Android updates to Huawei phones to be halted by US
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’