After being placed on a so-called device list by the US federal government, severely restricting access to US technology, the Chinese tech giant and the rest of the world – Huawei's biggest smartphone maker is investigating using the Russian-made Aurora operating system as a replacement for Google's Android OS on its mobile devices, Reuters reported on Monday.
As Reuters noted, Aurora is “Russia's only operating system and is not currently used. "The project under discussion is installing the operating system on hundreds of thousands of tablets intended for use in Russia's census by 2020. However, a source told the news agency that the census could be a test for using Aurora to a greater extent:" This is a pilot project. We see it as the first phase of the launch of the Russian operating system on Huawei devices. "
A spokeswoman for Huawei also confirmed to Reuters that the company is discussing a possible arrangement with the Russian Ministry of Communications:
Russia discusses the use of Aurora OS on 360,000 Huawei tablets by August 2020.
" Huawei is interested in project. It showed samples of tablets that could be used, ”said the other source. Aurora is Russia's only operating system and is not currently used.
Aurora is owned by telecommunications company Rostelecom, which is again controlled by the Russian state. Rostelecom is also responsible for choosing the tablets to be used for the census, and confirmed to Reuters that it is exploring “various options for collaboration” with Huawei.
The Trump administration placed Huawei on the Department of Commerce's device list earlier this year amid the US intelligence community that the company poses a threat to national security and may be engaged in espionage. (At one point, the CIA allegedly tried to convince allies that Huawei's telecommunications equipment cannot be trusted by presenting "strong but not iron-cast" evidence that the company is partially funded by Chinese military and intelligence benefits.) The United States also has accused Huawei of fraud and trade theft, and is seeking extradition from its chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, of Canada on charges of violating sanctions against Iran.
Huawei has strongly denied the charges and tried to present the case in retaliation for exiting US companies. There has also been plenty of speculation that the Trump administration is targeting Huawei as a strong arming tactic in the midst of the ongoing US-China trade war. NPR recently reported that a "vocal and growing group of hawkers" in China has argued that the country "should push back against the United States and avoid a deal at all costs," though both sides have shown signs of faltering.
Numerous Western companies have cut ties with Huawei, and when a grace period expires, it is estimated to lose access to future Android updates. Instead, Huawei has approached developing its own open source mobile OS, HarmonyOS (Hongmeng). Wired recently reported that HarmonyOS's long-term viability as an Android replacement is in doubt, as the rapid development could cut corners, and Huawei phones running it won't have access to Google's sprawling app offerings.