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Huawei assures continued security support for Android smartphones

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A 3-D printed Android logo is seen in front of a displayed Huawei logo in this illustration picture, May 20. — REUTERS

By Denise A. Valdez, Reporter

HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES Co., Ltd. on Monday said it will continue to provide security updates and services for its smartphones and tablets, after Alphabet, Inc.’s Google said it would restrict the Chinese technology giant from updates to the Android operating system.

“Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products, covering those that have been sold and that are still in stock globally,” the company said in a statement.

“We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally,” Huawei said, noting it has “made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world.”

PLDT, Inc. and wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. said they are working with Huawei to address concerns on firmware and software updates on devices purchased through the two companies.

“In light of the recent trade ban of the United States government on Huawei products, PLDT and Smart wish to assure its customers who have availed of Huawei handsets and devices via its official channels that said products will continue to function normally on the PLDT-Smart network,” the companies said in a statement.




Globe Telecommunications, Inc. said in a separate statement that it has gained assurance from Huawei that it will “continue to provide security updates and after sales services to its device users using the Globe network.”

“We wish to assure our customers that the current situation at Huawei will not impact its network services,” Globe said.

Reuters reported that Google is withdrawing Huawei’s license to use its Android operating system. This means that Google services relating to the transfer of hardware, software and technical services will no longer be available to Huawei devices, except those available through Android’s open source license.

It also means future Huawei devices that are powered by Android will lose access to Google applications such as Google Play Store, Gmail and YouTube.

However, existing Huawei devices will not lose access to Google, as Reuters reported Google Play and the security protections it provides will still be available on existing Huawei phones.

On its website, Smart is currently offering 13 Huawei phones — Huawei P30, P30 Lite, P30 Pro, Mate 10, Mate 10 Pro, Mate 20, Mate 20 Pro, Nova 3i, P20, P20 Pro, Y6, Y6 Pro and Y7 Pro.

For Globe, the company offers nine Huawei phones, namely: Huawei P30, P30 Pro, P30 Lite, Nova 3i, Y6 Pro 2019, Mate 20 Pro, Nova 3, Y3 2018 and Y7 Pro 2019.

Google’s decision to sever ties with Huawei came after the United States government included the Chinese tech firm in its trade blacklist last week.

Aside from selling Huawei phones, both PLDT-Smart and Globe have deals with Huawei for the rollout of their fifth generation (5G) network this year.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls.