Huawei working with Oppo, others on HongMengOS, also testing Sailfish OS fork Aurora OS

Russian Sailfish OS fork Aurora OS could be an Android alternative for Huawei. (Source: Jolla)
Russian Sailfish OS fork Aurora OS could be an Android alternative for Huawei. (Source: Jolla)
Huawei is pulling out all the stops to ensure that can continue to sell its smartphones. The latest indications are that the embattled Chinese technology giant is partnering with fellow Chinese smartphone makers to test its HongMeng OS while there are also suggestions it be exploring Russian Sailfish OS fork Aurora OS.

Huawei is facing severe headwinds in both arms of its business. Not only has it been locked out of numerous western countries as potential 5G telecommunications provider, its consumer electronics product line is also under severe threat thanks to a US government ban. It has had to shut down its MateBook production lines and has cancelled the launch of new models. However, it is apparently not giving up on its hugely successful smartphone business and is exploring a number of options.

We known for some time that Huawei has been working on its own proprietary operating system called HongMeng OS for the Chinese market and Oak OS for the international market. According to China's Global Times, a government mouthpiece, the company is partnering with fellow Chinese tech titans Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi and Tencent to widely test its in house operating system. The aim is to see these companies switch to the alternative operating system and help to smash Google's market dominance with Android -- and it could launch on the Mate 30 as soon as September -- at least in China.

In the latest development, according to Forbes, Huawei is also testing Russian Open Mobile Platform's Aurora OS, which is a fork of Jolla's Sailfish OS. Huawei's chairman Guo Ping is said to have discussed the possibility with Russia's minister of digital development and communications, Konstantin Noskov. Even Xi Jinping and Vladmir Putin are reported to have discussed the possibility even going as far as to consider the joint development of chips and software.

The combined might of China and Russia would certainly go a long way to overcoming both the immediate hurdles Huawei is facing as well as China and Russia's current reliance on US technology. While Huawei can probably produce one or two more generations of ARM-based chips, the Kirin 985 and Kirin 990, it will have to look for alternative options beyond that as things stand.

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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2019-06-13 (Update: 2019-06-13)
Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - News Editor
I have been tech-obsessed from the time my father introduced me to my first computer, an Apple ][. Since then, I have grown to enjoy exploring and experimenting with any computing platform that I can get my hands on – I am the definitive early adopter! I have always been interested in how we can use technology to shape and improve our lives, most recently using it to record, mix and master my debut record, Acuity – Nature | Nurture out now on Spotify.