China’s Huawei is in the process of potentially launching its “Hongmeng” operating system (OS) to replace the US Android OS, an executive confirmed after it was reported that the company has applied to trademark the OS in various countries.
Data from a U.N. body showed that Huawei Technologies Co Ltd is aiming to trademark the OS in at least nine countries and Europe, in a sign it may be deploying a back-up plan in key markets as US sanctions threaten its business model.
President Donald Trump’s administration last month put Huawei on a blacklist that barred it from doing business with US tech companies such as Alphabet Inc, whose Android OS is used in Huawei’s phones.
Andrew Williamson, vice president of Huawei’s public affairs and communications, said Hongmeng was moving forward.
“Huawei is in the process of potentially launching a replacement,” Williamson said in an interview in Mexico City. “Presumably we’ll be trying to put trademarks.”
Huawei, the world’s biggest maker of telecoms network gear, has filed for a Hongmeng trademark in countries such as Cambodia, Canada, South Korea and New Zealand, data from the U.N. World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) shows. It also filed an application in Peru on May 27, according to the country’s anti-trust agency Indecopi.
Huawei has a back-up OS in case it is cut off from US-made software, Richard Yu, chief executive of the company’s consumer division, told German newspaper Die Welt in an interview earlier this year.
The company, also the world’s second-largest maker of smartphones, has not yet revealed details about its OS.
The applications to trademark the OS show that Huawei wants to use Hongmeng for gadgets ranging from smartphones and portable computers to robots and car televisions.
At home, Huawei applied for a Hongmeng trademark in August last year and received a nod last month, according to a filing on China’s intellectual property administration’s website.