Google cuts off Huawei phones from future Android updates

The move follows President Trump's executive order that effectively bans Huawei in the US. Chipmakers will reportedly stop selling to Huawei, too.

Natalie Weinstein Former Senior Editor / News
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Natalie Weinstein
2 min read

What would Huawei phones without Android be like?

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Google has suspended business with Huawei that isn't covered under open-source licensing, Reuters reported Sunday, following the Trump administration's decision to effectively ban the Chinese company in the US.

Huawei is losing Android operating system updates, a source close to the matter told Reuters, and Huawei's upcoming phones outside China will no longer get access to apps and services like Gmail and Google Play.  Google  also will no longer offer technical support to  Huawei , the source told Reuters.

"We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications. For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices," Google said in a statement emailed to CNET on Sunday night.

Chipmakers Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx and Broadcom are also responding to the Trump administration's ban, telling their employees they won't supply Huawei until further notice, Bloomberg reported Sunday, citing anonymous sources. Germany's Infineon ceased deliveries as well, according to Nikkei.

"We are aware of the denial order issued by the US Department of Commerce with respect to Huawei, and we are cooperating," a Xilinx spokesperson said via email, but didn't offer more details.

Last week, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that declares foreign adversary threats to communications networks, technology and services a national emergency. The order puts limits on foreign involvement in the nation's carrier networks. In a parallel move, the Commerce Department added Huawei to its trade blacklist.

Watch this: What is going on between Huawei and the US?

The core concern has been Huawei's coziness with the Chinese government and fears that its equipment could be used to spy on other countries and companies. Huawei has repeatedly denied that its products pose a security threat. 

The mobile giant and telecom equipment maker will still have access to the version of Android that's available via open-source licensing.  

Huawei noted Monday in an emailed statement that the company has "made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world."

"As one of Android's key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry," the company said. "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."

Huawei's immediate reaction last week to the executive order was an assertion that it will hurt the rollout of 5G in the US, according to Reuters, but Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei acknowledged Saturday that his company's growth  "may slow, but only slightly" following the US government's action.

Read: Samsung has most to gain from Google putting Huawei on ice

CNET's Sean Keane and Katie Collins contributed to this report.

First published May 19 at 2:38 p.m. PT. 
Update, May 20 at 2:28 a.m. PT: Adds more reactions to the executive order.
Update, May 20 at 4:45 a.m. PT: Adds statement from Huawei.