02 September 2019
Huawei and Google were reportedly collaborating over a smart speaker development that got suspended due to the U.S. trade ban. The report is coming from The Independent citing anonymous sources familiar with the whole situation. The alleged smart speaker was supposed to be powered by Google Assistant and support voice commands like Google Home.
The sources claim that Huawei and Google spent at least a year developing the smart speaker. It was said to be closer to an official unveiling as it was planned for an IFA 2019 release in Berlin. Huawei had plans to sell it in global markets as well as in the United States through online shopping channels.
Everything was going as per the plan until May 2019 when the Trump administration included Huawei in the "entity list". This meant that all U.S. companies were prohibited from indulging in any kind of trade with the Chinese-based tech giant. As a result, Google and all other partners involved with the project pulled away. This resulted in the smart speaker development getting suspended which is now expected to stay the same way.
The report does seem believable considering Google has been working with Huawei for quite a long time including Nexus-line smartphones. Additionally, it is also known to team up with third-party device makers to put Google Assistant in their respective offerings. While we have currently heard only about a suspended smart speaker, it would not be surprising if come across more such reports talking about different products that might have been canceled.