HUAWEI IN DISCUSSIONS TO INSTALL ROSTELECOM’S AURORA OS ON ITS DEVICES: MEDIA

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Chinese tech giant Huawei is allegedly in discussions with Russia to implement the Russian Aurora operation system (OS) on its devices, the Bell reported on June 10th.

According to anonymous sources, Huawei may receive help from Rostelecom and Russian businessman Grigory Berezkin, who own the developer of the Russian mobile OS Aurora, created on the basis of the Finnish Sailfish.

Two anonymous sources who were aware of the situation claimed that prior to the St. Petersburg Forum, Huawei’s chief executive officer Guo Ping discussed the possible transition of Chinese smartphones to Sailfish with the minister of digital development and communications, Konstantin Noskov.

According to a separate unnamed source, the topic was raised at the meetings between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Two things were reportedly discussed:
  • The installation of the Aurora OS (the Russian version of the Finnish Sailfish) on various types of devices of the Chinese company. According to one of the sources, Huawei was already testing devices with Aurora installed on them;​
  • The second topic is the localization of production of some parts for Huawei’s devices in Russia. It reportedly comes down to a joint production of chips and software.The Bell contacted the press service of Rostelecom, which said that they had not heard about the negotiations, but were willing to work with all developers. Huawei declined to comment.Huawei lost access to updates to Google’s Android OS, after the US Commerce Department blacklisted the company on May 16th.

Companies included in this list are prohibited from purchasing products from US suppliers without permission from Washington. Later, Huawei received a temporary license from the Ministry of Trade, which will allow it to update the software of its gadgets and maintain existing networks until August 19th, 2019.

The US Treasury said that President Donald Trump could ease the restrictions imposed on the Chinese telecommunications giant if he was satisfied with the terms of the possible trade deal with Beijing.

There was also speculation that the Chinese company was preparing for the ban in advance. Back in the spring of 2018, it said that it was developing its own mobile operating system to replace Android. In March 2019, Huawei’s executive director, Richard Yu, said that Huawei’s own OS is ready, but the dates to roll it out vary – from autumn 2019 to the second quarter of 2020.

Separately, at the sidelines of the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Huawei signed a deal with Russian telecom company MTS to develop a 5G network in Russia over the next year.

The deal will see “the development of 5G technologies and the pilot launch of fifth-generation networks in 2019-2020”, MTS said in a statement.
 

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