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Huawei’s Android replacement just got its name: Say hello to Hongmeng

Reports this week suggested Huawei may be prepared to launch its Android alternative within months, and now we’ve got a pretty good idea what it’ll be called.

Tying in with recent rumours, the under-fire Chinese company has trademarked the name “Hongmeng” with the Intellectual Property Administration in its home country, according to the Wall Street Journal. This is likely to be the Project Z or Plan B operating system previously spoken of by the firm.

Huawei has long been developing the so-called insurance policy as the threats against its business in the US and beyond have grown. Now it appears ready to pull the trigger with the access to full Android operating system under threat.

It’s currently unclear what the inspiration for the name is, but Hong Meng is a character in the Daoist text, Zhuanghai. It is translated in many ways, but often as “Mist of Chaos”, “Vital Principle”, and “Natural Energy”. All could be applied to the firm’s current predicament, but perhaps the latter is the most appropriate.

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The manufacturer’s world was turned upside down this week when Google revealed it would abide by the Trump Administration’s ban on dealing with Huawei. The restrictions are partially attributed to suspicions the firm may be using its mobile infrastructure to spy on behalf of the Chinese government. Those accusations have never been proven.

It’s more likely the company is being used as a pawn in the ongoing trade dispute between China and United States, which has seen tariffs placed on goods travelling in either direction.

As it stands, Huawei will be denied access to Google Play Services, which includes vital Google-made apps like the Play Store, Gmail, Calendar, Maps, Drive and the G Suite. Huawei would still be able to use the Android open source operating system, but its phones would be gutted of the tools many Android device owners consider indispensable.

In further reports on Friday, it emerged the company is seeking to, if necessary, replace the Google Play Store with an open source alternative called Aptiote, which currently has 900,000 apps available.

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