Huawei's proprietary operating system, called Ark OS and HongMeng, which used to be the Android alternative to the company's smartphones, was not an operating system for smartphones.
Catherine Chen, board member and senior vice president at Huawei, said this surprisingly unmistakably during a panel discussion in Brussels. She added that Huawei is currently planning to continue to fully rely on Google's Android mobile operating system. HongMeng was designed for industrial use only and was long before the current discussion and political development around an Android alternative for Huawei smartphones in development.
Hundreds of thousands instead of several million lines of code
While a mobile operating system has tens of millions of lines of code, HongMeng is much simpler and consists of only a few hundred thousand lines of code, making it very secure. As a result, Catherine Chen continues to offer very low latency compared to conventional smart phone operating systems. Due to this limitation and focus, however, the range of functions seems to be limited and strongly tailored to the intended purpose, which is why it does not seem to offer itself as an alternative to Android.
Clear contradiction to previous statements
The statements contradict previous announcements by Huawei executives, who had announced that HongMeng aka Ark OS would be used on mid-range smartphones in China later this year and in other regions next year as well. As late as March 2019, Huawei had confirmed the development of the then already speculated operating system for smartphones and PCs.
Sanctions of the US government partially repealed
The rumors and discussions surrounding its own mobile operating system were mainly due to the sanctions of the US government against Huawei, after US President Trump proclaimed the national emergency in telecommunications. As a result, Google discontinued all trade with Huawei, as did many other US companies. Now, the US government wants to allow companies to sell secure goods to Huawei. This could make an alternative to Android superfluous.