Ever since Huawei was put on the US’ blacklist, the future of its products has been put into question. The company has more or less bragged about its self-sufficiency in terms of hardware components but software, especially mobile, is a different story. The company has been reportedly looking for alternative operating systems to put on its devices and it seems it may have settled on Linux for some of its laptops being sold in China.
Unlike on mobile where there are admittedly quite a few options for Huawei to choose from, there’s really only one path forward for the company on the PC. If it will be barred from using Windows, it either has to develop its own OS, which would be a complete waste of resources, or use one of the hundreds of Linux distributions (or distros) available.
It seems to have chosen the latter, at least for the time being, choosing Deepin Linux as the particular flavor to put on a few select models of its MateBook laptops. Deepin is considered one of the most visually pleasing distros around but it also comes with its share of controversy.
Deepin Linux is developed primarily by a Chinese-based company, which feeds into suspicions about Huawei. That said, like many Linux distributions it does its work in the open so most users can check for any suspicious code. Deepin, however, does have a new cloud sync capability that might not cover the data that’s getting sent and stored on Deepin’s servers.
For now, the Linux-flavored laptops seem to be limited to the Chinese market and select models like MateBook X Pro, MateBook 13, and MateBook 14. Whether Huawei plans to make those variants more widely available will probably depend on the outcome of its battle with the US government.