After Google cut Huawei off its Android operating system, the Chinese telecom giant is seeking alternatives to keep its smartphones working. A viable option has reportedly been found in Russia.
Last month, Google and a number of US tech companies were prohibited from dealing with China’s telecommunication major Huawei and other Chinese corporations. The direct order by US President Donald Trump bans American firms from supplying Huawei with spare parts or technology solutions. The step was reportedly implemented amid high security concerns after Washington accused Chinese tech companies of spying on behalf of Beijing.
The Chinese corporation is negotiating a replacement for Android with the Aurora operating system, currently being developed by Moscow-based firm Russian Mobile Platform, Russian news outlet the Bell reports, citing an official familiar with the issue.
Huawei Chairman Guo Ping reportedly discussed the possible deal with the Russian minister of digital development and communications, Konstantin Noskov, ahead of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
“China is already testing devices with the Aurora pre-installed,” the official said.
Moreover, the subject was addressed during an official meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with Chinese leader Xi Jinping the day before the business event. The two presidents reportedly discussed both an opportunity of installing the Aurora operating system on Huawei smartphones and localization of some of Huawei’s production facilities in Russia.
Aurora is a mobile operating system that is being developed on the basis of Sailfish OS, designed by Finnish technology company Jolla. In 2014, Russian entrepreneur Grigory Berezkin became a co-owner of Jolla. Since 2016, the Open Mobile Platform company, associated with the businessman, has been developing a Russian version of the system. Last year, a 75-percent share in the Open Mobile Platform was purchased by Russia’s state telecommunications company, Rostelecom.