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Google is restricting Huawei’s access to its Android operating system and apps after the Trump administration blacklisted the Chinese tech firm.

After some initial confusion, it became clear that Huawei will not be able to use the Android operating system for any new phones that it makes and sells.

Why did Google suspend Huawei?

Google took this step of restricting Huawei’s access to Android just says after President Donald Trump used an executive order to declare a national emergency amounting to threats to U.S. technology last week. Huawei and 68 of its affiliate companies were added to the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) Entity List, which prevents U.S. companies from continuing to do business with them—this includes buying and selling components and hardware, buying and selling software or services, without having a requisite license from the US government for continuing to do business with these companies.

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The reason for this according to the U.S government is the suspicion that Huawei hardware and software products have a hidden backdoor, which allow the Chinese government to snoop on data around the world. This has been the perceived issue with Huawei’s mobile network equipment and it is the same with smartphones as well.

This Ban has leads to the restriction of the company’s from trading with any U.S company. Hence. the restriction of access to the Google OS and apps. This includes Google Play Store, which means that in the future users won’t be able to gain access to popular titles, nor to speedy security updates to the Android OS.

Holders of current Huawei smartphones with Google apps, however, will continue to be able to use and download app updates provided by Google, a Google spokesperson said.

What does that mean if I have a Huawei phone?

That means anything from the recent Huawei P30 range release, the upcoming Huawei Mate 20 X 5G, and previous devices are all fine. 

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

Huawei spokesman said “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 benefited 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

“For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices,” the spokesperson said, without giving further details.

Hence, “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,” the source said.

Huawei phones not affected by the Google ban

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  • Huawei P30: P30 Pro, P30, P30 Lite
  • Huawei P Smart
  • Huawei Mate 20: Mate 20 Pro, Mate 20, Mate 20 Lite, Mate 20 X
  • Huawei P20: P20 Pro, P20, P20 Lite
  • Huawei Mate 10: Mate 10 Pro, Mate  10, Mate 10 Lite
  • Huawei P10: P10 Plus, P10, P10 Lite

Will future Huawei Phones use Android?

The Google ban means it will no longer work with Huawei directly on issuing updates to its system. It also won’t give the company access to the Google Play Store. This is a potentially critical blow to the brand, which only recently spoke out about its plans to be the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer.

This means that if Huawei wants to keep using the Android operating system, it will need to use the Android Open Source Platform (AOSP), which is a free platform that any brand can use as an underlying foundation for its products.

However, it along with the Google Play Store it won’t have access to the core Google apps like YouTube, Google Maps and Chrome – these are core elements of Google’s business that it’s not duty bound to make available to anyone.

Without access to the Play Store, Huawei would be forced to work directly with developers to get them to create versions of their wares for its phones. This situation would be similar to that of Amazon’s Fire OS, which is based on AOSP but has its own app store, as the retail giant seeks to control the platform its Fire tablets and Echo devices run on.

If Huawei does have to use AOSP, the consequences could be devastating, as access to a fully-stocked app store is crucial to the success of any modern smartphone – Nokia and Microsoft failed to make Windows Phones a viable alternative to Android and Apple’s iOS, even though both brands poured millions into developer tools and enticing the top app creators onto their platform.

Huawei Solution to The Restriction

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In Reference to this ban the Chinese company has replied saying it has spent at least three years working on its own operating system. “Huawei has been building an alternative operating system just in case it is needed,” said Huawei spokesperson Glenn Schloss. “We would like to be able to continue operating in the Microsoft and Google ecosystems,” he added. Huawei licenses Microsoft’s operating system for its laptops and tablets.

Microsoft (MSFT) did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Beijing has repeatedly criticized the US-led campaign against Huawei, and called the addition of the company to the trade blacklist a political move. “China supports Chinese companies defending their legitimate rights according to laws,” Lu Kang, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a press briefing on Monday. “In terms of what measures either Chinese companies or Chinese government would take, please wait and see,” he said.

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