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Huawei denies renouncing Google and Android, wishes to ‘maintain relationship’

Amid recent suggestions that Huawei would potentially abandon Google’s Android platform, Digital Trends’ Greg Nibler, sat down with Tim Danks, vice president of risk management and partner relations at Huawei, who categorized the news as false.

Due to current restrictions in place due to an ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China, Huawei has been unable to utilize certain aspects of the mobile operating system, including Google Play Store and G Suite service integration. According to Danks, if the restrictions were to be lifted, Huawei would continue forward with Google’s platform.

Original speculation that Huawei would discontinue use of the Android platform arose when the company’s country manager, Fred Wangfei, made comments to the German newspaper Der Standard. When asked to comment on Wangfei’s statement, Danks noted that it was “incorrect” and that Huawei’s “plan all along has been first and foremost to stick with Android and to move forward with the Android platform.” Danks went on to note that Huawei and Google have a close relationship and that the Chinese company has invested a “significant amount of research and development contributions into the platform.”

Huawei has invested a significant amount of research and development contributions into the  [Android] platform – -we aren’t just a user of licenses from Android but actually a major contributor to the platform.

Open-source Android

Currently, Huawei devices, including the Mate 30 Pro, have been shipping utilizing the base open-source Android platform with the company’s custom EMUI skin. The lack of Google applications has caused a hit in the West, but sources report that the company is experiencing a surge in sales within its home country. Huawei has attempted to launch its app gallery on the platform, but has yet to be successful.

Despite strong comments noting that Huawei would not be abandoning the Android platform if restrictions were lifted, Danks did note that if “business requirements reached a point where [Huawei] had to move forward with something else, [it] does have a Plan B.” Huawei has been investigating alternative options, including the company’s own Harmony OS, in addition to merely continuing to use the open-source Android without heavy Google integration.

While speaking with Digital Trends, Danks also commented on the status of a 5G infrastructure within the U.S., noting that while the “activities of trade between China and the U.S. have a factor” in the rollout, the company intends to focus on its customers being well-served. As for the future, Danks believes the key to better relations and building trust within the U.S. is to focus on “improving standards, certifications, and verification” procedures.

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