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Huawei is looking into a Russian-made Android alternative – report

Huawei may be looking to Russia for an Android alternative – in the wake of US sanctions. Rumours of the use of Aurora OS run counter to patents suggesting a Huawei-created Hongmeng OS will be the company’s Android alternative.

Huawei is looking into creating a mobile operating system based on Sailfish OS as its alternative to Android, a new report has claimed. The Sailfish OS fork is called Aurora OS and is Russian-made. Huawei is allegedly pursuing Aurora OS despite also developing its own in-house operating system – Hongmeng OS.

Related: Best Android phones

According to The Bell, the CEO of Huawei Guo Ping spoke to Russian minister of digital development, communication and mass media Konstantin Noskov, about using the Sailfish OS fork.

The discussions between Huawei and the Russian government apparently involved two stages: Huawei pre-installing Aurora OS on its phones and Huawei eventually producing some hardware in Russia.

Sailfish OS is a mobile operating system created in Finland and only has access to a select few Android apps – instead it uses its own pre-installed Sailfish applications. The mobile operating system has attracted fans for a focus on privacy and security. Sailfish OS was modified by a Russian developer to create Aurora OS.

Related: Best Android apps

The partnership begins to make more sense when you look at the business ties involved. Huawei and Russia co-own a digital services provider named Rostelcom. Involved with Rostelcom is a Russian businessman named Grigory Berezkin. Berezkin – in fact – owns the developer behind Aurora OS.

In light of Huawei’s progress in patenting its own Hongmeng OS, it’s unclear if both these Android alternative plans are being developed in tandem or if one will triumph over the other.

The US sanctions have continued to affect Huawei. Huawei is expecting a 40-60% drop in international smartphone shipments as a result of the ban on US companies doing business with the Chinese company.

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