Google Cuts Ties With Huawei

Google is halting a business relationship with Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications company, in what is seen as a blow to the company that has been on the radar of the U.S. government.

According to a report in Reuters citing a source familiar with the matter, Google is suspending all business with Huawei that requires it to transfer hardware, software and technical services. The only exception, noted the report, is when it’s publicly available via an open source licensing. Reuters noted that the move on the part of Google could hurt Huawei’s smartphone business because it won’t be able to access updates to the Android operating system. It will also lose access to Google Play Store, YouTube and Gmail, noted the report. The source told Reuters Huawei will only be able to use the public version of Android. It won’t have access to proprietary apps or services offered by Google, the source told Reuters.

The move on the part of Google comes after the Trump Administration last week added the Chinese telecom company to a blacklist, which means it won’t conduct trade with the company. The blacklist makes it very difficult for Huawei to do business with companies in the U.S. Following that, the Commerce Department in the U.S. said it was looking at scaling back some of the restrictions on the company to prevent any interruptions to existing network operations and equipment. Reuters noted it’s not clear how the Commerce Department announcement, which came a day after Huaewui was added to the blacklist, will impact its access to mobile software.

The source told Reuters that the specific details about the suspension are still being worked out inside Google. Huawei attorneys are also looking at the impact the blacklist will have. It’s not clear how harmed Huawei will be by the U.S. government’s move. Some experts were skeptical Huawei could survive without the U.S., noted the report.