Last year May (2019), The US Administration impose a ban on Huawei. Adding them to the blacklist prevented them from doing business with US companies include Alphabet. As a result, Huawei is stuck in a pickle since Android OS is on their smartphones.
Being the second-largest producer of smartphones, it is logical to think that they’re working on an alternative OS for their smart devices. One could also suspect that their universal OS should be multi-functional. It could have the ability to not only power their smartphones but other devices including portal devices, cars, robots etc. Their recent filings of the Hongmeng trademark in various countries around the world is one step towards that goal. To be specific, they applied for trademark rights at both the European Union Intellectual Property and South Korean Intellectual Property.
The Potential of Open Source
I’m not interested in the politics, nor the fact that Google labelled this move as a matter of National Security. What I’m fascinated by is the role of Open Source technology and how it can help them compete. The market has been dominated by two major players who are both US-based companies. I’m convinced that the inclusion of another player could help Open Source technology.
They have the capability of creating an OS from scratch, but why start from the ground, when there is an already proven technology. Improving on the existing technology stack would reduce the time it takes to ship their first official release. That will be the most likely route being taken. I’m further encouraged by the fact that they’ve made signification contributions to Open Source community. This option would not be in violation of current ban as they can fork the Android OS, then create their own version (excluding Google services). Which would put Google at a disadvantage as they won’t have access to Huawei platform.
The Power Of The Open Source Community
The Open Source community is driven by the morals of the community. They believe that high-quality software should be accessible to all irrespective of your race, geographic background or cultural belief system.
This community has been able to reject the politics and focus on the primary goals.
Take the Linux Kernel for example. Organisations, groups and individuals from all walks of life contribute to this project.
China has grown to be a super-power in the technology sector and its companies provides clear evidence of such. As they continue to innovate and use more Open Source technology, I believe current and future generation will benefit.
Once again, Open Source wins!
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