Google suspends Huawei’s non-open source Android license

Angela Moon, Reuters:

Alphabet Inc’s Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday, in a blow to the Chinese technology company that the U.S. government has sought to blacklist around the world.


Holders of current Huawei smartphones with Google apps, however, will continue to be able to use and download app updates provided by Google, a Google spokesperson said.

It’s too early to truly know the impact of this suspension, but a few things click right away:

  • Huawei has confirmed that they’ve built their own operating system as a backstop. I can’t imagine it’s as good as Android or iOS, but if this situation continues, China’s leading smartphone seller will no longer run a US smartphone OS.

  • In quarter 1, 2019, Huawei shipped 29.9 million smartphones in China, compared to Apple’s 6.5 million. If Google’s suspension holds, I can only imagine those numbers moving even further apart. Certainly, I can’t see this situation helping Apple in China.

  • This could all end quickly, as such trade restrictions can do, if this is a White House negotiating tactic and not a permanent restriction.

Why did this happen?

From the South China Morning Post:

Huawei Technologies and over 70 affiliates were added to the US Commerce Department’s Entity List last week on national security grounds, restricting the company from buying parts and components from US companies without government approval.

More on this as it unfolds.