Hey there, Last week, the United States added Huawei to its ‘Entity List’, meaning that US companies can’t do business with Huawei without clear and transparent government approval. A report from Reuters (Reuters is an international news organization) claims Google is ceasing most partnerships with Huawei, and future phones from the company won’t have access to the Play Store and other services of Google from now onwards.
Holders of current Huawei smartphones with Google apps, however, will continue to be able to use and download app updates provided by Google, a Google spokesperson said, confirming earlier reporting by Reuters. Reuters claims that Google has stopped providing Huawei with hardware and software products, except those covered by open source licenses.
In other words, while Huawei can still use Android itself, most proprietary services will be inaccessible — including the Google Play Store, Gmail, and presumably anything else that requires the closed-source Play Services Framework.
“We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” the Google spokesperson said.
“For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices,” the spokesperson said, without giving further details.
The exact details are still being discussed internally at Google, according to a source that spoke with Reuters. The move could also prevent Huawei from updating its existing phones, as the updates can’t be re-certified for Play Store access, risking the security of Huawei device owners.
We’ve reached out to Huawei and Google, but neither company has provided a statement yet. While security updates are part of AOSP and are still available to Huawei, Android’s system WebView is updated through the Play Store, and Play Protect is a core part of Google’s Android services.
If this ends up being true, it would be a critical blow to Huawei’s smartphone business. While the company could practically partner with non-American companies to provide alternatives to Google’s applications (or use the in-house operating system it has been working on for a while), the lack of Play Store access would be a major drawback to any potential buyers.
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