The US placed a ban on Huawei more than a year ago, barring all American giants to trade with the Chinese company. The US Commerce Department has repeatedly been offering a 90-day temporary license to Huawei to ease the process for its partners and consumers. It was to enable them to shift away from using Huawei equipment in the meantime.
As per a recent Washington Post report though, Huawei’s most recent license expired on 13th August and the Commerce Department is reluctant to issue another one, thus, putting the company’s business in jeopardy. No licenses means Huawei can no longer conduct any business with American companies.
The biggest repercussion of this will be its long-standing partnership with Google for Android. The license expiry makes it illegal for companies, be it hardware or software, to work with Huawei going forward. Google has been able to provide Android updates and security patches to the company, thanks to the temporary license.
Google confirmed this fact to the Washington Post, saying the temporary license was key to delivering Android updates to Huawei phones via official means. The Chinese giant will now have to rely on the open-source version of Android to develop future software updates — if it plans to stick with Android, well, at least for the time being. It will only be able to distribute the update within China though as it does not need to bundle Google apps with it.
Huawei is currently stuck in a rock and a hard place as not only the company’s chip supplies are running out but its software support is in limbo as well from this week onwards. If you are a Huawei or Honor smartphone owner, there’s a high chance that you will not get the latest Android 11 update.
The company is working on its own in-house HarmonyOS but it’s currently limited to the smart TV lineup. It could be coupled with the HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) core down the road to bring a new experience to mobile phone users. The Chinese giant will attempt to deliver HarmonyOS as an alternative to Android and iOS in the near future.