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Huawei says Harmony operating system for smart devices, not phones

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.'s proprietary operating system HarmonyOS, also known as Hongmeng, is an internet of things operating system, not for phones, a spokesperson for the company told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The China-based telecom equipment provider said the Harmony operating system has been designed specifically for devices like televisions, smart speakers, smartwatches and headphones, where IoT technology can be used.

"We are progressing with the operating system for these applications, whatever happens to Google LLC or smartphones," a Huawei spokesperson said.

The Chinese company unveiled the system in August shortly after Google had briefly suspended Huawei's access to certain Android updates and features, except those available through open-source listing. At the time of the HarmonyOS announcement, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer business group, said Huawei smartphones will stay on the Android system for customer convenience.

Further restrictions on Huawei following the U.S. entity list, which blacklisted the Chinese telecommunications equipment provider citing perceived threats to national security in May, will not impact Huawei's use of the Android system as it is open-sourced and therefore outside the scope of the entity list, according to Huawei's spokesperson.

"We can expand [the HarmonyOS] to smartphones if needed, but that is not our preferred strategy for smartphones," the spokesperson said.

Huawei reportedly plans to expand HarmonyOS to more products domestically and abroad, but there are no plans to roll out the OS to tablets and computers.