Chinese smartphone giant Huawei is preparing to launch its own operating system for its smartphones in light of an ongoing U.S. ban. The company is reportedly working on trademarking its proprietary OS in several countries, in an attempt to keep selling its devices to as many consumers as possible sans its dependency on the Android OS.

According to a patent in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Global Brand Database (as spotted by GSM Arena), Huawei has filed requests to trademark its new “Hongmeng” OS in several countries that include Australia, Canada, Cambodia, the European Union, Indonesia, India, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand.

Although Hongmeng OS, or Ark OS, is expected to debut on the Mate 30 series when it launches later this year on October, it is expected to become a complete replacement to Android and will run on phones, tablets, computers, TVs and even cars, Android Central noted.

Hongmeng is expected to provide support for Android apps, which indicates that it could be based on Android’s source code. But despite its support for Android apps, it cannot use Google’s Play Store and must use a third-party app like Huawei’s own App Gallery to download apps. Furthermore, it’s still unclear if it will be able to provide support for all current and future Android apps.

The Huawei Technologies Co. logo is displayed at the Huawei headquarters on March 29, 2019, in Shenzhen, China. Photo by Billy H.C. Kwok/Getty Images


Hongmeng, created by a team of specialists who studied Android and iOS, wasn’t born yesterday. The South China Morning Post reported that it took years -- starting in 2012.

SCMP, citing anonymous sources knowledgeable about the matter, reported that Huawei’s top executives met in 2012 to discuss how the company will be able to develop its own OS so that it won’t have to depend on Android. This concern was fueled by the fact that the Chinese smartphone giant could be affected should the U.S. decide to issue a ban on its products someday.

That group, led by none other than Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei, decided that Huawei should have its own proprietary OS that it can use if and when that ban ever happens. Fast-forward about seven years later, that ban is now in force and the Chinese giant is working to release its OS, although the company itself is not ready yet.

“Huawei is not fully prepared to launch the OS as the US [trade] ban came suddenly,” SCMP’s sources said.

Time will tell if Hongmeng, or Ark OS, will make it big in China and the territories listed above.