Google blocks Huawei access to Android updates after blacklisting - The Guardian

Google blocks Huawei access to Android updates after blacklisting  The GuardianFuture Huawei phones may not support Google service  India TodayGoogle may just have killed Huawei's bid to become the world's top smartphone brand  CNNGoogle cuts ties with Huawei. That may be a 'kill switch' for the Chinese firm's global smartphone ambition  CNBCGoogle cancels Huawei’s Android license: What does it mean for those with Chinese company’s phones?  The Indian ExpressView full coverage on Google News

Google blocks Huawei access to Android updates after blacklisting - The Guardian

Google has suspended Huawei’s access to updates of its Android operating system and chipmakers have reportedly cut off supplies to the Chinese telecoms company, complying with orders from the US government as it seeks to .

Google said it was complying with Donald Trump’s executive order and was reviewing the “implications”, after Reuters initially reported the story.

It later said Google Play and the security features of Google Play Protect would continue on existing devices but the next version of its smartphones outside China would lose access to popular applications and services including the Google Play store, Maps and the Gmail app.

Chipmakers such as Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, and Broadcom have told employees they will until further notice, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Huawei will continue to have access to the version of the Android operating system available through the open source licence that is free to anyone who wishes to use it. But, according to the Reuters source, Google will stop providing technical support and collaboration for Android and Google services.

Huawei is a Chinese telecoms company founded in 1987. Politicians in the US have alleged that Huawei’s forthcoming 5G mobile phone networks could be hacked by Chinese spies to eavesdrop on sensitive phone calls and gain access to counter-terrorist operations. Allies who allow Huawei technology inside their 5G networks have been told they may be frozen out of US intelligence sharing. Australia, New Zealand and Japan have .

In the UK, BT has excluded Huawei telecoms infrastructure from its own 5G rollout and removed some of its equipment from the 4G network. In January 2019 Vodafone said it had decided to  in its core networks across Europe. The UK's defence secretary after a leak revealed the sensitive decision that the UK would not be totally banning Huawei from 5G projects.

Poland’s internal affairs minister, Joachim Brudziński, has called for the European Union and Nato to work on a joint position over whether to exclude Huawei from their markets, after .

Much of the doubt surrounding Huawei stems from founder Ren Zhengfei’s background in China's People’s Liberation Army between 1974 and 1983, where he was an engineer. His daughter, Huawei’s senior executive Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada in December 2018 over allegations of Iran-sanctions violations, and she awaits extradition to the US. Ren, referring to trade issues between the US and , says the company is 'like a small sesame seed, stuck in the middle of conflict between two great powers'.

Photograph: Mark Schiefelbein/AP

Huawei promised on Monday to continue providing security updates and after-sale services for its smartphones and tablets.

“Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world,” it said. “As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefited both users and the industry.”

The spokesman for China’s ministry of foreign affairs, Lu Kang, said Beijing would “support Chinese enterprises in defending their legitimate rights through legal methods”.

The company previously said it was developing its own backup operating system in case it was blocked from using US software.

In an interview in March with the German publication , Richard Yu, the head of the company’s consumer division, said the company had a “plan B”. He said: “We have prepared our own operating system. Should it ever happen that we can no longer use these systems, we would be prepared.”

Huawei, which relies on chips from the US, has reportedly been stockpiling the chips and other components in anticipation of the ban. In an interview on Saturday, the Huawei chief executive, Ren Zhengfei, said the company would be “fine” without US chips.

Google’s move comes after the Trump administration officially added the telecoms manufacturer to a trade blacklist on Thursday, declaring to ban the technology and services of “foreign adversaries”. The blacklist immediately led to restrictions that will make it extremely difficult for the firm to do business with US companies.

In another development in the growing trade war between the two countries, Trump claimed in an interview on Fox on Sunday night that his policy of imposing tariffs on Chinese goods was already bearing fruit by encouraging companies to move manufacturing to other countries.

The latest restrictions are likely to hit Huawei’s European business, its second-biggest market, because it licenses many of its mobile phone services from Google in Europe.

Geoff Blaber, the vice-president of research at the market research firm CCS Insight, told Reuters: “Having those apps is critical for smartphone makers to stay competitive in regions like Europe.”

Google’s suspension follows a report last week 5G mobile networks in the UK, because its operations are “subject to influence by the Chinese state”.

The research, by a Conservative MP and two academics, said a decision announced by Theresa May last month, after a fraught meeting of the national security council (NSC), to allow the company to supply “non-core” equipment should be overturned because using the company’s technology presents “risks”.

In the report by the Henry Jackson Society thinktank, the authors claimed Huawei “has long been accused of espionage” – a claim repeatedly denied by the firm – and noted that “while there are no definitely proven cases”, a precautionary principle should be adopted.

The British government has been pressured by partner intelligence agencies in the US and Australia to reconsider letting the Shenzhen-based multinational participate in the UK’s 5G network.

In April, May provisionally approved the use of Huawei technology for parts of the networks after a meeting of the NSC. A leaked account of the meeting said five cabinet ministers had raised concerns about the company.

, a deputy assistant secretary at the US state department, warned last month that the UK’s proposal to adopt Huawei technology risked affecting intelligence cooperation with the US. He claimed the Chinese firm “was not a trusted vendor” and any use of its technology for 5G was a risk.

Australia, which also shares intelligence with the UK, has already moved to ban Huawei as a supplier for its future 5G network.

Huawei has always insisted it is a privately held company, independent of the Chinese state, owned largely by its employees, and has worked supplying phone technology in the UK for 15 years without problems.