Google fights for Huawei approval; Facebook backs off - Mobile World Live

Google fights for Huawei approval; Facebook backs off

07 JUN 2019

Facebook became the latest to join the list of US companies distancing themselves from embattled Huawei, as Google reportedly warned about the security risks of pushing ahead with export restrictions.

Reuters reported Facebook stopped pre-installing its app on Huawei smartphones following a block on the Chinese vendor’s use of US-originated technology. The move also includes the social media giant’s WhatsApp and Instagram properties.

Existing Huawei owners with the apps will still receive updates. It would also remain possible to install the apps after device purchase, although this depends on devices having access to Google’s Play app store.

Reuters wrote all current Huawei models, including those still in manufacture, will have access to the Google catalogue, but future products will not.

Huawei is working on its own platform software, designed to work without access to Google’s products and services. This will include an alternative app store, although there is no guarantee Facebook would support a third-party store with its official software.

The Chinese vendor’s operating system plans were a feature of Google’s efforts to secure an exemption from the ban, Financial Times reported.

Google argued a Huawei-modified version based on Android would be more susceptible to being hacked. It said the result would be a two-tier Android ecosystem, with the full Google version less vulnerable to attack, “not least by China”.

Of course, Google does also have a commercial impetus: Huawei is the world’s second-biggest Android smartphone maker and had been piling on sales as top-tier rival Samsung struggled.

If Huawei successfully brings an Android alternative to market, which is rolled out across all of its market, this would create a significant base of users who do not access Google services.

Financial Times noted Google is not the only company fighting to continue business with Huawei, with Qualcomm also concerned about the impact on its business.



Steve Costello

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