China’s Huawei Technologies mobile communications equipment company officially announced its proprietary mobile operating system on Friday.
In a speech at the opening of the three-day Huawei Developer Conference on Friday, Richard Yu, chief executive officer of the company’s consumer business, said that the company-developed HarmonyOS (Chinese for Hongmeng) is the world’s first flexible micro-kernel-based operating system. The first smartphone to run HarmonyOS on Saturday will be unveiled under the Honor brand name, Yu said at an annual conference in Tungkuan, Guangdong Province, South China.
Huawei accelerated the development of its own operating system after the US Department of Commerce put Huawei’s Chinese telecommunications giant and its 68 subsidiaries on a blacklist of companies that could pose a threat to US national security or foreign policy interests. The order prohibits US companies from selling parts, equipment, and services to Huawei. The ban also applies to the American operating system Alphabet Inc., the Android OS that runs Huawei smartphones and home devices. Washington also excluded Huawei from fifth-generation cellular network developments for reasons of national security.
The executive emphasized that for the time being, Huawei would continue to stick with Android to help app developers work, but if sanctions fell from Google’s operating system, it would be ready to upgrade to HarmonyOS at any time.
The Chinese giant is now the world’s second-largest smartphone supplier, which has grown 68 times over the past eight years, Yu said, adding that if the United States had not imposed sanctions on the company, they would have achieved world leadership this year.
Huawei said at the end of July, despite US sanctions, it had 401.3 billion yuan ($ 58.3 billion) in first-half sales, up 23.2 percent year-over-year. However, the company did not rule out that Huawei’s difficulties may affect growth prospects in the short term.
Washington has accused the Chinese telecommunications company of stealing business secrets and violating sanctions against Iran, among other things, and is urging its partners to exclude Huawei from developing its own fifth-generation networks. Huawei denies all allegations against it and attributes them to the US attempting to drive the Chinese giant out of market competition in the interest of its own economic interests. At the same time, observers say, Huawei could be negotiated in US-China trade negotiations.