Back in 2016, we had our first word that Huawei was working on a backup operating system to Android if in case it would have to jump off of Google’s platform. It didn’t want to do that if it wasn’t compelled to, but the option was there.

In the current day, the company is facing a massive legal attack from the United States government and a threat to its telecoms business. It has denied being a gateway to Beijing’s foreign data surveillance through its 5G telecom equipment — advanced, yet cheap to install — though intelligence agencies have put major doubt into this.

With the US suing Huawei for intellectual property theft and sanctions fraud and Huawei suing the US back for what it believes to be an unjust federal ban on its products, the company may end up having to jump on its backup OS project. For real.

In an interview with Die Welt, company chairman Richard Yu said that globalized economies are interdependent on each other to survive — that means Huawei still has a place within American business.

We can not sell our smartphones in the US. That’s a consequence. But this has no impact on our smartphone business in the rest of the world. Our market shares are growing fast. The Android software on our devices even comes from Google , an American company. We work with many US companies, including Qualcomm and Microsoft.

The executive has also confirmed that it has prepared its own operating system.

“Should it ever happen that we can no longer use these systems, we would be prepared,” he said. “That’s our plan B. But of course we prefer to work with the ecosystems of Google and Microsoft.”

Huawei makes laptops with Windows 10.

Progress on the project has been steady through 2018, though attitudes about the sidecar have slowly shifted in the wake of the national security doubts surrounding Huawei.

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