Google Wants to Be on Huawei Devices

Posted on February 27, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Google, Mobile with 18 Comments

Google has officially petitioned the U.S. government to allow it to supply its Play Store and apps on Huawei’s Android devices. The move would bypass the U.S. blacklisting of Huawei, and it has precedent: Microsoft in November won a similar license to supply Huawei with Windows 10 for use on the Chinese firm’s computers.

News of Google’s appeal comes via the German news outlet Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA), which recently interviewed Google’s Sameer Samat. And it comes in the wake of Google’s public warning to Huawei customers, urging them not to sideload Google apps on their devices for security reasons.

A Huawei executive recently claimed that the firm wouldn’t return to Google even if the ban was lifted, but Huawei quickly and publicly refuted that statement. Clearly, Huawei needs Google’s store and apps on its Android devices, especially in the short term. Huawei is known to be developing its own alternatives to both, but it will take years before those offerings are viable replacements.

And while it appears that the U.S. government is curiously and unilaterally opposed to Huawei, Google’s chance of succeeding here is good. In addition to the Microsoft precedent, the U.S.’s issues with Huawei are entirely focused on its networking dominance and the coming move to 5G technologies. Huawei’s handsets and other Android devices aren’t a concern to the U.S., and they have basically been collateral damage in the broader battle. Plus, the ban hurt Google, which has lost access to the world’s second-biggest seller of smartphones.

There is no word on when the U.S. might issue a decision.

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