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article imageHuawei announces new smartphones without Google apps

By Ken Hanly     Sep 20, 2019 in Technology
Huawei has just announced its latest Mate 30 Pro handset but it cannot be shipped with Google apps and services preinstalled as Huawei is blacklisted by the US government so that US companies cannot do business with the company.
The US blacklist
A recent article describes the Entity List: "The US government added Huawei Technologies to a trade blacklist earlier this month, restricting the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker’s ability to buy hardware, software and services from American hi-tech suppliers. That US blacklist, officially called the Entity List, identifies organisations and individuals believed to be involved, or pose a significant risk of becoming involved, in activities contrary to America’s national security or foreign policy interests"
There are 143 Chinese entities on the list. However, this is far behind Russia that has 317 entities listed.
Negative effects of the US Entity List
A recent BBC article notes: "The Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro both lack YouTube, Google Maps and Gmail among other software. They also do not feature Google's Play Store, which is the normal way users outside China install third-party software on to Android 10 phones."
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer products division revealed at a press event in Germany this morning that Huawei has been forced to drop Google's Mobile Services (GMS) license for the all the Mate 30 series of devices. Yu explained: “We cannot use the Google Mobile Services core, we can use the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) core. Today that’s because of a US ban that these phones cannot preinstall the GMS core, it has forced us to use the HMS Core running the Huawei app gallery on the Mate 30 series phones.”
Huawei creating its own alternatives to Play Store apps
The Google Play Store is an essential part of Google Mobile Services licences. Outside of China it is the main way that customers obtain access to apps. It is rather difficult to get around this requirement so Huawei is attempting to build alternatives to the Google Play Store as well as its associated services. This will take some time and money. Huawei is spending $1 billion to produce its own Huawei Mobile Services. There are already 45,000 apps associated with Huawei Mobile Services but many thousands more need to be made available in Huawei's App Gallery. This is a huge task but the company has no other alternative.
Way around the restrictions are problematic
There are some faint hopes that the US ban could be reversed. Alternatively perhaps there are ways that Huawei can work around the restrictions. There are reports that Huawei could offer its own interface to allow access to some Google apps but it is not clear how many will be available or even how Huawei hopes to achieve this.
Meizu a Chinese manufacturer of smartphones, had apps that included a "Google Installer" app that could sideload key Google services and also the Play Store onto its handsets. However, Google has been cracking down on this and has been even experimenting with blocking non-certified devices from accessing its apps and services.
In markets such as Europe and others outside of China remains to be seen if customers will continue to purchase Huawei phones even though they lack key Google apps and services. However, the US ban will also serve to motivate Huawei and other Chines and Russian companies to replace US technology with their own. The US ban will also deprive many US companies of profitable markets in China.
More about Huawei, Google android, Smartphones
 
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