HarmonyOS was created by Huawei after being banned by the United States from trading in from western companies. Initially, it is thought to be a “Plan B” by Huawei, still using Android as its fork. At first, it seems like HarmonyOS is just like EMUI in that it is a skin, but recently it had developed as an independent operating system.
There are reports saying that a variety of Chinese smartphone companies including Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi are interested in switching to HarmonyOS. The key reason for the switch is to provide Huawei broader expansion other than its own ecosystem. After all, Huawei is not Apple that can entirely sustain itself without help.
Another reason for the switch is that a leak from Weibo (in Chinese) stated that Mediatek and Qualcomm chipsets support HarmonyOS, which further interested Chinese OEMs. Android is an open-source platform, and it is predicted that HarmonyOS 2.0 will be built on AOSP.
There is also a leaked Xiaomi device running HarmonyOS, with “powered by Android” removed, strangely. This Xiaomi device ran HarmonyOS because HarmonyOS is still built on Android, and the transfer is similar to installing Custom ROM. With that being said, HarmonyOS can run on any compatible Android device if desired. Take note that this video is not a compelling evidence, and that it could just be a theme from MIUI or a customisable boot-up screen.
Huawei is still looking for more OEMs to use its OS, and stay away from Google’s Android. With OEMs interested, it will be time when other major manufacturers also start using HarmonyOS.