Huawei is one of the fastest-growing smartphone vendors on the planet and it would be catastrophic for the company if it were prevented from licensing Android for its devices. However, with the company being investigated for a sanctions violation in the United States that still remains a possibility. Huawei reportedly wants to have options on the table in case it’s banned from licensing Android which is why it’s now believed to be developing its own mobile operating system.

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The concerns stem from the recent ban enforced on ZTE, another Chinese company, by the U.S. Department of Commerce. ZTE was found to have bypassed U.S. sanctions on Iran and has now been banned from sourcing components from suppliers in the United States for seven years. There are concerns that this ban could also mean that Google will not be able to license Android to ZTE.

The South China Morning Post reports that Huawei has been working on an Android alternative on its own. While there’s no imminent threat to the company’s licensing deal with Google, it reportedly wants to have an alternative available if the rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China push things into that territory.

Huawei isn’t giving away any information about its reported OS right now. The company said in a statement that it has “no plans to release its own OS in the foreseeable future.” However, it’s something that would make sense for Huawei to do as it will enable the company to reduce its reliance on Google in the future.

It merits mentioning here, though, that Android is so far along now that it’s going to take a lot of time and effort for a nascent OS to merely catch up. Take Samsung’s Tizen for example, it has been around for a few years now but it’s still nowhere near Android in terms of functionality or developer support. So even if Huawei is developing its Android alternative, it’s not going to be easy going up against the real deal.

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