Monday, May 20, 2019

Google Pulls Huawei’s Android License

T.C. Sottek (Hacker News 3):

Following the US crackdown on Chinese technology companies, Google has cut off Huawei’s Android license, dealing a huge blow to the besieged phonemaker. Reuters first reported the news, and The Verge subsequently confirmed Google’s suspension of business with Huawei with a source familiar with the matter.


Speaking to Reuters, a Google spokesperson confirmed that “Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices.” So while existing Huawei phones around the world won’t be immediately impacted by the decision, the future of updates for those phones as well as any new phones Huawei would produce remains in question.

Horace Dediu:

Huawei is nearly the world’s biggest smartphone vendor. Their exclusion from licensed Android and fork away from Google is the biggest news in smartphones since, well, Android.

Update (2019-05-21): Ben Thompson:

Huawei’s preparation for this moment likely started last year when a similar ban was placed on the sale of American component to ZTE[…]

Update (2019-05-22): Tom Warren (tweet, Hacker News):

Chip designer ARM has suspended business with Huawei, threatening the Chinese company’s ability to create its own chips. BBC News reports that ARM employees have been instructed to halt “all active contracts, support entitlements, and any pending engagements” with Huawei due to the US trade ban. The US has banned any US companies from doing business with the Chinese telecom giant without permission from the American government, but ARM is based in the UK and owned by the Japanese SoftBank group.

ARM is concerned it is affected by the US ban, with an internal memo reportedly revealing that its chip designs include “US origin technology.” ARM develops some processor designs in Austin, Texas and San Jose, California, which could place it under the US restrictions.

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