Huawei Responds to Android Ban

Posted on May 20, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Google, Android with 36 Comments

Google, the makers of Android, suspended business with phone maker Huawei last night. Reports emerged online stating that Google will no longer work with Huawei, banning it from using its own version of Android, and the benefits that come with — including the Google Play Store. Huawei will be limited to using the open-source Android, and won’t have access to the Google Play Store as a result.

And that’s a major concern for Huawei, of course. The company’s business depends on Android and after its conflicts with the United States government, things have not been going too well for the phone maker. The latest development is just another punch in the gut.

Huawei is now responding to Google’s ban, reassuring customers on its plans. In a statement sent to the press, Huawei confirmed that the company will continue to provide security updates and customer service for all existing Huawei and Honor devices. Here’s the company’s statement:

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.

And that’s what Google said, too:

But the future of Huawei remains uncertain. It’s not clear whether the company is going to ship its future devices with the open-source version of Android and without Google Play, or whether it will switch to its own solutions (if there’s one). As TechCrunch notes, the company is literally launching the new Honor 20 phone tomorrow in London, so the timing here isn’t really great.

Other U.S. companies like Intel and Qualcomm have also stopped supplying chips to Huawei for the time being.

It seems like both Huawei and Google aren’t exactly certain about what’s going to happen going forward. The plan forward is a big uncertainty for both the companies and Huawei being one of the biggest phone makers in the world, that’s a huge problem for the entire market.

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Comments (36)

36 responses to “Huawei Responds to Android Ban”

  1. tonchek

    I was just about to order a Huawei phone for my son. Now I wait...

  2. rmlounsbury

    Seems to me that this continued trade war is going to do nothing more than undermine US tech companies and their ability to be a global power. If I was a maker of Android phones outside of the United States this would have to give them pause in considering the viability of Android as a platform going forward.

    Granted there are no great alternatives out there today given that the only two viable app stores are Google and Apple for mobile platforms. But for manufacturers in China they may not need that to build an mobile OS in country and have it thrive and in turn shunt off Google and possibly Apple from what is probably the largest mobile market in the world.

    This will be a very interesting time in the tech space.

  3. Bats

    I don't know about the entire US market. Huawei is not popular in the United States at all.

  4. melinau

    Play Store has always been Googledroid's USP. Is it possible for App-makers to put their wares on an alternative AOSP-based Store? I can only see anti-trust grief for Google worldwide if it tries to prevent suppliers from placing Android Apps on a different Store should that be necessary. There are a whole bunch of Chinese phone makers who can all see the writing on this wall, and surely a collective alternative to Play Store, available in Europe, Asia Pacific & Africa for non-Google Android (AOSP) products is not unimaginable.

    I have no idea if this is possible. Huawei has access to substantial resources, financial & technical to try and create something of this type. There are gargantuan potential Markets in Asia, Middle-East, Europe & Africa, where Anglo US linguistic & Tech dominance is increasingly resented by governments & people. By locking Huawei (and possibly other Chinese suppliers, who knows?) out of Google; USA plc might well be locking itself out of access to lots of very useful data (aka "spying") currently available to NSA et al via Google's currently near-ubiquitous Services.

    Despite Trump's Trade War China is economically strong, technically advanced, and increasingly influential in developing nations with large populations and increasing wealth. Google needs these markets so it can grow.

    From a technology perspective Huawei makes excellent SoCs already, and I can't see even Trump trying to prevent ARM from supplying China with its IP. I suspect this story might have a few more twists & turns than the experts from the media have yet considered.

  5. Vladimir Carli

    I have been reading a bit on EU forums about this and people are very upset about google and trump, and committed to their Huawei devices. Maybe Huawei will not loose so much market share after all...

  6. Detective Polarphant

    It’s ironic that one of the US government’s main concerns about Huawei is that it’s controlled by the Chinese Government, and their method of retaliation is to ban all US Tech Companies from selling anything to Huawei – proving that all US tech companies are controlled by the US Government.

  7. jim_may

    It's all very simple, bye bye Huawei.

  8. dontbe evil

    I'll be glad to buy a degoogled huawei phone out of the box

  9. spacecamel

    The greatest graphic in Thurrott history!

  10. Piyer

    If the dispute does not get resolved, this could well be a turning point in tech history.

    Whatever the reasons for the ban maybe, till now Huawei is not convicted in court. US has not been able to convince its own allies not to use Huawei equipment without twisting their arms. A network infrastructure consists of multiple components and proper design can mitigate any back door activity. This is exactly the thinking of EU and other countries. Some of the govt exploits (may I say which country..?), were discovered by third party software and other reveals.

    If history has any lessons, a turning point will come, when the majority reacts when gets dictated by the whims and fancies of one.

    Yes, China has abused the innovation of companies which has followed the rule of law and should be taken to task.

    But again, if I compare it, maybe we all owe it to naive, but brilliant minds at PARC Labs from whom, ideas and technology were stolen which are foundational to what we all use!

    • lvthunder

      In reply to Piyer:

      Huawei is not the target of this order. So there doesn't need to be any court conviction. It is China that is the target. Huawei needs to convince the Chinese government to get these negotiations wrapped up and signed.

      • skane2600

        In reply to lvthunder:

        Since the Chinese government doesn't produce goods for sale, the order is obviously targeted at Chinese companies.

        • jgraebner

          In reply to skane2600:

          China is a communist country, so there really isn't a clear distinction between Chinese companies and the Chinese government.

          • skane2600

            In reply to jgraebner:

            One could now ask the same question in the US since Google and others are now following the President's orders. But in terms of trade both the US executive branch and the Chinese government don't manufacture and ship products, only companies do. So, as I said, the trade ban is targeted at companies.

      • SvenJ

        In reply to lvthunder: No, Huawei is in fact the target of this order. What happened is that Huawei was added to the list of companies that US companies cannot do business with, without government approval. It is not the only company on the list, but Huawei's specific addition was most certainly targeted at Huawei. If your point is that this is punative towards China, that may be the case. However, if you put Huawei on the list because of accusations of backdoors and spying, that doesn't go away, (or shouldn't) because we get a good trade deal.

  11. brduffy

    Building an eco-system that people will adopt is a hard thing to do when you are late to the game. Just ask Microsoft. This will probably be the end of their phones in the US market.

    • SvenJ

      In reply to brduffy: The US isn't that big, comparatively. Their problem is more the rest of the world, if they can't include the Play Store and other Google apps. China could well make whatever Huawei makes be the only authorized OS in China though. They have 1.418 billion people.

      • Vladimir Carli

        In reply to SvenJ:

        I agree. I think Huawei doesn’t give a s... about the US. Their big problem is in Europe where they have 25% market share. 50% of their revenues come from outside China and not from the US. That’s what they risk loosing. I would not be surprised if China will retaliate against US businesses. I think they don’t sleep well at Apple in these days

  12. Lewk

    I do not appreciate the rude gesture from the image in the article. And am surprised that would allow it. As a paying customer, I do not expect this.

  13. wright_is

    And now they have a 90 reprieve from the US government.