Huawei has been working on its own OS software for a long time, since 2018, calling it their “Plan B” in case they need a replacement in the future for Google Android. Tensions between Huawei and the US got thick after the US accused and placed a ban on Huawei for spying and stealing for the Chinese government. Although Huawei denied any suspicious activities, it has been shown they might be guilty and they were placed on US Department of Commerce’s entity list prohibiting US companies from buying parts from them without applying for special permission.

This led many to drop Huawei from their list as a “go-to.”

New OS system

As the ban left it difficult to buy or sell to/from Huawei, today they unveiled Harmony OS, Business Insider reports. It's their own smartphone operating system which they claim is better and faster than Android. Huawei Technologies Ltd. CEO Richard Yu stated their desire is to keep using Android but if not allowed, they can switch to the Harmony OS easily.

The OS system, called Hongmeng in China, will be open source and the first device it will run on is Huawei's Honor smartphones. Mr. Yu said at the developers' conference on August 2, at their Dongguan campus, consumers will be able to operate and integrate the system across all PC's, laptops, tablets, smartphones and eventually vehicles, televisions, and robots. They will check all their products to make sure US components will not be needed. This being said, they have developed their own chipsets, mostly for lower-end servers and phones.

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Trademarks applied for

Huawei Technologies Ltd. already filed for trademarks on its OS system in several countries, under the name of Hongmeng, last year in preparation of releasing its new software. So far they have filed in nine counties that include China, Europe, Canada, South Korea, and Peru. The intent is to make the Harmony OS a global system and allow other developers to contribute to the efforts of making it a better and lasting system. Huawei exploring its own technology diminishes its dependence on other second and third-party companies.

Security issues

US national security is the top reason why Huawei has been restricted from US companies. And US officials also cautioned Europe about buying their equipment from Huawei for their next-generation mobile networks. Even though the US opened the door an inch until August 19, there is no sign that the restrictions will be totally lifted. So now that Huawei has developed its own OS program, will be scrutinized for security issues and flagged to be put on an export blacklist?

Can consumers have confidence that their data will be safe? Only time will tell as the new Harmony OS is rolled out to mobile service providers.

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