Chinese tech giant Huawei has built its own operating system in case its relationship with the US sinks to the point it cannot use Windows and Android.
A Huawei exec has told German news site Die Welt that it has made a backup OS for PCs and smartphones in the event that its troubles with the US government prevent it from using Windows and Android on their PCs and smartphones.
“We have prepared our own operating system. Should it ever happen that we can no longer use these systems, we would be prepared. That’s our plan B. But of course we prefer to work with the ecosystems of Google and Microsoft,” said Richard Yu, chief of Huawei’s consumer group.
The comments come as Huawei and its execs face a number of legal battles in the US amid the US-China trade war and US pressure on European allies not to use Huawei’s 5G technology in networks.
The company filed a lawsuit against the US government this month in a bid to overturn a ban on purchasing its technology by federal agencies and government contractors under the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
Huawei lawyers on Thursday also pleaded not guilty to federal charges that its CFO Meng Wanzhou violated US trade sanctions on dealing with Iran and hid its dealings in the country through a subsidiary.
SEE: IT pro’s guide to the evolution and impact of 5G technology (free PDF)
The US alleges during meetings with an unnamed banking institution in the US, Wanzhou misrepresented Huawei’s ownership and control of Iranian affiliate Skycom.
Wanzhou was arrested by Canadian authorities in December and is awaiting an extradition trial set for May 8.
According to the South China Morning Post, Huawei started developing its own operating system after the US opened an investigation into Huawei and ZTE in 2012. A US export ban last year prevented US firms from selling components to ZTE, following accusations it sold equipment to Iran and North Korea.
A Huawei spokesperson told the South China Morning Post the company doesn’t expect to use its backup systems and doesn’t want to either.
“We fully support our partners’ operating systems – we love using them and our customers love using them. Android and Windows will always remain our first choices.”
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Huawei is developing their own OS as a contingency plan in the event US sanctions make using Android unviable. In a crowded market, is there room for a third OS?
Apparently it’s called “Sunshine.”