Google Suspends Android Support After Huawei Is Blacklisted by US Government

Google Suspends Android Support After Huawei Is Blacklisted by US Government

Trouble is brewing for Huawei, after the phone brand immediately lost access to Google’s Android operating system updates. The action followed as a result of Trump and the US government attempting to blacklist Huawei around the world.

As per Reuters:

Google has suspended all business with Huawei that involves ‘the transfer of hardware, software, and technical services, except those publicly available via open source licensing.’

The Chinese technology company was dealt a huge blow earlier this week following the fallout. The move means future Huawei smartphones, which are powered by Android, will not have access to Google apps and services, such as the Google Play Store, Gmail, and YouTube. It's sure to act as a deterrent for consumers who were considering purchasing a Huawei handset. “Huawei will only be able to use the public version of Android and will not be able to get access to proprietary apps and services from Google,” a source told Reuters. However, at the time of writing, current Huawei users will be able to use and download updates for Google apps.

The company’s statement following the decision is as follows:

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 that have been sold and that are 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.

“We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” a Google spokesperson added.

Lead image by Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine, licensed under CC CC0 1.0 

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20 Comments

Paulo Macedo's picture

What? Wasn't this postponed for like 3 months? Aren't you guys late on the news?
Anyhow, blaming China of spying while the US does the same to it's citizens and abroad.
My Google Android phone listens to my random talks, if I talk about baby lotion, barelly I open my smartphone and go through social networks, they advertise Baby Freaking Lotion!
Who ensures me that my data isn't there, sitting on an NSA server somewhere in Unclesamsville?
This will be more damaging to Google that Huawei, Huawei can just build their own Android flavor, or use LineageOS for that matter, reboot Cyanogen and then users can install their own Gapps.
This won't sell more iPhones mr Trump, it won't. :)

Robert Nurse's picture

I'm glad somebody said it! Wasn't it disclosed that the US spies on its friends, enemies and citizens alike? Yet, no one is barring American firms from doing business in these same spied upon countries. I'm no fan of the Chinese. But, it seems to me that what should be good for the goose should be good for the gander. Just like being last to the party in dealing with Boeing, American decision making is based, in no large part, on $$$. Whether Huawei is or is not a Chinese government front is certainly debatable. But, one has to wonder if part of the American blow back has more to do with not having a 5G technological lead.

The NSA programs you refer to are equally as objectionable. Engaging in whataboutism only makes you a part of the problem.

Huawei's technology lead is built on stolen technology from American companies.

Thomas H's picture

Yes it is "postponed." However, Canadians arrested months ago daughter of the Huawei founder, because US accuses her of breaking Iran sanctions, I am not sure what exactly. But the result of this "World Police Squad" conduct was that Chinese "re-tried" a Canadian and sentenced him to death, and arrested two more Canadians, with real or fake reasons. Both countries issued "travel advisories" against each other.

Keep doing so, this will lead to a global conflict. The Chinese (as well as Russians) will not stand down, they will retaliate. They might issue a law that if someone sabotages a Chinese company, its products are due to a confiscation. Than they will take the Android as "confiscated" and clone it. They work already on a clone, you know. They talk about ban on GM and Boeing.

Motti Bembaron's picture

If they ban all Apple product, Apple will lose billions. It will be the first time Apple will be in real discomfort. They can easily do it to Boeing and other companies.

Sounds like your solution is to bend over and take it Thomas.

Acquiescing to the Chinese and Russians because you're afraid they won't back down just insures you'll be forever under their control.

Thomas H's picture

Nonsense. We cannot be hypocrites and arm wrestle them by a "world police" tactics. Highly questionable and a travesty of law. If we will hunt their citizens for what they do in 3rd countries, they will will start to hunt our citizens in the same way. Its called "real politics." Proper channel is diplomacy.

So you have no solution thomas, like I said

Wouter du Toit's picture

This 'security threat' fearmongering America is generating is so they can play catchup to provide 5G. This tech will change the world in ways we can't even imagine, and it's either China or America that will provide it, and the Chinese, especially Huawei, are years ahead. https://youtu.be/CEQTo9usai4

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Exactly, and the #1 problem is not technology, it's going to be price of service going up, up and up and upper despite having eventually a billion users.

Motti Bembaron's picture

I bet Huawei will keep growing despite those steps. It will just give them (and many others) the incentives needed to develop things themselves.

The tech will change the world in ways you can't imagine is garbage. The idea that you could have things like robotic surgery and other breakthroughs because of this speed portends that you'll somehow have a fast path for those connections in direct conflict to the net neutrality rules that the FCC will revive as soon as the left can.

Further 5G has ranges comparable to WiFi, it will never cover the majority of America and in the places it will cover WiFi would be just as effective.

Finally the Chinese 5G advantage is built on stolen technology.

Motti Bembaron's picture

So the US says that Huawei is under the Chinese government thumb and then ordering Google and other US companies to do their bidding. The hypocrisy!

Even I am amazed at the length the US will go to hurt competition.

From reading some EU articles it seems countries realizing that when it comes to commerce they should fear the US the most. For example, Canada, US best ally, was named national security not too long by Trump. EU countries were blackmailed into not using Huawei 5G by threating to stop selling them military equipment. I am sure the list is much longer and we just not aware of it.

Imagine I am an Air Bus executive and I know we buy many components and software from the US, I will now start thinking of making everything locally. Who knows when the US government will decide we are just too much for Boeing, stop selling us those components and leave us in an impossible situation.

Huawei, seeing it coming already is making it's own mobile phone chips. They will now start working on other components and so will many other companies and not only in the US.

A dominance comes from supplying something that is too difficult or expensive to make oneself. However, it's not impossible and I am sure many more people starting to think of that direction, make it locally so we are not dependent on the US.

Now imagine China disallows Apple products in the US...

yeah it's easy to go on your own after you have stolen all the tech from the real innovators, America

Motti Bembaron's picture

Keep drinking the Kool-AId. No one in the world innovates or invent except you Americans...lol..
The sheer arrogance...

Michael Jin's picture

Well then... that escalated rather quickly. I wonder where Huawei goes from here. No doubt they'll still be fine in China, but it seems like it will be difficult for them to compete in the global market.

Motti Bembaron's picture

Chinese companies are very strong in the African continent, the Middle East and India but not only there. Huawei is well entrenched in Europe also. They already make their own phone chip now they will start making their own everything. As I mentioned before, countries and none US companies will be smart to initiate their own innovation rather than depend on the US.

It will be interesting to see how China is retaliating, that will not end up good at all for either side.

The main difference is that the US has very short term goals, China has very long term goals.

Michael Jin's picture

The question is whether they will continue to be strong divorced from the Google ecosystem now that they can't use the Android versions that everyone else is using. The same applies without American chip suppliers selling to them. Will they end up building their own OS? Will they fabricate their own processors?

I agree that it will be interesting to see how the Chinese retaliate. Apple seems to be the easy target, although I'm not entirely sure how well that would jive with wealthy Chinese nationals. (No clue how popular Apple is out there.)

Motti Bembaron's picture

Apple products took a very strong hold in China in the past four years or so. It was not anymore just for the rich but also for the many who could finally afford it (and many who could not but wanted it anyway).

However, the future (and the present) are not looking good for Apple. Apple sales in China were on the decline in 2018 while Huawei was getting stronger, however, 2019 is turning out to be a lot worse for Apple. Apple's iPhone sales in China were down 30 percent during the first quarter of 2019. 30%!!!. That's huge.

Most analysts agree that this is mostly the Chinese people's way of retaliation to US acts against China and Huawei in particular. We should give the Chinese some credit, China may not have to come up with any law forbidding US goods, Chinese companies and individuals are doing it on their own accord.

Just for the record, Apple's exposure in China is not only on the retail side. Apple’s supply chain is almost all conducted in China mainland including the final assembly of the iPhone at Foxconn facilities.

When China blocked many Android features including the app store it looked like a bad idea, now it looks like a genius idea. Due to the fact that China blocked many US Android features and most social platforms, a new breed of apps was developed in house. China has its own version of Android, Facebook, Instagram, PayPal, Amazon, and others.

Many say that China's version of Facebook and Instagram is way superior to Facebook. Alibaba is -if not the largest online store- the second largest after Amazon. I see them becoming even more popular.

What stops the Chinese from starting distributing those apps in other languages? If they are as good as many experts believe, they will take hold and compete against the US brand of invasive "social" platforms. We blame China as being dangerous to our privacy, what a joke. Amazon, Apple Google, and others are years ahead in that.

You are right that globally they will suffer but I believe it will be in the short run only. US actions against China have no merit except economically. Meaning that if the US wants to fight what they call an unfair trade deal with China they have the moral right to do so. However, this is going far beyond that, this is pure bullying and the world is watching. There is an uneasy feeling about all that.

Even countries that routinely support the US are uneasy about the whole thing. There are already talks about how Europe should be much more independent. At the end, those actions will prompt others to cut the cord and compete against US firms that until now saw no real competition.

Also, although Europe (as a whole) is a huge economy, Africa and the sub-continent is catching up and rather quickly.

China is already a monopoly in those parts of the world. That means that they have a huge market already and since their technology is way ahead of the US or Europe those third world countries are about to be treated to the best of the best.

The only way the US can slow down China (it cannot be stopped it) is by declaring war. That would prove to be disastrous.

the US had its chance to join China and grow together. That would have benefited everyone on the planet, however, I am afraid many in the US had no intention of doing so, being the biggest, the baddest, etc. was/is the only goal. Not a good one.

I also believe that even if the US would reverse their actions the PR damage is already done. This last action is only one of many that put everyone on notice.

Last night I switched (back) to Opera, after being a Chrome user for quite some time. The difference is staggering. I didn't realise how sluggish Chrome had become and the lack of real development as a browser. It got me thinking about how users have little opportunity to protest certain things, especially when a company like Google is so entrenched inside the insides of our computers, telephones etc. we really would have difficulties without them because online, their tentacles spread so far. However, a change in Browser is "one small step" if enough people deicded to do it. A drop in the ocean? Of course.... but perhaps it is one way of making a stand