+ Sunday August 18th, 2019
Huawei Logo

Last week, the US made a number of moves against Huawei, and we’re already starting to see the effect. Following the listing of Huawei on the Department of Commerce Entity List – which specifies those companies which are considered a risk to the US national security – companies in the US have begun implementing that decision.

Listing on the DOC Entity List prevents a listed company from buying from US suppliers. In the case of Huawei, and its smartphone business, this means that it loses access to buying from Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc, which is very much a US company.

Reuters cites a source close to the matter which claims that Google will “immediately” cease business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware and/or software products. This means that the Google Play Store, Play Services, and collaboration within the Android operating system itself will no longer be available to Huawei.

Alphabet Inc’s Google has suspended business with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware and software products except those covered by open source licenses… Huawei Technologies Co Ltd will immediately lose access to updates to the Android operating system, and the next version of its smartphones outside of China will also lose access to popular applications and services including the Google Play Store and Gmail app.

Huawei will continue to have access to the version of the Android operating system available through the open source license that is freely open to anyone who wishes to use it. But Google will stop providing any technical support and collaboration for Android and Google services to Huawei going forward, the source said.

From the looks of it, this won’t affect existing devices, at least not immediately; the Play Store and Google applications will continue to work on those devices, including the recently released Huawei P30 Pro.

Eventually, existing devices may be impacted, as they may lose access to updates to Android, including the update to Android Q coming soon. Huawei could theoretically update its code from the AOSP core, but there’s no guarantee that existing devices would retain compatibility with the Play Store going forward, as those proprietary libraries wouldn’t be available.

Future devices, though, won’t be so lucky. Specific details of the implementation of this move are still being thrashed out within Google. However, this move deny Huawei access to anything Android related except for AOSP code – which is publicly available, and free. Future Huawei devices, assuming they’re based on Android at all, wouldn’t have access to the Play Store, or any of Google’s own apps (which are, let’s face it, extraordinarily popular on Android).

The only thing we can say for sure, though, is that this move will have a devastating impact on Huawei’s consumer smartphone business. Android is what makes those smartphones, and an alternative OS would be too risky, too unknown and (likely) too poorly received to be considered a viable alternative. Even if Huawei did come up with a viable OS alternative, losing access to Google services and apps would almost certainly be a nail in the coffin.

We’ve approached Huawei for comment, but owing to the early hour, we don’t expect one yet. We will update this story when it comes.

Update 20/05 08:40am: The Verge reports that it has confirmed the suspension of Huawei’s licence to use Android and Google services effective immediately.

Source: Reuters.

Chris Rowland   Managing Editor

Chris Rowland

Chris has been at the forefront of smartphone reporting in Australia since smartphones were a thing, and has used mobile phones since they came with giant lead-acid batteries that were "transportable" and were carried in a shoulder bag.

Today, Chris publishes one of Australia's most popular technology websites, Ausdroid. His interests include mobile (of course), as well as connected technology and how it can make all our lives easier.

19
Join the Ausdroid Conversation

avatar
10 Comment threads
9 Thread replies
11 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
11 Comment authors
Jeni SkunkjamesDanMattDan Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Dan Murphy
Ausdroid Reader

Does the ban affect only new devices or will there be support for existing devices that are already activated?

Jeni Skunk
Ausdroid Reader

Reading the article, I think this is all that’s explained.
1. New released models of devices, no GApps, no Android patch updates from Google.
2. Existing in use devices, keeps existing GApps, no GApps updates, no Android patch updates from Google.
What’s missing from the available info are:
3. What happens to currently unsold stock of current models.
4. What happens to new manufactured stock of current models.

james
Guest
james

in another word any huawei phone releasing starting next year will have no Google related apps or services and also no google security update im assuming

Jeni Skunk
Ausdroid Reader

Not just new Huawei devices slated for release next year and beyond, but any new Huawei devices slated for release for the rest of this year as well.
Current in use Huawei devices, basically become EOL devices. No updates at all. On them, you don’t, yet, lose access to GApps, but I’d expect a GApps update which will lock out such existing devices, unless GApps is patched to latest, which existing in use Huawei devices won’t be.

james
Guest
james

this is bad really bad here i was looking forward to mate 30 next year looks like ill be switching back to samsung

Matthew McQuilty
Ausdroid Reader

The fallout of a global pissing contest. This basically means Huawei is a no-go outside of China for anyone considering a phone.

Mat
Guest
Mat

Would it be worth asking telcos if we can freely change to a different phone because of this news? Bought a P30 on a 24mth plan through Optus – would rather not lose any future updates to Android/Security/Maybe apps.

Dan
Guest
Dan

If Huawei advertised there would be certain updates and now they cannot provide them, then I would suggest you have a good case to make.

As Chris mentioned, probably worth waiting a little for more information though.

Dan
Guest
Dan

“the next version of its smartphones outside of China will also lose access to popular applications”

Why only outside of China? What about inside China? Can they still provide Play Store etc?

Adam
Ausdroid Reader

And so we all lose on the alter of US hegemony. No evidence against Huawai, just supposition and scare mongering. Meanwhile, CISCO’s routers actually did have a back door, but they are a US company so we all have to trust them. Sheesh.

Jeni Skunk
Ausdroid Reader

I’m wondering how long it will be, before ZTE will be added to this hit list considering what happened a bit over a year ago, along with Google currently allowing a lot of other no-name chinadroids access to GApps.

Mike Griffin
Guest
Mike Griffin

This has nothing to do with national security as the US claims, clearly it is an effort to cripple competition. I don’t imagine Huawei or indeed China will take this lying down.

Paul Moss
Ausdroid Reader

This is absurd.

Jamie S
Guest
Jamie S

Damn, that sucks. Especially when Huawei were making other OEMs drop their prices to complete. I do feel sorry for those Huawei device owners out there that may be affected too.

Adam
Ausdroid Reader

I wonder if we’ll see some huge discounts on P30 Pro handsets in another couple of months, as news of this filters out to the wider public and they stop buying Huawei?

Matthew McQuilty
Ausdroid Reader

Did you see the price of the P30 pro? Not sure this qualifies as dropping prices. Never-the-less a reduction in competition is not a good thing.

Check Also

ChromeOS update brings a better experience to users

We’re very lucky at Ausdroid to have opportunity to play with the latest and greatest …