Security firm executive suggests Huawei open source its Android replacement Hongmeng OS

On June 26th at Nanjing Tech Week, Hongyi Zhou, co-founder and CEO of prominent Chinese security firm Qihu 360, publicly suggested Huawei make its Hongmeng OS open source, which would allow other companies to participate in its development.

In an edited video that received more than three million views, Zhou thinks the most significant challenge for a new OS is to build a competitive ecosystem surrounding it.

He then hypothesized that other Chinese tech companies, universities, and even institutions like the Chinese Academy of Science would likely help growing an operating system like Hongmeng if Huawei chooses to welcome them.

Zhou believes that the joint effort of the entire Chinese tech community and industries could pave the way for Hongmeng OS to not only thrive in China but also compete on the global stage.

Even though Huawei’s Hongmeng OS is a newcomer, it is reportedly compatible with Android apps, potentially softening the blow from losing the official license to Google’s Android OS. The company recently promised that many of its current smartphones, ranging from the P30 Pro to the Mate 10 Pro, would receive Android Q update but without providing a timeline.

Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei consumer business division, said the company’s in-house Android alternative should hit the market in Fall 2019 if everything pans out.

The US government placed Shenzhen-based telecommunication and smartphone giant in a tough spot by subjecting it to overwhelming trade restrictions. However, the latest report says a handful of US tech companies found ways to legally sidestep the ban and continue selling components to Huawei.