China’s Huawei Technologies plans to launch its own operating system dubbed Harmony OS for smartphones on June 2nd in its biggest move yet strategically aimed at recovering from the damage done by U.S. sanctions to its smartphone business.
The use of its own operating system will mean it will no longer be reliant on Android. U.S. sanctions banned Google from providing technical support to new Huawei phone models and access to Google Mobile Services, the bundle of developer services upon which most Android apps are based.
Huawei did not immediately make clear if it will also be launching new smartphones on June 2nd or if there will be updates for existing phones or how fast the rollout might occur.
The previous Trump administration had argued that the Chinese telecommunications giant posed a threat to U.S. national security when issuing the sanctions – a charge that Huawei has denied.
Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei this week called on staff to “dare to lead the world” in software in a bid to move into business areas that can’t be affected by U.S. sanctions, according to an internal memo seen by Reuters.
Huawei will now need to take a more “open source” approach to development and should try to attract more software experts from overseas as part of the pivot, it said.