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October 19, 2019
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After Trump ban, Google restricts Huawei’s use of Android

A new blow was served to the Chinese telecom giant by Google, which is in the centre of the escalating trade war between the United States and China.

The US-based company Google barred Huawei from some updates to the Android operating system. With this measure, the new designs of Huawei smartphones are set to lose access to some Google apps.

The move comes after the Trump administration added Huawei to a list of companies that American firms cannot trade with unless they have a licence.

Google said it was “complying with the order and reviewing the implications”.

Existing Huawei smartphone users will be able to update apps and push through security fixes, as well as update Google Play services.

But the new version of Android expected to come later this year will not be available on Huawei devices.

With the latest anti-Huawei step, future Huawei devices may no longer have apps such as YouTube and Maps.

Huawei can still use the version of the Android operating system available through an open source licence.

Ben Wood, from the CCS Insight consultancy, said the move by Google would have “big implications for Huawei’s consumer business”.

The US administration has recently added Huawei to its “entity list”, which bans the company from acquiring technology from US firms without government approval.

In his first comments since the firm was placed on the list, Huawei chief executive Ren Zhengfei told Japanese media on Saturday: “We have already been preparing for this.”

He said the firm, which buys about $67bn (£52.6bn) worth of components each year according to the Nikkei business newspaper, would push ahead with developing its own parts.

Huawei faces a growing backlash from Western countries, led by the US, over possible risks posed by using its products in next-generation 5G mobile networks.

Several countries have raised concerns that Huawei equipment could be used by China for surveillance, allegations the company has vehemently denied.