Huawei officially unveiled its own developed operating system HarmonyOS (HongmengOS in Chinese) which can be used on a variety of devices including smartphones, smartwatches and in-vehicle systems.

Huawei’s new OS was announced at the company’s developer conference. Richard Yu, CEO of the vendor’s Consumer Business Group, said Huawei’s goal was to develop an OS with improved cross-platform capabilities which can meet consumer demand for low latency and strong security.

“We’re entering a day and age where people expect a holistic intelligent experience across all devices and scenarios (…) We needed an OS that supports all scenarios, that can be used across a broad range of devices and platforms, and that can meet consumer demand for low latency and strong security,” Yu said. “HarmonyOS is completely different from Android and iOS. It is a microkernel-based, distributed OS that delivers a smooth experience across all scenarios (…) You can develop your apps once, then flexibly deploy them across a range of different devices.”

Huawei said that the HarmonyOS 1.0 will be initially adopted in its smart screen products, which are due to launch later this year. Over the next three years, HarmonyOS will be optimized and gradually adopted across a broader range of smart devices, including wearables.

The vendor also said that it will release HarmonyOS as an open-source platform worldwide with the aim of encouraging broader adoption. Huawei also said the new OS will first launch in China ahead of global deployments.

Huawei has been accelerating its efforts to launch an OS and avoid a high dependency on Android OS after the company was blacklisted by the U.S government in May, as the Trump administration believes that the Chinese government can use the vendor to carry out spying activities. One of the immediate consequences of the blacklist was that Google restricted Huawei to open-source versions of its products, including Android. Under the terms of the ban, U.S. firms willing to export components and software to Huawei have to apply for a license.

Last month, President Donald Trump had agreed to grant “timely” licensing decisions to U.S. technology firms that want to sell components and services to Huawei, following a meeting between the U.S President and the CEOs of Google, Cisco, Intel, Western Digital Corporation, Micron, Qualcomm and Broadcom.

However, the U.S. government seems to have put on hold the approval of licenses for US firms willing to export components to Huawei due to increasing trade disputes between the US and China.

Bloomberg reported that Washington put on hold the approval process of pending licenses after China said it was halting purchases of US agricultural products in retaliation for Trump’s threat to put new tariffs on Chinese exports.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said last week he’s received 50 requests by U.S. firms and that a decision on them was pending.


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