Huawei NZ: 'No need to panic' about phones after Google move

Google has blocked the Chinese phone maker Huawei from some updates to the Android operating...
Google has blocked the Chinese phone maker Huawei from some updates to the Android operating system. Photo: Getty Images
Huawei NZ deputy chief executive Andrew Bowater says there's no need for owners of the company's phones to panic or return them to retailers after restricted on the software services.

Google has blocked the Chinese phone maker from some updates to the Android operating system.

That doesn't mean Huawei loses all access to Android - the core operating system is open source - but in practice major vendors rely on a lot of support from Google. Google also controls access to several add-on software, such as the Play Store.

Consumer NZ technology writer Hadyn Green said Huawei phone owners should wait and see whether security updates were available in a timely fashion. If not, they could return the phone under the Consumer Guarantees Act, subject to some conditions.

Mr Bowater said Huawei NZ and Google have made clear they'll continue to support existing phones and apps.

"Anybody who has a Huawei phone currently in the market, there's no need to panic or rush back to retailers yet. There is no need to do anything like that because we've said we'll continue to support the phones and Google have said the same.

"If you're an existing Huawei customer there's no change at this stage. It's more about future devices."

Mr Bowater agreed the impact could be quite rapid given the rate at which new phones come out, but it was just another hurdle to jump over in the "geopolitical game that 's been at play against our business".

"We're willing to confront that we'll take it on and look at whatever contingencies we can do to continue to support our customers.'

It had been predictable that the US would continue to go after Huawei and the company had been stockpiling products and started work on alternatives, he said. The company had a lot of knowledge about the open source Android system and how it could work into the future.

The US government said it imposed the restrictions because of Huawei's involvement in activities contrary to national security or foreign policy interests.

On Monday, it temporarily eased the curbs to minimise disruption for customers, a move dismissed by Huawei's founder who said the tech firm had prepared for US action.

Reuters reported on Sunday that Alphabet Inc's Google suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing, citing a source familiar with the matter.

"They (Google) have zero motivation to block us. We are working closely with Google to find out how Huawei can handle the situation and the impact from the US Department of Commerce decision," Abraham Liu, Huawei's representative to the EU institutions told Reuters.

Liu said Huawei did not blame Google for its decision and that it was too early to say what the consequences will be.

"Huawei is becoming the victim of the bullying by the US administration. This is not just an attack against Huawei. It is an attack on the liberal, rules-based order."

And Reuters

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