News roundup: US ban forces ZTE into trouble

A roundup of the week’s technology news including Alexa-powered homes, Napalm Death, and eerier robot phone calls.


ZTE downs tools in wake of US sanctions, while Huawei mulls homegrown OS

The NY Times is calling President Trump’s trade war with China ‘a new U.S. Cold War’. And the war may soon have its first casualty in ZTE. The Chinese telecoms giant has ‘ceased major operating activities’ in the wake of a ban which prevents access to US goods such as Qualcomm chips and Google’s Android operating system for the next seven years. The company says it is “actively communicating with the relevant U.S. government departments” to try and reverse or modify the ban.

Given that Huawei has been under similar fire from the US government, it should come as little surprise that the company is reportedly planning to create its own alternative to Android. According to the South China Morning Post, Huawei is developing its own smartphone OS to counter the prospect of a US ban preventing it using Android. SCMP says the unnamed OS has been in development since 2012 as a preparation for a ‘worst case scenario’ to insulate it from any US bans and would include tablet and desktop versions. It currently remains under wraps as it isn’t currently as feature-rich as Android and doesn’t have a developer ecosystem. An official statement said the company isn’t not planning to release its own OS in ‘the foreseeable future’.

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Dan Swinhoe

Dan is a journalist at CSO Online. Previously he was Senior Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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