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Google suspends Huawei's Android licence - report

Author
NZ Herald ,
Section
Business,
Publish Date
Monday, 20 May 2019, 10:58AM
Google's Play appstore on a Huawei phone. Photo / 123rf.
Google's Play appstore on a Huawei phone. Photo / 123rf.

Huawei's consumer business could be badly hit if a report about a Google move to cut it off from Android - the software that runs its phones - is correct.

Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware and software products except those covered by open source licences, according to a Reuters report quoting an anonymous source.

Huawei can keep using the Google Android software that runs its phones, according to the report. Android is open source, meaning it's available free to anyone who wants to use it.

But Huawei would lose immediately access to Android security updates and upgrades.

And future Huawei smartphones would lose access to the Google Play Store and all of the apps that it holds.

If confirmed, the move would be a crippling blow to its handset business, given its phones run on Android.

Consumer NZ technology reviewer Hadyn Green, posted, "If you live in New Zealand and the Huawei phone that you purchased no longer connects to the Play Store, and/or no longer receives security updates: you get a refund under the CGA [Consumer Guarantees Act]."

Controversy around Huawei has until this point centred on its telecommunications infrastructure business, which sells gear to phone companies to run their networks.

None of the companies involved have commented. The Herald has asked Huawei and Google for comment.

Huawei has reportedly had its own operating system in development, in case it was banned from using Android. But while technically quite doable, it would mean its customers lose the familiarity of Google's OS and the convenience of downloading apps from the Google Play store.

Last Thursday, the Trump administration added Huawei to a trade blacklist, citing security concerns.

Huawei denies any collusion with the Chinese government on surveillance. Its stance was backed by a recent UK report that found its software does not have any back doors, clearing the way for it to be involved in that country's 5G upgrades.

The telecommunications company said Thursday it spends more than $1 out of every $7 of its annual US$70 billion procurement budget buying components from US firm - meaning they will be hurt by Trump's ban.

ON AIR: Saturday Morning with Jack Tame

9AM - 12PM