Technology

HarmonyOS is Chinese Huawei's new operating system

The tech giant has been struggling after Google's decision to suspend its Android license due to a demand by the US government

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  • In May, the US Commerce Department put Huawei on the “Entity list,” restricting the company’s access to US technology products and services
  • The new OS will first be available for Chinese products

Chinese tech giant Huawei has officially launched its own operating system, HarmonyOS, during the Huawei Developer Conference 2019, an event that took place this Friday in China.

Named Hongmeng in China, the operating system comes as a response to Google‘s restriction on Huawei, a ban that cut Huawei’s access to the Android OS in May, after a US-government decision that included the Chinese firm in a blacklist.

The new platform will work on an open-source model to boost adoption, but it still has some hurdles to tackle regarding usability and tech matters. For now, Honor Smart Screen will be the first product running with the operating system, but as reported by The Verge, it will be available to a wide-range of products -from smartphones to smart speakers, wearables, and in-vehicle systems – in an effort to connect different devices in a shared ecosystem.

If HarmonyOS will effectively replace Android, that is something that remains to be seen, and Huawei expressed that “for the time being” it plans to keep using Google’s OS on its smartphones, until further updates of US-restrictions on the company.

Expanding to other markets is in their plans, but, for now, the operating system will be available for Chinese products only.

Earlier this week, Huawei also announced three new physical stores in Brazil, in an effort to further increase its presence in the major market of Latin America.