Huawei isn’t sure about using Android in future phones


Huawei is being cautious about its access to Google’s Android OS in future phones.

Angela Lang/CNET

Huawei apparently doesn’t know yet whether it can use Google’s Android operating system in future mobile devices. This comes in the wake of President Donald Trump’s decision over the weekend to relax restrictions on US companies selling equipment to the embattled Chinese phonemaker

A Huawei executive said the company “will wait for guidance from the Department of Commerce” regarding Android, Reuters reported Monday. The Commerce Department is in charge of implementing the Trump administration’s restrictions.

Google briefly cut the phonemaker off from updates to its mobile OS after Trump’s executive order last month, but soon revived the relationship on a temporary basis. 

Huawei has raised national security concerns in the US due to its relationship with Chinese government and suspicions that its gear could be used to spy on companies and other countries. Huawei has repeatedly denied this.

Huawei, in a statement emailed to CNET, acknowledged Trump’s most recent decision but said it has “no further comment at this time.” On Sunday, National Economic Council Chairman Larry Kudlow said that Huawei hasn’t been granted a “general amnesty” and that US companies can only sell widely available products to the company.

Reports suggest Huawei has a backup plan in case Google cuts it off permanently. It apparently has created its own OS, codenamed Hongmeng, and invited Google Play Store developers to publish apps on its own AppGallery digital store.

The Commerce Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

First published July 2 at 3:04 a.m. PT.
Update, 3:44 a.m.: Adds more detail.

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