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Huawei in talks to use Russia’s Aurora operating system for census

Chinese telecom giant Huawei has started negotiations with Moscow to install the Russian operating system (OS) Aurora on 360,000 tablets, sources told Reuters.

The firm is reportedly in talks with the Russian government to use the Aurora operating system, currently being developed by Moscow-based firm Russian Mobile Platform, on 360,000 tablets, possibly for a population census next year.

“This is a pilot project. We see it as the first stage of launching the Russian OS on Huawei devices,” said one source.

A spokeswoman for Huawei confirmed that Huawei is in talks with the Russian Ministry of Communications. She, however, did not provide any further details.

“Huawei is interested in the project. It showed samples of tablets that could be used,” the source said.

The owner of Aurora, Russia’s state telecommunications operator Rostelecom, is the sole contractor for buying tablets to hold the population census.

“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,” Rostelecom told Reuters.

Huawei, which plans to significantly increase its sales in Russia, has already contacted several Russian tech firms to create joint ventures and use their technologies. The corporation has intensified its presence in the Russian market after Washington barred US tech companies from dealing with Huawei.

In May, the world’s biggest telecom equipment supplier and second largest smartphone manufacturer was put on an “entity list,” as part of the trade war between Washington and Beijing. The Trump administration severely restricted American companies from trading with the Chinese tech firm.

Huawei said last week the US trade restrictions could cut its smartphone unit’s revenue by about $10 lion this year.