Huawei Android Ban Explained: Mate 30 with no Google Apps?! Will your phone still get updates?

by birtanpublished on October 1, 2020

huawei's ongoing difficulties with the
US government have blown up into a major
international news story with Google
pulling the Chinese companies Android OS
license with huge implications for the
future of huawei's phone business before
we actually get to what this means for
you and your wife own a very brief
history of the run-ins between America
and the company the US government
accuses Huawei of being in cahoots with
the Chinese Communist Party and thus
posing a national security risk claim
Huawei denies this is all wrapped up
under Donald Trump's presidency but US
concerns about Huawei and ZTE which is
also claimed to have ties to the Chinese
state date back at least to the Obama
years last year the US Congress
successfully pressured ATT and Verizon
to ditch plans to launch the Mait 10
phone scoring wall ways plans to launch
in the u.s. following this US government
employees were forbidden from using
phones from either Huawei or ZTE then
late last year the CFO of Y I was
detained to the behest of the US while
transiting through Canada the u.s.
claimed she was involved in supplying US
tech to Iran in violation of US
sanctions in recent months the US has
also pressured allies in Europe against
using Huawei's tech in their developing
5g networks which brings us to last week
when Huawei was added to the us's entity
list which restrict its ability to
export American technology again for the
aforementioned national security regions
citing alleged ties to the Chinese
government's individuals or companies on
the list need a permit from the u.s. to
export American goods including hardware
and software in terms of national
security the u.s. seems mainly more
concerned about Huawei's network
equipment nevertheless Huawei's
blacklisting also has a major impact on
its consumer business Intel and Qualcomm
processes and more importantly Google's
Android OS count as American exports and
so as of now Huawei needs a permit to
use that stuff and because it doesn't
have one yet companies like Google have
started pulling the plug in order to
comply with the law hence the big news
that most recently Google has suspended
its dealings with Huawei and revoked its
Android license that's a huge deal with
potentially fatal consequences for
huawei's phone business outside of China
important to note though this isn't
Google choosing to screw our way it
needs to revoke its license to comply
with US law according to Reuters who
first broke the story
Huawei will immediately lose access to
updates to Google's Android operating
system future versions of Huawei
smartphones that run on Android will
also lose access to popular services
including the Google Play Store and
Gmail and YouTube apps that means future
Huawei phones would likely be left with
the Google free version of Android used
on its phones in mainland China an
enormous disadvantage given the
dominance of Google services in the West
while we would no longer get access to
future versions of Android ahead of
release nor advanced access to Android
security patches both of which it enjoys
now for any Android updates at all it
need to wait until the code hits the
Android Open Source project the open
bare-bones version of Android without
the additional Google bits it also
presents problems for firmware updates
to existing devices Huawei devices sold
in the West have their software
certified by Google in order for Google
pay and DRM and other sensitive apps to
work properly this is part of something
called safety net and it's basically
Google's stamp of approval that the
firmware is trustworthy and legit if
yway can't work with Google in theory it
can't get certification for major
updates to current Android devices we're
not just talking about the upcoming
Android cue here but any changes to
sensitive parts of the firmware the
choice would be to leave all its devices
on their current firmware which would be
bad or break safety net by shipping
future Android security patches without
Google certification or perhaps while we
could leave most of the firmware as it
is and try and tipped her around any of
the changes that might break safety net
even then some things would be
impossible to change while keeping that
certification obviously all of those are
very bad options but when it comes time
for a new Huawei phone to launch the
option to be even more unpalatable
either skip a Western launch entirely or
ship it with some variation of the
Google free Android it currently uses in
China needless to say an Android phone
without Google is gonna be a very very
hard sell in places like Europe skip
ahead a year though and things get even
worse still while we would be at a
disadvantage compared to its Android
competitors since it wouldn't enjoy the
early access to Android our that'll be
afforded to the likes of Samsung LG and
others it would be virtually impossible
for Y way to keep pace with the
competition the US government knows this
of course which is why the most likely
outcome isn't any of what I've just said
but instead Huawei either being
taken off the entity list or given a
permit by the u.s. to work with Google
Microsoft Intel and other key partners
given the timings of this latest news
and the ongoing us-china trade war it's
quite likely the future of Huawei's
consumer business is being used as
leverage here if the US wants to
effectively kill huawei's phone business
outside of China all it needs to do is
not provide it with that permit to do
business with Google personally though I
think a compromise as part of an
eventual trade deal is much more likely
look at what happened with ZTE in 2018
that company was caught with his pants
down not once but twice was blacklisted
by the US but eventually removed after
negotiations allowing it to continue
doing business I also don't think it's
likely we'll see any other Chinese
companies like Oppo or oneplus target in
this way as some people on Twitter have
speculated remember Huawei's phone
business is just collateral damage here
the real target is the company's 5g
infrastructure ambitions still what
happens next is very unclear this
statement from the Android team today is
interesting in that it doesn't mention
security patches specifically but rather
malware protection provided through
Google Play services to all devices
regardless of the OS level or the
security patch level huawei zone
statement promises to continue providing
security updates for current devices but
it doesn't say what form those will take
nor how it'll solve the technical and
legal dilemmas we've talked about today
how this plays out we decided in the
weeks ahead is there a quick resolution
between Huawei and the u.s. perhaps with
significant strings attached or does
this thing drag out for months the key
time frame to watch out for will be
around the fall as Huawei prepares to
launch its new mate phones so bottom
line if you have a wild wave phone or
thinking of getting one first I couldn't
blame you if you waited to see how all
this plays out before parting with your
cash given all the uncertainty involved
that said Huawei is promising security
updates for current devices it's just
not clear when nor what format I'll take
obviously for Android OS updates beyond
P and Q all bets are off however I do
think a relatively speedy resolution to
this as part of a deal with the US
government is the more likely outcome as
opposed to Y way being a second-class
Android citizen in the long term still
this is a developing story so keep it
locked to android central.com for more
analysis and subscribe here on youtube
for our future coverage thanks for
watching and I'll see
you

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