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No 'Mission Impossible' for Honor to Survive Without Google Mobile Services Access

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Chinese smartphone maker Honor, a sub-brand of Huawei, is confident about its survival despite no access to Google Mobile Services

Beijing: Chinese smartphone maker Honor, a sub-brand of Huawei, is confident about its survival despite no access to Google Mobile Services (GMS) as the company is fast developing its own Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), a top company executive told IANS here on Thursday.

Google Mobile Services (GMS) are the apps by Google that often come pre-installed on Android devices.

Honour is working on a pre-planned strategy to overcome the difficulties being faced owing to the ongoing US-China trade war and restrictions imposed on the giant.

The company has already started talent acquisition and it's not 'Mission Impossible' for us to stand in the global market without Google's support, said James Zou, President of Honor's Overseas Marketing and Sales.

"Google acquired Android around 10 years back for less than $20 million and several companies worked with it to build the entire Android ecosystem, including Huawei.

"We thought Android is open source so we worked with Google to create an open ecosystem. Now we are not allowed to use AOSP (Android Open Source Project) plus Google Mobile Services but we are working hard to expand Huawei Mobile Services (HMS)," Zou told IANS.

The idea behind HMS is the same as that of GMS -- to provide an experience that is consistent across devices and independent of the platform.

"We are in the process of migrating apps which are willing to move from GMS to HMS platform. It's not a difficult task as we have talented engineers who can perform the migration within 24 hours," Zou noted.

The HMS ecosystem witnessed monthly average users (MAUs) increasing from 420 million globally in July 2018 to 530 million by July this year.

Last week, the US Department of Commerce extended a temporary license loosening restrictions on business deals with Huawei for another 90 days and Microsoft was one of those US firms.

"It's good that Microsoft is ready and working with us. We had a Plan B to launch our laptops with open-source Linux. We are already selling Linux-based laptops in China and this could be a major reason why Microsoft joined hands with us for our latest MagicBook products," informed Zou.

Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei has also reiterated his warning to the US government that once the company's Harmony operating system (OS) becomes operational, it may affect companies like Google as there will be no turning back from there.

Huawei recently confirmed that the US sanctions were hurting it badly, especially the absence of Google's core Android software, Play Store and popular apps like Search and Maps on its devices.

In an interview given to CNN on Tuesday, Zhengfei said Washington will eventually help competitors gain if it continues to place restrictions on Huawei.

If Huawei can't work with US suppliers, "we will have to resort to alternatives. If those alternatives become mature, I think it'll become less likely to switch back to previous versions," the Huawei CEO was quoted as saying.

If Huawei is forced to "resort to alternatives" to Google, it will only harm US companies. "(It) is a critical moment for all of us, I hope the US government can consider what's best for American companies," Zhengfei added.

BY MD WAQUAR HAIDER

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