HarmonyOS gives China own ecosystem, has far-reaching importance to nation's software sector: Huawei's Wang Chenglu
Published: Dec 21, 2020 08:52 PM

Launch event of the HarmonyOS 2.0 for smartphones in Beijing on Wednesday. Photo: Shen Weiduo/GT

Huawei launched a new variety of the S-series Smart Screen and a vehicle-mounted smart screen carrying the updated Harmony operating system (OS) on Monday, further major steps toward building a complete ecosystem based on its own OS.

The new smart screen is among Huawei's first products to carry the updated OS called HarmonyOS 2.0. Huawei released the beta version of HarmonyOS 2.0 to developers in September, and it just launched a beta version for mobile phones on December 16.

Although HarmonyOS was only born in August last year in response to a supply ban imposed by the Trump administration, Huawei is now revealing more ambitious, detailed plans for the OS.

"As we are developing HarmonyOS, we not only want to make a competitive product in the market, we're hoping to slowly let the Chinese industry and academia realize that there's a possibility for China to have its own ecosystem for the first time," Wang Chenglu, president of Huawei's consumer software business, said during an exclusive interview with the Global Times.

"If the HarmonyOS system can be finally 'made,' I believe that China will be the most advanced nation in Internet of Things programming language innovation," Wang said, calling for the whole industry to work together to build the system.

An OS is the foundation of future digital development. "The current systems we use are all Windows, iOS, or Android, and the core intellectual property rights of these systems are not held by China, which is a very big hidden danger to the development of Chinese society," said the senior executive.

Wang noted that while many people hope that the HarmonyOS can replace Android and iOS, that's not its mission. Under the current ecosystem, it is difficult for the HarmonyOS to achieve such a goal.

"HarmonyOS is aimed at a future integrated operating system. Or to put it another way, it is not only being developed for mobile phones, it has a greater 'ambition'," Wang said.

Mobile phones are still extremely important in the HarmonyOS ecosystem, because it has the most comprehensive capabilities and the most powerful performance, Wang said. Not to mention the feature of multi-device linkage, only on the mobile phones, meaning that its overall performance and fluency can already surpass iOS. 

The difference is that smartphones are no longer the only core device in the HarmonyOS ecosystem. For instance, at home, the core device could be a smart TV, Wang said.

Wang said previously that the HarmonyOS is "a key to opening the era of the Internet of Things," which is expected to bring "disruptive experiences" to consumers, noting that it can resolve the "pain point" in the nation's internet development, facilitating smoother interaction among more devices - from smartphones and tablets to cars, home appliances, watches and even robots.

The HarmonyOS is proceeding step by step in accordance with the schedule, and the release of the beta version of Huawei HarmonyOS 2.0 for smartphone developers means that the official version isn't far off, Wang added.