BEIJING, China (AP) — Huawei on Friday unveiled a smartphone operating system that it said can replace Google’s Android, adding to the Chinese tech giant’s efforts to insulate itself against US sanctions.
The announcement of HarmonyOS highlights the growing ability of Huawei, the No 2 global smartphone brand and biggest maker of network gear for phone carriers, to create technology and reduce its reliance on American vendors.
US curbs imposed in May threatened Huawei’s smartphone sales by limiting access to Android and blocking Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., from supporting music and other services based on the system.
Huawei Technologies Ltd. wants to keep using Android, Richard Yu, CEO of its consumer device unit, said at a conference for software developers in the southern city of Dongguan.
“However, if we cannot use it in the future we can immediately switch to HarmonyOS,” Yu said. He said that could be done in as little as two days if needed.
Huawei, China’s first global tech brand, is at the center of a battle between Washington and Beijing over the ruling Communist Party’s ambitions to develop companies that can compete in robotics and other fields.
The Trump administration says Beijing’s efforts are based on stealing or pressuring companies to hand over technology. Washington and other trading partners say the Chinese campaign violates its free-trade obligations.