Google has suspended business activity with Huawei that involves the transfer or hardware, software, and key technical services.
That means Huawei will not be able to license the Android operating system complete with Google services and will instead have to use an open-source version.
Analysts said that could cause big problems for the company internationally, where nearly half of its smartphone shipments go.
Other Huawei suppliers, including Qualcomm and Intel, reportedly told employees they will not sell to the Chinese firm until further notice.
Google’s move to stop licensing its Android mobile operating system to Huawei could deal a huge blow to the Chinese tech giant’s ambitions to become the top player in smartphones globally.
It means Huawei can no longer license Google’s proprietary Android operating system and other services that it offers.
Instead, Huawei is now only able to use a public version of Google’s operating system through the Android Open Source Project.
It means future Huawei phones will not have the Google services that users have come to expect on Android devices.
We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications, a Google spokesperson said on Monday.
For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices.
Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world.
As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry, the spokesperson said.
Huawei will continue to have access to the version of the Android operating system available through the open source license,
Known as Android Open Source Project (AOSP) that is available for free to anyone who wishes to use it.
There are about 2.5 billion active Android devices worldwide, according to Google.
However, Google will stop providing Huawei with access, technical support, and collaboration involving its proprietary apps and services going forward, the source said.
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.
Some of this technology is already being used in products sold in China, the company has said.
Users with current Huawei devices will still be able to use Google’s apps and updates,
but the next versions of their smartphones will lose access to Google’s operating system (Android) and popular applications including Google Play Store, YouTube, Gmail, etc.
Furthermore, chipmakers including Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, and Broadcom have told their employees that they will not be supplying chips to Huawei until further notice.
Why this happened
This move from Google comes after the Trump administration officially added the telecoms manufacturer to a trade blacklist last week,
Declaring a national economic emergency to ban the technology and services of foreign adversaries.
The blacklist quickly led to restrictions that would prevent the Chinese tech company from doing business with US companies.
It bears mentioning that it isn’t Google’s choice to pull Android support from Huawei, rather, the company has been forced to do so under United States law.
This is a major hit for Huawei as it could seriously cripple the company’s smartphone business all across the globe.
Huawei hasn’t commented much on the subject as of yet, saying only that it is going to be fine.