I suspect we’ll be hearing a lot about sidelined Huawei projects in the coming weeks and months. Add this one to the list: The Chinese hardware giant was reportedly teaming with Google on a smart speaker before all hell broke loose with the Trump administration ban.
In fact, the device was supposed to make its debut at IFA in September, but, well, you know the rest of that story. The report comes courtesy of The Information, which, in turn, comes from a Huawei employee who understandably spoke under the condition of anonymity.
The story certainly checks out from a partnership perspective. The two have worked together in the past, and Google’s made a point of partnering with third-party hardware makers to get its smart assistant into more homes. Back in May, China overtook the U.S. in smart speaker market share. Fellow Chinese hardware maker Lenovo, meanwhile, has been a frequent partner, including the recently released Smart Clock display.
After years of accusations and hand-wringing, Huawei was added to the U.S. trade blacklist, putting the brakes on the company’s ability to do business with the likes of Google. That includes Android (though a temporary reprieve was put in place), along with likely a number of other unreleased/unannounced projects.
Huawei has reportedly been working on its own alternative to Android and the Google Play store, though at present, the ban could have a potentially devastating impact on its bottom line.
Neither Huawei nor Google have commented on the report.