Customers shop Monday at a Huawei store in Beijing, China. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo
May 21 (UPI) -- After U.S. officials gave a 90-day reprieve to Huawei, Google said Tuesday it will suspend a plan to quit providing its Android operating system to the Chinese smartphone maker.
Google said Monday it would cut Huawei's access to the mobile operating system to comply with a U.S. order that bars American companies from doing business with firms deemed a risk to national security. Later Monday, the Commerce Department issued a three-month exemption.
Google followed suit, and is now giving the Chinese telecom giant, the world's second-largest smartphone maker, Android access until Aug. 19.
"Keeping phones up to date and secure is in everyone's best interests and this temporary license allows us to continue to provide software updates and security patches to existing models for the next 90 days," Google told Business Insider.
Huawei was put on an export blacklist last week, meaning it can't purchase goods made in the United States. Of the $70 billion Huawei spent buying components in 2018, about $11 billion went to U.S. companies -- including Qualcomm, Intel and Micron Technology. Nearly half of all sold Huawei smartphones were exported out of mainland China in the first quarter of this year.
Huawei and Chinese phone maker ZTE were each singled out last year by U.S. officials for posing a security risk. The U.S. military barred the phones from bases worldwide.
Google said the delay allows it to provide software updates and security patches to existing models for the next 90 days.
The Commerce Department said it gave the grace period to give U.S. companies time to adjust and prepare to cut out Huawei.
"The Temporary General License grants operators time to make other arrangements and the Department space to determine appropriate long-term measures for Americans and foreign telecommunications providers that currently rely on Huawei equipment for critical services," Ross said. "In short, this license will allow operations to continue for existing Huawei mobile phone users and rural broadband networks."
Business Insider reported that Google's move to cut off Android panicked Huawei, which immediately received inquiries from customers asking if they can return their Google-powered phones. Last year, the Chinese company said it would build its own operating system in case Android was removed in the future.