News, Technology

Google withdraws Android license for Huawei: Does this affect users too?

Harry Wise

Marco Rossi, Writer

This week, a last blow hit Chinese telecom provider Huawei when Google withdrew its license to use Android, widely harming its smartphones and devices’ marketability.

Is this going to affect current Huawei users?

The answer is no: The agreement existing between Google and Huawei will not affect smartphones and devices already sold or currently in stock in retail stores.

Current Huawei users can still use their devices with no restrictions, although their future planned purchases of Huawei products will have to be cancelled.

What’s going to be next is debatable. Although the company could rely on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), open to anyone to use, this will considerably affect its sales.

‘Cause frankly, no one would buy a phone with limited features.

Nonetheless, CEO of Huawei’s consumer division, Richard Yu, has told Die Welt that the company is already working on its own operating system. “Although we prefer working with Google and Microsoft,” Yu has said, “we have a plan B”.

Moreover, we read on Forbes that, according to CSS Insight analyst Ben Wood, the way Huawei is facing such crisis is also a way the Chinese company wants to control its own destiny.

But why did Google withdraw such agreement with Huawei in the first place?

Such fuss on Huawei technologies follows the recent developments in the China-US trade war. The Chinese company is finding harder and harder to sell and delivery its smartphones and devices – particularly its new 5G technologies – to countries politically close to the US.

While the US has already banned the implementation of Huawei IoT devices, other countries in the American political sphere (the other so-called four ‘Eyes’ of the network) have either followed the US (as Australia and, in part, New Zealand) or are considering doing so (as Canada and the UK, where the debate on Huawei 5G technologies is heated at the moment).

Although espionage paranoia already hindered Huawei’s global business – as the arrest of its CFO and founder’s daughter, Meng Wanzhou – the loss of the Android license might be the blow that sinks once and for all the presence of Huawei where the US has most of its interest – and, arguably, of other Chinese companies, with Australia banning ZTE as well.

Is it a sign of the death of the free market? Well, it’s too little evidence to say.

Surely, it’s a sign of how politics can be stronger than merely economic interests. Whether this is unfortunate or not is up to the public opinion.

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