An­droid up­dates to Huawei phones to be halted by US

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Technology Intelligen­ce - By Margi Mur­phy in San Fran­cisco

MIL­LIONS of Huawei phone users face no longer be­ing able to re­ceive An­droid up­dates from Google af­ter the White House fur­ther tight­ened its re­stric­tions on the Chi­nese com­pany’s use of Amer­i­can soft­ware.

The US Com­merce Depart­ment said a tem­po­rary li­cence al­low­ing Amer­i­can

com­pa­nies to keep pro­vid­ing soft­ware to ex­ist­ing Huawei equip­ment for se­cu­rity pur­poses af­ter the com­pany was placed on a blacklist had ex­pired.

Google had been re­ly­ing on the li­cence to keep pro­vid­ing older Huawei smart­phones with se­cu­rity and soft­ware up­dates to the An­droid op­er­at­ing sys­tem, which Google op­er­ates.

The li­cence had pre­vi­ously been granted af­ter con­cerns were raised that con­sumers’ se­cu­rity may be at risk if phones could not be up­dated. Huawei has been de­vel­op­ing its own op­er­at­ing sys­tem as it faces be­ing cut off from Google.

Yes­ter­day, the Com­merce Depart­ment also tight­ened a ban on Huawei’s use of Amer­i­can chip-mak­ing equip­ment, mak­ing it in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult for the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant to get ac­cess to cru­cial off-the-shelf mi­crochips from for­eign com­pa­nies.

Wil­bur Ross, the US Com­merce Sec­re­tary said: “To­day, we dealt a di­rect blow to Huawei and the re­pres­sive Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party by fur­ther lim­it­ing Huawei’s abil­ity to ac­quire US tech­nol­ogy and com­pro­mise the in­tegrity of the world’s net­works and Amer­i­cans’ pri­vate in­for­ma­tion.”

The Com­merce Depart­ment first added Huawei to its “En­tity List” in May last year. Washington al­leges that the com­pany poses a na­tional se­cu­rity risk be­cause of its ties to China’s rul­ing Com­mu­nist Party, a claim which Huawei de­nies.

Huawei de­clined to com­ment on the White House’s lat­est move.

Wil­bur Ross said the US had ‘dealt a di­rect blow to Huawei and the re­pres­sive Chi­nese Com­mu­nist Party’

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