Google is restricting future business with Huawei, cutting off access to its Android operating system and its popular apps, after the Trump administration escalated a crackdown on the Chinese tech firm. Trump administration officials have argued that Huawei's continued access to USA technology poses a national security risk, given concerns about intellectual property theft and cybersecurity that have overshadowed ongoing trade negotiations between the US and China.
"For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices", the spokesperson said, without giving further details.
Chinese telecom giant Huawei has said that it is still open to addressing United States security concerns.
Huawei smartphones released in the future may be forced to use the open-source Android licence or drop the OS altogether for their own proprietary software.
That's not going to impact Huawei's ability to use the Android operating system on its phone, as that's part of an open source license.
If this trade ban between Huawei and other USA companies is not lifted soon, the Chinese government might take a similar decision in retaliation.
"It will do significant economic harm to the American companies with which Huawei does business, affect tens of thousands of American jobs and disrupt the current collaboration and mutual trust that exist on the global supply chain", the company said in a statement.
A person familiar with the matter who requested anonymity told Bloomberg News that Huawei will be unable to offer Google's proprietary apps and services in the future. "Once we have received official confirmation, we shall closely follow the development of events", Lu Kang said in a press briefing, adding "China fully supports its companies in their attempts to legally defend their rights and interests".
Calling the moves "politically motivated" and an "abuse of export-control measures", Zhang said "the USA government is trying to bring down Huawei through administrative means". Either way, it is important to realise that even if Huawei implements an Android-based operating system, Google has the final say on whether device owners will be able to install its suite of applications. 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.
Huawei has said it has spent the last few years preparing a contingency plan by developing its own technology in case it is blocked from using Android.
That, however, raised questions if withholding software products from the Chinese OEM also affected existing phones in the market. Some of this technology is already being used in products sold in China.
However, things do not have to be completely disadvantageous or a crushing blow for the Chinese company.
Huawei's European business, its second-biggest market, could be hit as Huawei licenses these services from Google in Europe.