Snubbed by Google, Huawei is trying out a Russian operating system instead of Android

  • Huawei is working on a pilot with Russian government over population census.
  • For the purpose, it will use 3,60,000 tablets which run on the Russian operating system---Aurora.
  • Huawei already has its own homemade HarmonyOS that which it announced earlier this month.

Amidst growing tensions between the USA and China, troubled Huawei which is caught in the midst of the trade war could end up partnering with Russia. The smartphone maker kickstarted a pilot programme where it will use a Russian operating system to replace Android.

The pilot will conduct a population census of Russia next year. For this purpose, around 3,60,000 tablets will reportedly be used, and they will run on the home grown operating system---Aurora.

According to a Reuters report, Chinese tech giant Huawei has expressed its interest in providing the Russian administration with these tablets running on Aurora OS, replacing Android which runs on existing Huawei tablets.

Huawei launches HarmonyOS, yet another Android alternative

Huawei already has its own homemade HarmonyOS that which it announced earlier this month. HarmonyOS aims to replace Android, if and when the need arises.

Huawei however said stated that it has no plans to discontinue Android, but HarmonyOS will make it possible for them to do if necessary.


HarmonyOS has been developed independent of the form factor of the device – it can run on smartphones, tablets, laptops and other smart home appliances, making it a ubiquitous operating system.

As such, the Russian OS ‘pilot program’ seems more like a test for the Russian administration, with Huawei simply providing the hardware to run Aurora OS.

Rostelecom, Russia’s leading telecom provider, said in a reply to Reuters, “Various options for collaboration with Huawei are currently being considered with participation of the Ministry of Communications... We don’t disclose details yet, there is an agreement on confidentiality.”