Google Seeks Huawei Trade Exemption – Report

Google is seeking a US licence so it can continue to work with President Donald Trump’s least favourite company, Huawei Technologies.

According to the Heise, Google has made a formal application to the US government seeking permission to trade with Huawei.

Huawei of course is the world’s second largest smartphone maker (Samsung is the largest, Huawei, then Apple), and it uses Google’s Android for its handsets.

Exemption licence

But in May last year Google was forced to cut off Huawei’s access to some Android software and services, after Huawei was placed on a US national security blacklist that forbids it from doing business with US companies.

With the loss of access to the Google Play Store and not being allowed to pre-install Google apps such as YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail on its latest smartphones, Google is potentially missing out, hence it seeking a licence.

If Google were to be granted the license, Huawei could start equipping its devices with a Google-endorsed version of Android again.

In December Huawei announced that it had expand its Harmony OS into more of its products in 2020, namely smart watches, speakers and virtual reality devices.

However if the US restrictions really start to bite, then it could expand Harmony onto its smartphones, tablets or even computers.

And Google is not the only American company seeking an exemption licence.

Other exemptions

Microsoft in November 2019 was granted an export licence for ‘mass-market’ software (Microsoft Windows, Office etc) by the US Deptartmnet of Commerce.

Huawei has also reportedly built a replacement for the Google Play Services, and last month the Chinese vendor signed a deal with TomTom to provide maps and services for its handsets, as Huawei looks for ways around US trade ban imposed last year.

February saw the expiration of the third US 90-day extension for US companies seeking to trade with Huawei.

But it only granted it a temporary general license for 45 days allowing US companies to continue doing some business with Huawei.

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Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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