Last week, the United States added Huawei to its "list of entities", which means that US companies can not deal with Huawei without the explicit approval of the government. A report from Reuters claims that Google is terminating most of the partnerships with Huawei and that the future phones of the company will not have access to the Play Store and other services.
Reuters says Google has stopped providing Huawei with hardware and software products, except those covered by open source licenses. In other words, although Huawei can still use Android itself, most proprietary services will be inaccessible, including Google Play Store, Gmail and probably anything else that requires the closed source service framework.
The exact details are still being discussed internally at Google, according to a source that spoke to Reuters. This decision could also prevent Huawei from updating its existing phones, as updates can not be recertified for Play Store access, putting the security of Huawei device owners at risk. While security updates are part of the AOSP and are still available for Huawei, the Android WebView system is updated through the Play Store, and Play Protect is an essential part of Android services from Google.
Oh man. We will see where the problem goes Google / Huawei, but prevent consumers to have the update of Android (more) in any way does not cause any joy.
I have spent a lot of time in my career dealing with, perhaps, and I fully recognize that the threat model of most people is not generally that of nations.
– Lesley Carhart (@ hacks4pancakes) May 19, 2019
If that were true, it would be a critical blow to Huawei's smartphone business. Although the company may theoretically associate with non-US companies to offer alternatives to Google's applications (or use the internal operating system it has been working on for a long time), lack of access to the Play Store would be a disadvantage major for any potential. buyers. Huawei already has clones of many popular services in its home country, including an application store, but most of these services are currently limited to China.
We contacted Huawei and Google, but no company has yet provided a statement. Since the publication of the initial report, Engadget and The Verge have confirmed the details independently.
A Google spokesperson provided us with the following (brief) statement:
"We comply with the order and examine the consequences."
"The order" refers to the recent addition of Huawei to the list of US Department of Commerce entities, which we previously covered.
Google has issued an updated statement:
"We respect the order and consider the consequences – for users of our services, Google Play and Google Play Protect security protections will continue to work on existing Huawei devices."
It's good that existing devices continue to have access to Google Play, but it's still not clear if updates to these devices will make them lose Play certification. The official Twitter account of Android has also issued a similar statement:
To answer Huawei users' questions about the measures taken to comply with the recent actions of the US government: We assure you that even if we comply with all the requirements of the US Government, services such as Google Play and the security of Google Play Protect will continue to work on your existing Huawei device.
– Android (@ Android) May 20, 2019
Huawei's official statement and the Honor sub-brand
In a statement to Reuters via email, Huawei promised to continue to support Huawei and Honor devices already in the hands of consumers with security updates before giving an encrypted response on subsequent events. His full statement reads as follows:
Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after-sales services to all Huawei and Honor existing smartphone and tablet products, including those already sold and in stock around the world.
We will continue to build a secure and sustainable software ecosystem to provide the best possible experience for all users in the world.
We know that the company is working on its own operating system, completely separate from the Google ecosystem and the Android Open Source project. It is therefore possible that these plans are put forward as a result of recent developments.
We also received a separate statement from the sub-brand Honor, which is due to unveil its latest smartphone series on Tuesday, May 21st in London. He replicates Huawei's comments to Reuters but adds the following paragraph at the beginning of the statement:
Huawei has been instrumental in the development and growth of Android worldwide. As a key global partner of Android, we worked closely with their open source platform to develop an ecosystem that benefits both users and the industry.
The launch event of the Honor 20 series will take place tomorrow as planned, with a clear business look as usual in our correspondence. We can expect few formal comments about this developing story at the event, but it will be interesting to see what the atmosphere looks like.
According to WinFuture, the Chinese government reacted cautiously to the news and said it was watching the situation closely.