In a sign that it’s preparing for a scenario where it won’t be able to do business with Google because of the trade war between the United States and China, Huawei has applied for a trademark for its own operating system.
Based on the database of the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization, the company has filed to trademark “Hongmeng” in what seems to be its key markets. The list of countries includes the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Australia, Canada, Spain, and Switzerland.
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The earliest application outside China was lodged May 14, or shortly after the U.S. placed the world’s biggest manufacturer of telecommunications equipment on a trade blacklist. Data shows that Huawei intends to use Hongmeng OS for a wide range of devices — from smartphones and personal computers to robots.
Andrew Williamson, Huawei vice president for public affairs and communications, said: “Huawei is in the process of potentially launching a replacement. It’s not something Huawei wants; we’re very happy about being part of the Android family. But Hongmeng is being tested, mostly in China.”
On May 19, news broke that Google had revoked Huawei’s Android license in compliance with the Trump administration’s order. This effectively locked out Huawei from further use of the most prominent mobile OS — except those publicly available via open-source licensing.
Two days after, the U.S. government gave the world’s No. 2 smartphone maker a temporary license to allow Google to send updates to Huawei devices until August 19.
A week ago, it was reported that Google is lobbying for its continued cooperation with the China-based firm.
Despite what’s happening, it is still business as usual at Huawei. In fact, it is preparing to launch the Android 9.0-based Nova 5 series June 21. In the Philippines, it just released the Huawei Y5 2019 budget phone.
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