As a blow to the mobile phone business of the Chinese equipment manufacturer Huawei, Google withdrew the company's Android license at the weekend. Intel, Qualcomm, and other hardware vendors ended their dealings with Huawei, and thus posed a potential deathblow to the company.
This decision was made by order of the White House last week to prevent Chinese telecommunications companies from doing business in the United States – an order that was mainly addressed to Huawei. Google, Intel, Qualcomm, and other vendors have stuck to it quickly, breaking off all relationships with the Chinese OEM. Microsoft should also consider blocking updates for Huawei laptops.
Huawei was accused of being an extension of the Chinese government, which gives the country global reach. The fear is that Huawei could install backdoors on its devices that allow China to spy on American users, networks and more. The decision to effectively remove Huawei from the US is in response to a national security threat. It should be noted that until now there is no evidence that this has ever happened ̵
Removing Google's Android license prevents the company from distributing any version of the operating system that provides access to Google services. This means that the Play Store, Google Assistant, various notification services, and more will be missing on future Huawei devices. This is similar to how Android works in China (where Google is blocked), but is not of interest to the rest of the world. Android without Google services loses much of its appeal to anyone outside China.
Users of existing Huawei devices (and thus the sub-brand Honor) in the US, however, do not have to worry, because Google has made it clear Devices remain unaffected by this shift. However, many questions remain open for the future of Huawei – both in the US and beyond. Regardless of how the story unfolds, one thing is almost certain: as long as the blacklist is in place, Huawei's business is not going well in any way. [The Verge, Android Police, Engadget, Reuters]
In Other News
- AMD wants you to know its chips are safe: AMD uses ZombieLoad – the latest vulnerability in Intel chips – to inform users that its chips are unaffected , Since troubleshooting these faults affects the performance of Intel chips, AMD can quickly catch up with its biggest competitor in speed. It's a bad sight for Intel, but a great opportunity for AMD. [Engadget]
- Some Pixel 3a devices shut down randomly: Users of Google's new budget-friendly Pixel 3a and 3a XL will report random shutdowns when the device is idle. When the device is not used, it stops responding and must be put back into operation after a hard reset (press the power switch for 30 seconds). It is unclear what causes the problem or if / when it is fixed. Oof. [Android Police]
- Linksys routers have lost data: Over 21,000 Linksys routers have lost Mac addresses, device names, and more about attached devices. The company has responded and explained that this bug came in 2014 and has been fixed for some time, indicating a cause: outdated routers. Update your hardware, folks. [TechRadar]
- Sony's PlayStation division did not know about the Microsoft deal: Last week Sony and Microsoft announced that they are working together on cloud gaming initiatives. As it turns out, Sony's PlayStation subsidiary reportedly had no idea of the deal and was a bit crazy about the announcement. That's funny. [Bloomberg]
In messages that should not shock anyone, Google logs your purchases by using tools in Gmail to store document information. The Assistant shortcuts can not be ignored here, though the fact that she goes back years – long before Assistant – is an interesting consideration. Pair that with the fact that these data are difficult to delete and some users are uncomfortable with the practice. The good news is that Google does not use this data to sell your ads. Here you can look at your purchases. [CNBC]