Google cancels Huawei’s Android license following ban by US government

Google has suspended its support for services and products for China-based Huawei, the second largest smartphone brand in the world. The significant blow has come after Huawei was added to a US President Donald Trump’s blacklist of Chinese companies. Since Android is an open source project, future devices from Huawei will continue to run on it. However, Google services like the Play Store, Gmail, Chrome, YouTube, etc. will not be available on upcoming Huawei phones and tablets.

Huawei logo

The existing devices from Huawei and sub-brand Honor will continue to receive security and app updates through the Play Store. However, Android updates seem out of the question as of now. Additionally, future phones will lack support for Google services. In China, like other Chinese smartphone brands, Huawei phones do not come with Google mobile apps as they are banned by the Chinese government. Hence, Google’s decision will not affect Huawei’s smartphone business in China. However, selling phones with Google services and products can greatly disturb its smartphone business in the European markets.

In a statement to the press, Huawei said: “Huawei has made substantial contributions to the development and growth of Android around the world. As one of Android’s key global partners, we have worked closely with their open-source platform to develop an ecosystem that has benefitted both users and the industry. Huawei will continue to provide security updates and after sales services to all existing Huawei and Honor smartphone and tablet products covering those have been sold or still in stock globally. We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally.”

Huawei is known for heavily relying on US-made components since it reportedly purchases more than $11 billion worth of goods and services from the US each year. Now that the Chinese firm is listed in the trade blacklist, other US-based companies such as Qualcomm, Intel and Broadcom have also severed ties with it. The move will considerably impact the company’s target of becoming the world’s number smartphone brand in 2021.

In March, a Huawei executive had revealed that the company has already developed its own operating system for PC and mobile as a contingency place if it is stopped from using Android and Windows on its devices. Huawei is yet to release an official statement on Google’s decision of banning its services and products on Huawei devices.

Huawei and Honor smartphones mostly feature Kirin chipsets that are developed by its HiSilicon subsidiary. The Huawei Enjoy Max and Honor 8X Max smartphones from 2018 are the only Huawei devices powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chipset launched in the recent years. It appears that future phones from Huawei and Honor will continue to feature Kirin chipsets, at least until the US and China can come to an agreement.

Anvinraj Valiyathara

Anvin is a self-proclaimed geek who has been writing about smartphones for nearly 10 years. After using phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note, Sony Xperia Mini, Lumia 730, Lumia 950, Honor 7, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 and Honor 8 Pro to name a few, he is now a happy user of the POCO F1. In his free time, he participates in church activities and likes to travel.