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20 May, 2019 13:27

Huawei pledges to continue Android device support after rebuff from Google

Huawei pledges to continue Android device support after rebuff from Google

Tech giant Huawei has vowed to continue support services for customers of its Android-using tablets and smartphones after Google said it was cutting ties with the Chinese firm accused by Washington of spying for Beijing.

In a company statement released Monday, Huawei said it had made “substantial contributions” to the development and growth of the Android operating system around the world and would continue to support customers of its devices.

Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally.

The firm added it would continue to build a “safe and sustainable software ecosystem” in order for its worldwide customers to have the best user experience possible.

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Huawei’s statement comes after pressure from the Trump administration forced Silicon Valley firms to comply with a blacklisting of the Chinese company announced last week. This bars Huawei from buying parts or technology from US entities. Google has since said it would comply with the US request, agreeing to cut ties with Huawei that involve any transfers of any hardware or software.

Once the ban comes into effect, Huawei users may find themselves locked out of apps developed by Google, such as Gmail and the Google Play Store. Users may also be prevented from updating their software and security fixes once Google introduces the next version of Android next year. However, Huawei will still be able to access an open source version of the Android OS.

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The ban could also trouble Huawei’s growing share of the cellphone market, which saw 59.1 million unit sales in the first quarter of 2019. The strong sales have helped Huawei leapfrog competitor Apple into the number two seller of mobile devices behind South Korean firm Samsung.

Washington has repeatedly accused Huawei of spying for the Chinese government by using “backdoors” in its electronic products that can then be used to access users data, a charge Huawei vehemently denies. The row has already seen Huawei locked out of participation in the development of the US’ 5G network, and allies like Japan, New Zealand and Australia have also blocked the firm from their own 5G development.

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