While a lot of the news surrounding the trade wars between the US and China has settled down and become overshadowed by the ongoing Covid-19 (Coronavirus) fears, there are still a lot of questions remaining in what will become of many of these trade restrictions, especially those levelled against tech giant Huawei who has been at the centre of much of the debate and arguably the biggest victim of it all, considering it is no longer allowed to use some of the software from US tech companies.
And while this might not affect its core operating system Android, as this falls under an open-source license, it will affect all the other Google integration apps that come along with it as Google is no longer allowed to work with the company and open up their numerous apps and Play Store to the device manufacturer and its millions of users.
Goggle has remained fairly complicit to governments demands and being relatively silent on the matter, but has recently published an official article which clarifies the ongoing confusion with Huawei a little further:
We have continued to receive a number of questions about new Huawei devices (e.g., new models launching now, or earlier models launched after May 16, 2019 but now becoming available in new regions of the world) and whether Google’s apps and services can be used on these devices. We wanted to provide clear guidance to those asking these important questions.
Our focus has been protecting the security of Google users on the millions of existing Huawei devices around the world. We have continued to work with Huawei, in compliance with government regulations, to provide security updates and updates to Google’s apps and services on existing devices, and we will continue to do so as long as it is permitted.
The article states that Huawei products released on or before May 16th, 2019 may continue to get those updates — for now. But anything that came later is considered “uncertified,” as Google has been unable to put those devices through its “rigorous” security checks or preload them with Google Play Protect software, which can detect when hardware has been compromised. Google has also issued a strong warning to customers with newer Huawei products: don’t try to sideload Gmail, YouTube, the Play Store, or other Google software onto those uncertified devices. Because the company can’t guarantee that they’re the real deal or free of malware.
Sideloaded Google apps will not work reliably because we do not allow these services to run on uncertified devices where security may be compromised. Sideloading Google’s apps also carries a high risk of installing an app that has been altered or tampered with in ways that can compromise user security.
While attempting to stay clear of any of the politics surrounding the security fears of Huawei and whether the company is actually guilty of being a threat to US national security, the article clearly outlines the effect it will have on both companies and how Goole will continue to support all older Huawei device, but take a strict measure with all newer devices.
Considering Huawei is one of the fastest grown tech brands in the world and made some of the best phones on the market, it will be interesting to see if users will eventually be drawn to the company’s other apps out of loyalty, or prefer to use the software form the big US tech companies and give up on what is, otherwise, excellent mobile devices.
Last Updated: February 24, 2020