According to recent reports, Google has halted certifying the Android mobile phones of Russian firm BQ, compelling it to begin tests for implementing Huawei’s HarmonyOS instead.
Vladimir Buzanov, general manager of BQ, said that the company received a notice from Google stating that US law now prohibits the provision of certain services to Russia, including exports, re-exports, and the provision of US-origin software to Russian entities. According to reports, BQ is already testing the HarmonyOS operating system developed by Chinese technology giant Huawei, and new smartphones with this system may be released in the second half of 2022.
Regarding such reports, Huawei responded to the Securities Times: “As of the end of 2021, 220 million Huawei devices have been equipped with HarmonyOS. We are very grateful for everyone’s attention and expectations for HarmonyOS, but there are currently no plans to launch HarmonyOS-equipped mobile phones overseas.”
Founded in 2003, BQ mainly produces mobile devices, and its products are generally low-budget. The company sold nearly 1 million devices in its first year, and its sales have reportedly increased by at least 500,000 units every year since. According to Counter Point Analytics’ rating, in 2018, BQ accounted for 7 percent of the Russian smartphone market.
Google issued a notice to developers earlier this month, saying it will be pausing Google Play’s billing system for users in Russia in the coming days. This means the users will not be able to purchase apps and games, make subscription payments or conduct any in-app purchases of digital goods using Google Play in Russia.