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Huawei launches its own operating system on smartphones in challenge to Google Android

GUANGZHOU, China — Huawei on Wednesday launched its self-developed operating system across a slew of devices, including smartphones. The move comes as the Chinese tech giant looks to wean itself off its reliance on U.S. technology and could pit it against software from Apple and Google.

HarmonyOS launched in 2019 after the U.S. blacklisted Huawei, cutting it off from access to Google’s Android operating system. That move, along with further sanctions restricting Huawei’s access to critical semiconductors, crippled its smartphone business just months after it became the number one player in the world.

Huawei has been developing HarmonyOS since 2016 and bills it as an operating system that can work across many internet-connected devices from smartphones to wearables. The company claims it is easy for developers to create apps that can work across different products.

The focus on HarmonyOS working across devices is one way Huawei is trying to differentiate its operating system from Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS.


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