June 12, 2019
By Marco Aquino
LIMA (Reuters) – Chinese telecoms giant Huawei Technologies Co Ltd has asked Peruvian authorities to trademark its “Hongmeng” operating system, a sign it may be deploying a back-up plan in key markets in case U.S. sanctions hit its current business model.
Peru’s anti-trust agency Indecopi said Huawei filed the trademark request on May 27, days after the United States put Huawei on a blacklist that barred it from business with global tech companies such as Alphabet Inc, whose Android operating system is used in Huawei phones.
Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei’s consumer division, told German newspaper Die Welt in an interview earlier this year that the company has a back-up operating system in case it was cut off from U.S.-made software.
According to local newspaper Diario Correo, there are some 5.5 million users of Huawei cellphones in Peru, a country of 32 million people.
Anti-trust regulator Indecopi said it needed additional information from Huawei before it could register a trademark for Hongmeng. In an emailed statement, Indecopi did not provide details on the documents it said it had requested from Huawei, but said it had given the company up to nine months to respond.
Representatives for Huawei in Peru declined to provide immediate comment and the Chinese embassy in Lima did not respond to requests for comment.
(Reporting by Marco Aquino, writing by Mitra Taj, editing by Rosalba O’Brien)