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Is Xiaomi preparing to free itself from Android?

Xiaomi has just been removed from the American blacklist, but the Chinese manufacturer already seems to be looking for alternatives to Google in the event of another hard blow.

Remember the last hours of Donald Trump’s tenure. A few days before the inauguration of Joe Biden, the outgoing president decided on a last series of measures in the spirit of the decree which still prevents Huawei from doing business with American companies, including Google. Thus, Trump had targeted several Chinese firms and placed them on the blacklist. Among them, we found in particular a name well known to fans of high-tech gadgets: Xiaomi.

If the presence on the American blacklist is not a sanction equivalent to that from which Huawei still suffers, it was still a big thorn in the side. As of November 11, American investors should have stopped funding the brand. Fortunately, Xiaomi fought and has just won its case with the Biden government: the brand is removed from the blacklist and can continue to chart its course internationally … but without Android ?

HarmonyOS rather than Android?

When Huawei lost its Android license, the brand stepped up its efforts to design an alternative to Google’s OS. This alternative is HarmonyOS, a proprietary operating system that could make its appearance on the future Huawei P50, at least in China, if we are to believe the latest rumors. Above all, this alternative operating system could even extend beyond Huawei devices and equip products from other Chinese brands, including those of Oppo, Vivo or even … Xiaomi.

The hypothesis had already been put on the table recently, but it is further reinforced by this video spotted on Reddit and in which we can see a smartphone of the brand – from the Redmi range – displaying an enigmatic « Powered by HarmonyOS » on the start screen.

The question is therefore legitimate: wouldn’t Xiaomi be testing alternatives to Android to reduce its dependence on Google and Android? Indeed, even if the brand has managed to withdraw from the American blacklist, this dark episode as well as the sanctions that still weigh on Huawei represent so many risks that still hover over its head. If the situation seems to be improving now with the arrival of Joe Biden at the White House, the trade war between the United States and China is still ongoing, and the dependence of Chinese brands on an American company like Google is a potential threat in the future.

Chinese companies therefore seem to be organizing themselves to face future problems with the United States, today with HarmonyOS, yesterday with the alliance « Peer-toPeer Transmission Alliance » in order to combine their forces to offer an AirDrop equivalent that can be interpreted between Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Meizu and Realme smartphones. When attacked, the Middle Empire counterattacks gently, but surely.

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