Huawei's Yu Chengdong: We Have Invested Hundreds of Millions in Harmony OS
"If the access to Android is blocked in the future, we will be able to serve other Chinese smartphone vendors," the chief executive said.
Talking about the American sanctions towards Huawei, Huawei consumer business CEO Yu Chengdong said: "We have been developing chips, software and supplies for nearly ten years. The first round of American sanctions will not put Huawei into crisis, but will have a great influence on the business area in my charge. Being not allowed to use the Google ecosystem will be catastrophic for Android users." Google (GOOGL:NASDAQ) announced that it would not provide Google Mobile Service (GMS) to Huawei smartphones from May 2019, which meant that Huawei mobile phones sold overseas would not be allowed to use Gmail, Google Maps and Google Pay, among other software and online services.
Huawei initially started to develop an in-house operating system around 2012. After the export restrictions were imposed by the US in 2019, Huawei set its vision on building a mobile operating system in case Android would not be available in the future. In August 2019, Huawei officially unveiled HarmonyOS at a conference in Dongguan, describing it as a free, microkernel-based distributed operating system for various types of hardware. Yu Chengdong said that Huawei is establishing its own ecosystem, investing millions of Yuan into HarmonyOS. Now the system has reached 70%-80% of Android's level.
However, this year, the second round of sanctions restricted Huawei from using any American technology in its chips. From September 15 this year, any chip company in the world that uses American technology is prohibited from exporting to Huawei. This gives Huawei huge trouble. Huawei has been developing Kirin chips for more than ten years and has made great progress in technology – but now they can no longer be manufactured. It cannot even import chips from non-American companies. The coming days will present the hardest challenges for Huawei in its quest for survival.
The company has no choice but to quickly catch up with developed countries in technology. "American sanctions towards Huawei are unreasonable in terms of globalization," Said Yu Chengdong. The US-China tech war is cutting off longstanding associations and cooperation between companies across countries.