With the US ramping pressure on its allies to avoid using Huawei gear in 5G deployments and fears of additional barriers, the vendor is reportedly developing an alternative to the Android OS for its handsets.
Bruce Lee, VP of Huawei’s handset business, said the vendor is working on a new OS for its smartphones, but revealed few details about the project, Android Headlines reported.
The publication noted the comment contradicts a statement made in September by Wang Chenglu, a software engineering chief at Huawei, denying the company is working on an alternative to Android and reiterating its commitment to Google’s ecosystem.
Commenting on the latest report, IDC analyst John Delaney tweeted: “Seems sensible. The American government’s hostility to Huawei means it’s possible that Google could be forbidden to continue licensing Android to the company.”
US politicians in July urged Google to end its relationship with Huawei on the grounds the Chinese vendor poses a risk to national security. Earlier in the year, AT&T and Verizon backed away from deals to carry Huawei smartphones in the face of political pressure.
Huawei is the second-largest smartphone maker in the world, shipping 52 million unit in Q3, data from research company Canalys showed.
Last week New Zealand’s government turned down operator Spark’s proposal to deploy Huawei infrastructure in a 5G network, citing significant national security risks.
The decision is the latest blow to Huawei’s efforts to sell 5G equipment in developed markets following bans by the US and Australia.
US politicians have also demanded Google and Twitter reveal details of data sharing partnerships with Chinese companies.Subscribe to our daily newsletter