course of 2018, which caused it massive disruption. HUAWEI is now effectively forbidden from buying parts and components from U.S. companies without U.S. government approval – which includes Android.

If the story is accurate, this would be a massive blow to HUAWEI.

One of HUAWEI’s arms, its HiSilicon chip division, had stated it has “long been ready” for any ban, while HUAWEI has previously mentioned it has been preparing for six years or more for any ban of Android. HONOR, a sub-brand of HUAWEI, had been set to launch the HONOR 20 on Tuesday, May 21, in London — it’s unclear what will now happen. (Update: As of May 20, 2019 an HONOR representative has said “nothing has changed” and that the launch will go ahead as planned.)

The Chinese giant said in a statement earlier this week that it was “against the decision made by the Bureau of Industry and Security of the U.S. Department of Commerce.”

Android Authority has contacted HUAWEI and Google for comment.

In the meantime, we covered this extensively over on the DGiT Daily.

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