The United States Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has issued a temporary licence to Huawei to retain support for its existing products.
This follows the US government blacklisting the Chinese company and ordering Google to revoke its Android licence, a move which has serious implications for Huawei’s smartphone business.
Google said that its services would continue to function on existing Huawei devices, but it is not clear what effect the licence revocation would have on future Huawei mobile operating systems and updates for existing software.
Most importantly, Huawei may lose access to Google’s suite of apps and services in upcoming operating system builds, which could have a major impact on its western market.
The US has created a temporary general licence for Huawei valid until 14 August 2019, which provides a number of exemptions to the United States’ trade limitations on certain Chinese companies.
The licence allows for the continued operation of existing networks and equipment – including software updates and patches – as well as support to existing handsets.
“BIS authorises engagement in transactions, subject to other provisions of the EAR, necessary to provide service and support, including software updates or patches, to existing Huawei handsets that were available to the public on or before May 16, 2019,” the bureau said.
The US Commerce Department has stated that the temporary licence is intended to give telecoms companies which rely on Huawei time to make other arrangements.
The department added that it would evaluate whether to extend this temporary licence beyond 90 days.
Android on Huawei
Google and Huawei have not yet issued statements regarding the issuance of the temporary licence, but a source speaking to the Wall Street Journal said Huawei may be in for a reprieve.
The source said that Google would stop its plans to cut Huawei’s access to Android.
Additionally, the terms of the temporary licence allow Google to continue issuing official Android software and security updates for Huawei smartphones.
This means that under the licence, Huawei smartphone owners will continue to receive security updates as normal.
The implementation of Android on future Huawei smartphones is not covered by the terms of the licence, however, and it is still unclear what route Huawei will take when it comes to software on their next generation of devices.