Op-Ed: Huawei unveils its new operating system in a smart TV

Posted Aug 12, 2019 by Ken Hanly
The Chinese telecom giant Huawei that has been entangled in the trade war between China and the US unveiled its new HarmonyOS that will be used in a new smart television the first device to use its own new system.
Telecoms giant Huawei said it was reviewing its ties with FedEx after the delivery firm failed to ge...
Telecoms giant Huawei said it was reviewing its ties with FedEx after the delivery firm failed to get express packages to the right addresses
The mid-range brand TV will be available this week in China
The smart TV will be available as of Thursday in China. The smart TV is part of the mid-range Honor line, according to line chief executive George Zhao.
The new HarmonyOS was revealed last Friday. A recent article describes it as an alternative operating system for phones and other smart devices, and a response to US sanctions which could prevent Huawei from using Android technology.
The new system may not be readily usable for smart phones
A story from Xinhuanet claims that the new operating system, which the company calls Hongmeng in China, is not designed for smart phones and that Huawei intends to continue using the Android operating system: "Huawei board member and senior Vice President Catherine Chen said here on Thursday that the company's Hongmeng operating system is not for smartphones and the company intends to continue to use Google's Android operating system for its smartphones."
The new system has constantly been described in the media as being a possible replacement for the Android system. Chen said the new system was for industrial use and had been in production long before questions of finding an alternative for Android. She noted that operating systems for smartphones contain millions of codes whereas Hongmeng has only hundreds of thousands. The company claims this makes the new OS much more secure. The Hongmeng system also has extreme low latency compared with a smartphone operating system Chen added.
The ban on Huawei
Although US companies are theoretically banned from selling technology products such as Android to Huawei, a three-month exemption was provided. The exemption ends soon, and unless it is extended, the exports will have to stop. Huawei may be stockpiling components, but eventually it may need to replace the android system. Given that the system can be used to power a smart TV perhaps it can be modified to work in other devices such as smartphones.
The ban will hurt not only Huawei, but companies that make substantial profits from supplying Chinese companies such as Huawei with significant parts. The US may decide that globalization of their multi-nationals is more important than the US-China trade dispute. However, the Trump administration tends to use tariffs and bans as levers to try and get the deals that it wants. Instead it may create lose-lose situations.
Huawei regarded as a security risk by the US
The US may consider Huawei most important as a security risk. If the security risk is actually considered that important, the US may not consider lifting the ban as part of a trade agreement. However, it could allow Huawei to continue to use US parts but not allow US agencies to use Huawei equipment including their 5G technology. Huawei denies that it has any connections with Chinese intelligence. The company is owned by its workers according to the company, but critics deny it. Wikipedia notes in part: "Huawei maintains it is an employee-owned company. Ren Zhengfei retains approximately 1 percent of the shares of Huawei's holding company, Huawei Investment & Holding, with the remainder of the shares held by a trade union committee (not a trade union per se, and the internal governance procedures of this committee, its members, its leaders or how they are selected all remain unknown).