Huawei is in talks with Russia about installing Russian operating system (OS) Aurora on 360,000 of its tablets to conduct Russia’s population census next year, Reuters reports.
Huawei has been seeking alternative operating systems to Google’s Android OS after Washington put the world’s second-largest smartphone maker on a so-called Entity List that threatens to cut off its access to the essential U.S. components and technology.
“This is a pilot project. We see it as the first stage of launching the Russian OS on Huawei devices,” an unammed source told Reuters.
Russia is discussing the use of Aurora OS on 360,000 Huawei tablets by August 2020.
Huawei confirmed that it has been in talks with the Russian Ministry of Communications.
Last week, Huawei said the U.S. trade restrictions could cut its smartphone unit’s revenue by about $10 billion this year.
Huawei is also trying to develop an operating system of its own for smartphones, in case Google, under th U.S. pressure, exclude Huawei from the list of Android partners. Such an OS would be incompatible with existing and essential Android apps. But if it succeed, it could change the landscape in the global smartphone industry, supported by China and Russia.
The owner of Aurora, Russia’s state telecommunications operator, Rostelecom, is the sole contractor for buying tablets to hold the population census in Russia, which has a population of 147 million, next October.