Facebook severs links with Huawei, while Google seeks export exemption

Huawei is hastening its OS roll-out.

By

Facebook severs links with Huawei, while Google seeks export exemption

Facebook has joined the roster of tech companies in the United States that are decoupling from Huawei. The Menlo Park-headquartered social media giant has prevented Huawei from pre-installing its apps—including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram—on its new phones, Reuters reported on Friday.

This development came after the US Department of Commerce added Huawei to its Entity List, blocking it from utilizing and attaining hardware and software by American companies.

However, Google, which has already halted Huawei’s access to its services—including the Google Play app store, Gmail, and YouTube—has started to lobby US officials for an exemption from the ban on exports to Huawei, the Financial Times reported on Friday.

Google argues that it is because it would not be allowed to update its Android operating system on Huawei’s smartphones, prompting the Chinese company to develop its own version of the software.

It argues further that a Huawei-modified version of Android would be more susceptible to being hacked, which is not in the interests of American businesses and governmental bodies.

Previously, the CEO of Huawei’s consumer business, Richard Yu, said that the company has been developing its own operating system for years. It’s called Hongmeng, and could be unveiled as early as this fall.

Huawei has registered trademarks for Hongmeng in many countries, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and more according to Huawei-focused website Huaweicentral.

Market research firm Strategy Analytics predicts that Huawei, the world’s second largest smartphone vendor, will see its global shipments decrease by 24% in 2019 and another 23% in 2020 due to uncertainties caused by the US ban.