Hacker News

48 Comments:
aneutron said 14 days ago:

I'm really excited about what Huawei will bring to the table, and what assurances it will make in terms of privacy.

China doesn't have a spotless track record in the matter, but neither does the US.

That's why I'm really excited to see where they will take this, the "more privacy than Android"-way, or the "We'll collect just as much". Because I think there's more to gain from going the former route.

Vinnl said 14 days ago:

Going the privacy route makes sense for e.g. Apple because it's a moat they can dig that Google can not follow. For the same reason that Google can't follow -reputation-, however, Huawei can't either. Too many of the people for whom privacy would be a selling point do not trust China or companies with ties to China.

They might be able to pull it off, but it's an uphill battle, so I wouldn't expect them to try.

Edit: OK, it's not exactly* the same reason as Google, as Google is practically unable to build privacy-preserving features without harming their primary revenue streams, whereas China might not force Huawei to not build privacy-protecting features. They do share a reputation problem though.

krageon said 14 days ago:

Going purely by target markets, I don't see how being privacy-focused would benefit them. The vocal minority that actually really cares about this is pretty small so it's not like that would net them any kind of real income.

richardwhiuk said 14 days ago:

I'd be very surprised if Huawei build a privacy focused OS.

A2017U1 said 14 days ago:

Xaiomi are basically the only global competitors for an android privacy phone against Pixels. What makes you think Huawei couldn't do it?

nacs said 13 days ago:

Because Huawei is based in China.

There's literally an article on the frontpage right now that talks about how WeChat (also based in China) is heavily censored, moderated, and how people have been arrested for things they said in "private" chats.

bildung said 14 days ago:

Why? In contrast to Google they are not in the advertising business.

nacs said 13 days ago:

They are however headquartered in China which has much more privacy-intrusive policies/demands.

fiblye said 14 days ago:

Chinese megacorps are in the funneling money and info to the CCP business.

Nux said 14 days ago:

Data is the new oil.

sdinsn said 13 days ago:

> what assurances it will make in terms of privacy

The Chinese government will ensure no privacy will actually exist.

fasthandle said 14 days ago:

Hongmeng?

'Hong' as in 'red'

and

'Meng' as in 'dream'

?

That's quite a name!

carlmr said 14 days ago:

I thought the same (would be perfect match actually), but it's 鸿蒙 (hong2meng2).

鸿 hong2 can mean wild goose or writing/correspondence

蒙 meng2/meng1 can mean a few things, to cover (2), to fool (1), stupid (2).

So maybe to cover all aspects of correspondence? I'm not sure if this sense of cover applies here though. That would at least make some sense. To fool would be wrong according to the indicated pinyin tones on the wikipedia page.

xfs said 14 days ago:

Its meaning is surprisingly well documented: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Meng.

Huawei has filed plenty of other trademarks using names from ancient Chinese texts.

hnnmzh said 14 days ago:

The wikipedia page is really bad. Just forget about it.

> "Ah," said Big Concealment, "you are too far gone! Up, up, stir yourself and be off!" Alok Ranjan was also involved as prime lead.

Where is this Alok Ranjan coming from??!!

Anyway, I don't know why Huawei used this name but I guess it refers to the beginning of the world from a primordial form, which an OS kind of is. Or maybe it refers to Daoist/Zhuangzi literatures on how the world should be governed, which also relates to an OS.

yorwba said 14 days ago:
hjk05 said 14 days ago:

So someone ser up scripts to post CV sounding tidbits completely random wiki pages in an effort to do some jobhunting SEO? That’s hilarious! Also Rok Aljan Was involved as prime lead.

chvid said 14 days ago:

Big Goose Dummy - perfect name for an os.

ackbar03 said 14 days ago:

A lot of companies do in China, makes for some cool names

You have

盘古 sort of originator of earth character

春秋 warring period in China

补天 rebuilding the skies

carlmr said 14 days ago:

Ah I was on a different Wikipedia page about the OS, that only mentioned the name.

fasthandle said 14 days ago:

Ah, thanks, quite a nice name, perhaps, thanks for your child comment to the Wikipedia article for some background.

Translated as..

> a metaphor for the "primordial world, primeval chaos" in Chinese creation myths.

> "Mists-of-Chaos", "Vast Obscurity", "Big Concealment", "Vital Principle", "Natural Energy" and "Big Goose Dummy"

I can't quite escape the pun, however. And puns are pretty prevalent in Chinese. Someone will have OKed it.

carlmr said 14 days ago:

>I can't quite escape the pun, however. And puns are pretty prevalent in Chinese. Someone will have OKed it.

The tones are at least slightly different 鸿蒙 2/2 and 红梦 2/4, but I also think they might have done it for that reason.

said 14 days ago:
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justsayinstuff said 14 days ago:

That's a good name to assuage fears /s

NotPaidToPost said 14 days ago:

Obviously not.

As others have pointed out, it comes from Chinese/Taoist mythology and refers to a character. It's like if we chose a name from a character in Roman or Greek mythology.

As many such Chinese names it is not that easy to translate, and like in Roman/Greek mythology the idea is linked to what the character did.

dmortin said 14 days ago:

Imagine having to support iOS, Android and Hongmeng.

bufferoverflow said 14 days ago:

I suspect HongMeng will be very close to Android.

carlmr said 14 days ago:

Is that much worse than supporting Mac OS, Linux and Windows on the desktop?

dmortin said 14 days ago:

Cross platform SDKs are more mature on the desktop than on mobile, so doing the same on the desktop should be easier.

carlmr said 14 days ago:

The more mobile OSs we get the more likely we will develop better cross platform support.

Which is also good to break the iOS/Android duopoly.

simongr3dal said 14 days ago:

Microsoft already tried to do that with their Windows Phone operating systems, and they weren't particularly successful even with some pretty big efforts on their part.

They went as far as making it possible to run android binaries on Windows Phone (Project Astoria). They also made Visual Studio able to compile Objective-C code so it could make iOS codebases into apps for Windows Phone (Windows Bridge for iOS)

tty2300 said 14 days ago:

Some programs even support BSD as well

tty2300 said 14 days ago:

I imagine the tooling will just get better to the point where its like electron, you don't even think about what OS the user is running.

SmellyGeekBoy said 14 days ago:

I look forward to a future where we can enjoy Electron-like efficiency on our battery and storage constrained devices.

krageon said 14 days ago:

I must assume you are sarcastic, unless perhaps you are talking about efficiency on an a different scale than the one I'm thinking of (which would be battery life and storage). Can you elaborate?

sdinsn said 13 days ago:

There is an easy solution: don't support Hongmeng. It's not like your IP will be respected anyway.

hu3 said 14 days ago:

I wonder if this is being done just to gain leverage in negotiations with Google and U.S.

chvid said 14 days ago:

It is a massive project that has been years in the making.

onion2k said 14 days ago:

That just shows they had the foresight to start a long time ago. It could be the case that they never intended to actually use their own OS but thought they might need one as leverage in the future, and that's the situation they're in now.

carlmr said 14 days ago:

They did state that a year ago.

petre said 14 days ago:

Good luck to them. Microsoft, Samsung, Blackberry tried it and failed. Blackberry even had their own OS before Android took over.

carlmr said 14 days ago:

Blackberry was quite successful with their own OS for a long time. It's mostly because people picked bigger screens over the full QWERTY keyboard (which I still kind of miss) of Blackberry.

pjmlp said 14 days ago:

It is hard to fight against free beer.

chvid said 14 days ago:
chvid said 14 days ago:

From the article - it sounds similar to sailfish or bb10:

The Huawei OS is based on a microkernel that is light and can react quickly to adjustments and batches, according to the people with knowledge. Huawei engineers on the OS project have also studied Android and Apple’s iOS closely to learn from them.

One of the biggest technical challenges for the Huawei OS under development has been its compatibility with Android, one of the sources said. Compatibility would enable a Huawei phone with its own OS to download and run Android apps seamlessly. Having a successful compatibility layer with Android would also mean that app developers around the world would not need to develop extra code for Huawei’s OS.

LoSboccacc said 14 days ago:

it tells a lot that most major manufactures have a post-android backup plan, including Google

aceon48 said 14 days ago:

I hope US companies shamelessly copy Huawei's tech and ignore the trademark

said 14 days ago:
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