- Huawei’s senior vice president Vincent Yang said Wednesday that the company has no plans just yet to launch a phone with its homemade Harmony operating system.
- Yang said the plan is to stay on Android and maintain “one ecosystem.”
- He said Huawei was keeping Harmony as a plan B.
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Huawei appears to be betting on continued use of Google’s Android operating system, despite the issue of its US blacklisting being unresolved.
Speaking at an event in New York on Wednesday, Senior Vice President Vincent Yang said the company has no plans to launch a smartphone with its bespoke operating system Harmony, which it unveiled earlier this month.
Huawei has been touting Harmony since it was placed on an “entity list” by the Department of Commerce, meaning US companies would have to seek government permission to do business with the Chinese firm. This threatened to cut it off from Google and by extension Android, which all Huawei phones run.
“We want to maintain one standard, one ecosystem,” Yang said, per CNET. He added that Harmony would remain the company’s plan B. The CNET reporter added on Twitter:
Talked with the Huawei executive to clarify his comments. He said Huawei will stick with Android “until the last minute.” No plans for a Harmony-powered phone, but he added, “ You never know.”
— Roger Cheng (@RogerWCheng) August 21, 2019
Harmony isn’t being kept entirely in reserve. CNET reports Huawei is gearing up to unveil a Harmony-powered smart TV, and Yang said he expects to bring out a smartwatch that runs on Harmony. Huawei has previously said that Harmony will be ready to be rolled out internationally in early 2020.
Read more: Google reportedly once gave about 100 engineers from Huawei their own lab at the Googleplex HQ, hinting at deeper ties than we knew
Following the blacklisting in May, Huawei was granted a 90-day license to give its customers time to transition. This license was extended by another 90 days earlier this week.
It’s not only Huawei who may want to preserve the link with Google. The Financial Times reported in June that Google was furiously lobbying the Trump administration to let it do business with Huawei.
The struggle over Huawei comes in the middle of the US-China trade war, and President Donald Trump has given conflicting statements on the firm’s fate. At the G8 in June Trump said US firms would be allowed to sell to Huawei, but more recently he seemed to have soured on the company. “At this moment it looks much more like we’re not going to do business,” he told reporters this month.
SEE ALSO: Huawei’s US chief security officer says he’s been called a traitor for defending the Chinese tech giant. But he says his goal is to ‘promote a safer cyberspace’
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