NEW YORK - Alphabet Inc’s Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday, in a blow to the Chinese technology company that the U.S. government has sought to blacklist around the world.
The move could hobble Huawei’s smartphone business outside China as the tech giant will immediately lose access to updates to Google’s Android operating system. The next version of its Android smartphones will also lose access to popular services including the Google Play Store and Gmail and YouTube apps.
“Huawei will only be able to use the public version of Android and will not be able to get access to proprietary apps and services from Google,” the source said.
The Trump administration on Thursday added Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to a trade blacklist, immediately enacting restrictions that will make it extremely difficult for the company to do business with U.S. counterparts.
On Friday the U.S. Commerce Department said it was considering scaling back restrictions on Huawei to “prevent the interruption of existing network operations and equipment.” It was not immediately clear on Sunday whether Huawei’s access to mobile software would be affected.
The extent to which Huawei will be hurt by the U.S. government’s blacklist is not yet known as its global supply chain assesses the impact. Chip experts have questioned Huawei’s ability to continue to operate without U.S. help.
Details of the specific services affected by the suspension were still being discussed internally at Google, according to the source. Huawei attorneys are also studying the impact of the blacklist, a Huawei spokesman said on Friday. Huawei was not immediately reachable for further comment. Representatives of the U.S. Commerce Department did not immediately have comment. (Reuters)