U.S. Commerce Department scales back restrictions on Huawei

Marco Green
May 21, 2019

Huawei will "immediately lose access to updates to Google's Android operating system".

An earlier report stated that Google will be blocking Huawei's access to hardware, software, and technical information. Basically, this means that Huawei users will still be able to update their apps via Google Play Store, as well as download new apps whenever they want.

"For Huawei users' questions regarding our steps to comply w/ the recent U.S. government actions: We assure you while we are complying with all U.S. gov't requirements, services like Google Play & security from Google Play Protect will keep functioning on your existing Huawei device".

In response, Huawei said on Monday it would continue to provide security updates and services for its smartphones and tablets, but it did not say what would happen with phones it would sell in the future.

The U.S. contends that Huawei's technology could be used to spy on Americans, allegations Huawei has repeatedly denied.

Last week, the US Department of Commerce said Huawei Technologies and its entities had been placed on a US trade blacklist for engaging in activities that go against the interests of US national security.

Speaking to Reuters about the block a Google spokesperson said: "We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications".

That could mean that Huawei is unable to use Google services wrapped up in the Android platform and might only get access to open source elements.

The order - which empowers the United States government to ban the technology and services of "foreign adversaries" deemed to pose "unacceptable risks" to national security - did not name specific countries or companies.

It may be odd to think that Huawei could continue to manufacture Android smartphones after losing their official Android licence, but the operating system's code is actually open source.

While the battle seems to be between Huawei and the USA, the latter who accuses Huawei of using their technologies to spy on Americans and share information with the Chinese government, the people of China have made a decision to take matters into their own hands.

"The conflicts between U.S. and Chinese producers will have no impact on Russian users as everything works out well", Volin said.

In the last few years, Huawei had gained a lot of ground in the global market, even dethroning Apple from second place in the market. This seems largely equivalent to the ZTE ban that was levied (and then withdrawn) at roughly this same time a year ago, but Huawei is a much larger company than ZTE, with a significant share in many markets. Naturally, as we cover all of Huawei's major new technology releases, T3 will be following this story closely, so be sure to check back in soon for any new developments.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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