Huawei says it is in the process of rolling out its Hongmeng OS to replace Android

A Huawei executive says that the Hongmeng OS would be ready to go "in months."

An executive of China's Huawei, which has been banned from working with US tech firms, said on Thursday that the telecoms giant is in the process of potentially launching its "Hongmeng" operating system (OS) to replace the UU Android OS.

Andrew Williamson, vice president of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd's public affairs and communications, said in an interview that the company will "presumably" trademark Hongmeng, which he said has likely been rolled out to a million devices in China.

President Donald Trump's administration last month put Huawei on a blacklist that barred it from doing business with US tech companies such as Alphabet Inc, whose Android OS is used in Huawei's phones.

Huawei says it is in the process of rolling out its Hongmeng OS to replace Android

Workers sit at the Huawei stand at the Mobile Expo in Bangkok, Thailand, 31 May, 2019. Images: Reuters

"Huawei is in the process of potentially launching a replacement," Williamson said in Mexico City. "It's not something Huawei wants. We're very happy of being part of the Android family, but Hongmeng is being tested, mostly in China. I believe it is already being rolled out over a million devices."

"Presumably we'll be trying to put trademarks," he added.

Williamson said he expected 2019 revenue growth would be almost flat at around 20 percent, compared with last year's expansion of 19.5 percent. Huawei said in March its three main business groups were likely to post double-digit growth this year.

Williamson said that if trade tensions escalate into a full-blown trade war, Hongmeng would be ready to go "in months."

Data from the UN World Intellectual Property Organization shows that Huawei, the world's biggest maker of telecoms network gear, has already applied to trademark Hongmeng in a number of countries.

Williamson said chipmakers knew that cutting off Huawei could have "catastrophic" consequences for their business.

"We're not specifically asking anyone to lobby for us. They're doing it by their own desire because, for many of them, Huawei is one of their major customers," he said.

Huawei has come under mounting scrutiny for over a year, led by US allegations that "back doors" in its routers, switches and other gear could allow China to spy on US communications.

The company has denied its products pose a security threat.

Read more on the Huawei banning saga:

Global smartphone sales in 2019 to see a 3.1 percent dip due to Huawei ban: Canalys

US prosecutors ask judge to reject Huawei's motion for seeking information on its lead defense lawyer

Huawei is now facing lawsuit in the United States for corporate espionage

Huawei could possibly launch the Mate 30-series with Kirin 985, HongMeng OS

Huawei's Android license revoked: What it means for existing Huawei and Honor phone users

Intel and Qualcomm join Google in cutting off ties with Huawei following Trump ban

After Huawei blacklist, 'Boycott Apple' campaign gaining steam in China: Report

German chipmaker Infineon suspends shipments to Huawei after US trade blacklist

Huawei is reportedly releasing its own Android alternative called IndeoenOS this fall

Huawei accuses US of bullying, says working with Google to respond to ban

Huawei doesn't mention Android at its new Honor 20 series smartphone launch event

Huawei's trade ban by the US could advance local Chinese chip suppliers

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei claims the US's 90-day reprieve does not bear 'much impact'

Some Huawei Mobile users are considering a switch after Google suspension

Facebook is no longer allowing pre-installation of its apps on Huawei phones

 

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