Huawei Technologies, the largest smartphone vendor in China, said it has developed its own operating systems (OS) for both smartphones and computers, which can be used on its devices in the event that current systems provided by US technology giants are no longer available.
The Chinese company has developed a proprietary OS as tensions between the company and the US government could impact the availability of US-made operating systems used on Huawei devices, Huawei’s mobile chief Richard Yu Chengdong, said in an interview with German publication Die Welt.
Yu’s comments confirm an earlier report by the South China Morning Post in April 2018, which revealed the existence of a years-long project to build an alternative to Google’s Android OS. Huawei started building its own operating system after a US investigation into Huawei and ZTE Corp in 2012, a person familiar with the matter said in the report.
“We have prepared our own operating system, if it turns out we can no longer use these systems [Android], we will be ready and have our plan B,” Yu said in the interview.
A previous US ban on Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE from using American products and services served as a reality check for China’s technology ambitions. Google’s Android and Apple’s proprietary iOS have a stranglehold on smartphone operating systems, accounting for 99.9 per cent of the global market, according to Gartner estimates last year.
“Huawei does have backup systems but only for use in extenuating circumstances. We don’t expect to use them, and to be honest, we don’t want to use them,” said a Huawei spokesperson on Thursday. “We fully support our partners’ operating systems – we love using them and our customers love using them. Android and Windows will always remain our first choices.”