Posted on August 17, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Mobile with 14 Comments

Huawei’s limited extension to do business with U.S. businesses has expired, casting doubts about its ability to update its Android phones going forward.

As you may recall, the U.S. government put Huawei on its so-called Entity List, essentially blacklisting the firm from doing business with U.S. companies. But has twice extended the time frame, mostly to appease rural U.S. telecom companies that needed access to Huawei equipment. So during that extension period, it’s been able to provide security and feature updates, plus app updates, from Google to owners of its Android handsets.

But with the extension now expired, it’s not clear exactly what will happen. The expiration should impact users of Huawei smartphones that were originally sold before mid-2019, so the P30 Pro or older. Newer Huawei handsets do not ship with Google applications and services, and might not be as impacted by the newly-imposed blacklisting because they use the open-source version of Android and a Huawei app store.

Huawei says it is “monitoring the situation and assessing the potential impact.” But with the firm exiting the flagship mobile chipset business too, it’s unclear how Huawei’s smartphone business can move forward outside of its home market.

Tagged with

Join the discussion!


Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Become a Thurrott Premium or Basic User to participate

Comments (16)

16 responses to “Expired”

  1. eric_rasmussen

    For decades, American companies have outsourced labor to cheap markets like China. It started with manufacturing, but eventually outsourcing became standard fare in all levels of organizations, including research and engineering. Chinese students could get well-paying jobs with American companies and learn how the technology worked. Eventually, companies in China began offering similar salaries so these engineers who were trained within American companies could get their Chinese counterpart up to speed quickly. There are lots of allegations of IP theft, but even without any blatant theft the outsourcing alone was enough to give China a huge head start in high tech markets.

    The Kurin processors may have benefited early on from American tech, but as they evolved they started doing things that Qualcomm doesn't do. The Kurin AI engine for photo processing is a generational leap beyond anything Qualcomm offers, in many cases besting even Google's computational photography algorithms. I will miss this, it's unfortunate that Huawei got hit by the U.S. like this.

    I've worked with quite a few engineers in China and they've been a pleasure to work with. They're competent, well-educated, and in many ways have the same desires that the average person in the U.S. has. I don't know what information the State Department has about Huawei's legal issues, but I do know that the best phone I ever had was my Huawei Mate 9 Pro. The newer phones have even better cameras, but the fact that they partnered with Leica to design the lenses says how serious they were about building true camera phones. I'll miss them.

  2. aerofann24

    Well, being the owner of a Mate 20 X, this might suck for me.

  3. rmaclean

    So happy with the mate 10 pro I have, gave the 40 a look and it went back the next day. Without google services it is hampered to being totally unusable :/ Huawei can say their app store is good enough but it really isn't

    Massive pity that even though I am not in America; still impacted by this stupid decision.

  4. illuminated

    So it is just like any other older android phone. No updates. Nothing special there.

  5. geoff

    This trade war is getting out of control. Take it to the WTO and get it sorted.

    It's very interesting to see that 70% of smartphones sold in the US are made in China.

    Search TheRegister for "usa_china_smartphones". If I add the link I can't submit this comment.

    I'm a Mate 20 Pro owner (hey, outside of the US we get *choices*), and I admit that I'm becoming a bit of a fan of the brand.

    The Mate 20 Pro is not the latest anymore, I've had it for almost 2 years, but its still excellent .

    Android is the same mess that everyone else gets, of course, but the hardware is excellent. (In-screen fingerprint reader, facial unlock, triple lens Lieca camera, Qi, USB-C, great battery life & screen, amazing photos, etc, etc. - all for less than half the price of an iPhone at the time of purchase).

    I absolutely don't want to replace it yet, but if updates stop arriving I guess I'll give it another 12 months or so and then look for something else.

    But with 70% of the smartphone market vulnerable, what SAFE choices will be available 12 months from now?

    Will the US government cripple something else after I've bought it?

    • Paul Thurrott

      Only 70 percent? I'm surprised it's that low, really. I wonder where the other 30 percent are from? Vietnam?
      • solomonrex

        In reply to paul-thurrott:

        I believe you're thinking of where it's manufactured? Taiwan would then be the alternative. But most likely the number is based on the nationality of the manufacturer. We pretty much trust Apple to know every detail in its hardware and software even though it is built overseas. I don't extend that trust to other Western makers, but I think that's the assumption.

        They don't have to respond to Chinese government intelligency agencies, is, I believe, the crux of the matter. I think we all know that the current administration cannot communicate clearly at a high school level, and it acting unilaterally in everything. So who knows? They also bailed out ZTE after giving them the death sentence two years ago, so this will probably all be forgotten in 6 months, no matter who wins. The US Chamber of Commerce isn't a bunch of farmers, to let a trade war ruin their profits.

    • dftf

      In reply to Geoff:

      You should be able to post the link here if you take the https:// and www off the start

      So for this article, it will work if you post the URL as the following:


  6. wright_is

    So, do I write to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for compensation, because my phone has become a danger and can't be used, because it isn't getting any more security updates and i had to turn it off?

Leave a Reply