Huawei won’t get Android updates from Google after US trade blacklist – report


Late last week, the US government placed Huawei on a blacklist that banned it and a number of its subsidiaries from trading with US companies. While the impact on its hardware business was understood to be detrimental, its impact on software wasn’t really understood.

A new exclusive report by Reuters sheds some light on this. And it’s not good news for Huawei or its consumers.

On Sunday evening, the publication’s sources suggested that the Chinese tech giant will not receive the new version of Android — that’s Android Q — and future Huawei phones will not have access to “popular applications and services including the Google Play Store and Gmail app.”

This is effective “immediately”, Reuters adds in the report.

Why? Well, Google is an American company based in Mountain View, California.

For users, it’s now not clear whether future Huawei devices will use Android at all, or even come with Google Play Store installed by default. Notably, some elements of Android are open source, allowing any company to use it. But Google’s services — the services that underpin the operating system, including Google Drive, Play Music, Google Pay and Billing, and its Docs suite — are owned by the American tech giant.

Google and Huawei have yet to comment on the report, nor has the US government.

Notably, as Windows is also made by Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft, it’s likely that the company’s Matebook laptop series could also be affected. The Reuters report however did not comment on Huawei’s relationship with Microsoft though.

Either way, Huawei’s decision to pioneer its own operating system for smartphones now seems like a masterstroke.

Feature image: Huawei P8, by Memeburn

Andy Walker, former editor


Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.