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Google confirms Play store will continue to function for existing Huawei phones (scmp.com)
125 points by jmsflknr on May 20, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 158 comments



So how long will it take until Asian Phone companies using Android get together to develop an alternative Android ecosystem? They could set it up in a neutral nation with profits going to all companies. So far, these always failed because it was only one company involved (e.g. Amazons app store) but will all major manufacturers involved, it would be much more profitable for developers to be on that app store than on Google's (they could be compatible at the start anyway).

In the end, the one loser from this action is more likely Google than Huawei. And I believe they know that very well but had no alternative but to act this way.


Most Chinese versions of Android are completely de-Googled[1]- no Play store, no Maps, no GMail, etc. They have their own app store, web browser, and everything else. They are still based on Android, but it's not a stretch to think that most Chinese phone manufacturers could fork the open source project tomorrow.

As soon as Google goes too far against the Chinese government, the manufacturers will receive a notice that Android is no longer welcome as an operating system and they will flip the switch. Most Chinese citizens wouldn't care or even notice.

Other Asian companies are working on alternative OSes in case Google ever "pulls a Google" and kills off Android. Samsung has Tizen, which sucks, but could be better with some work.

[1] I bought a Xiaomi phone with a Chinese ROM and it took three days to get unlock permissions from Xiaomi to put the Global ROM on it that had Google apps. In that time I didn't feel like I was missing anything huge- except for being able to get directions since the maps app didn't have US street maps.


It's also important that WeChat is essentially the "operating system" for a large number of people in China.


The big problem I have is that what happens when that unlock site goes away?

When I bought my Mi4c, it wasn't getting an update I knew was released. When I ran a packet capture, I found it was trying to hit "udate.xiaomi.com" instead of "update.xiaomi.com". I was eventually able to unlock and reflash the phone manually.


so xiaomi shipped a phone with the wrong hardcoded update URL? How did that work for the rest of their users and not for you? for example if they fixed it at the other end and also enabled udate.DOMAIN it should work for you too?


In the end, the only superior system Google offers outside of China is Search (and to some degree Mail). Search can be integrated without the need of an app and GMail can be accessed by any mail client. All the other money making products (Maps, Play Store, Pay) could probably be replaced without users complaining much.


Bing's not banned in China, and it's not _that_ bad.


It's not just about Google's own apps, it's about installing and getting updates to other apps from the play store. Additionally, most apps now use the Google play services that Google has moved a lot of Android functionality into to be able to update it faster.


with multiple competing app stores, and even OS modifications (miui) its arguable that taking the google out of android created a much more competitive and vibrant ecosystem in China. Amazon failed where the rest have thrived.


>As soon as Google goes too far against the Chinese government

AFAIK, most Google stuffs are already blocked by the GFW, and Google Play is not preloaded on Android phones sold in mainland China. What can Google do to go farther...?


(Insert obligatory OpenStreetMap plug here.)


I am not sure why Asian Phone companies would do anything. As far as we see, only Chinese companies might want to. Asia is big and includes a lot more countries than China. Other asian countries are in the same bucket as Europe in moving to custom ecosystem.


Exactly. Original poster is trying to go into hyperbolics. Why would LG and Samsung want to participate in this and risk Google's wrath? Which user would like to get a phone without Google's apps on it? This is all looks good on paper as a so called strategy but in real implementation, almost impossible to implement. Consumers will just shift to another Google supported phone.


> Why would LG and Samsung want to participate in this and risk Google's wrath?

As an insurance, so they do not have to be afraid of Google's wrath.


Samsung with their own apps has been hedging their bets that way.... but going all out and forking the OS and building a device (even for test) could get them kicked from the Open Handset Alliance.


It shows how open that alliance is if a test device can get you kicked out of it. Maybe that's exactly the reason why manufacturers would rather team up in an alliance that is truly that and not dominated by a single large player


It said Asian because Samsung is in the same boat, albeit for different reasons (think platform lockout instead of govt pressure). That's why the keep developing Tizen.

I assume that Japanese manufacturers are under a similar threat.


It's also likely a pressure tactic of sorts. Samsung shows that it could leave the reservation if it wants to, so Google doesn't push too hard when it comes to standardization, modifications to the base system, and preloaded apps. (For quality and monetization reasons, Google would likely prefer that all versions of Android were shipped as close to stock as possible.)


Perhaps the potential profit stream of operating an appstore is also an appealing reason?


I could go one step further: Build another open source OS that can run Android app but not Android. Many Chinese companies already tried it (non-open source though) before but been persuaded not to, I guess they're feeling a little bit different now.

The good part is, by building that OS, the domestic tech communities could receive a huge boost.

So far for Huawei, Google's blockage is partly useless. As long as Huawei can sell device globally, they can just build their devices in such way that allowing their users to load custom ROM into it without effect warranty, then their users can just use LineageOS (Huawei's Android UI is a crap anyway) or a Linux distro etc. (Maybe the first hackable phone from a major manufacturer)

BTW: In China, not a single one domestic phone manufacturer I know of ships Google service with their phone. So Google service is largely an non-existence.


"Build another open source OS that can run Android app but not Android."

It's not as easy as it may sound like.

There have been attempts:

https://sailfishos.org/wiki/Android_Compatibility

https://github.com/anbox/anbox

https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2019/04/new-project-brings-andro...

ChromeOS Android container approach is probably the best, but isn't fully open source to my knowledge.

That's not to say that a state actor like China couldn't pull it off. It would actually be quite interesting if the outcome of these developments was significant effort into a Linux distro that runs well on multiple devices, and is capable of also running Android apps seamlessly.


It's doable to a good extent. I had a Blackberry Passport from 2014 that ran BBOS, which was a non-Android OS. Around 2016, BB added a "Android compatibility layer" (not sure how it works), that allowed for the install of APKs for Whatsapp, Instagram and a number of other apps BB users didn't have native equivalents for. Worked fine, but I'm sure app firmware updates caused issues.


> As long as Huawei can sell device globally, they can just build their devices in such way that allowing their users to load custom ROM into it without effect warranty

The number of people who will buy a device without Android just to sideload Android on to it is absolutely miniscule. My girlfriend and parents (who all have Huawei devices) absolutely would not.


It's true. I mean, there are people using freaking bing just because it is the default search engine on Windows.


as somebody that bought an huawei device from a carrier, if carriers wont sell your devices you are just like dead. and i cannot imagine carriers selling devices that need to sideload google play and stuff.


No, you are not. I believe you are just speaking from US perspective. A lot of countries in the world don't have this practice of carrier selling phones. (I know for sure for India and China and that's more than 2.5billion people)


The dominance of bundled sales by carriers is not a universal practice around the world. In Europe this was even forbidden for long time as it gave the Telco's too much power over the nascent mobile industry.


its not forbidden, i thing it's the way most of the cell phones are sold in europe.

https://shop.a1.net/handys-telefonie/alle-handys/?ProcessTyp...


It is not anymore, it used to be years back. This is why I said 'was'.


Don't club Huawei with Asia. Google, outside China, is a major force to reckon from a consumer standpoint - without Gmail, Play App, YouTube, Android Auto etc., who do you think people will buy these phones. It is easier for Samsung and LG to just sell Android branded phones given it has Google products vs. for Huawei to sell its proprietary OS branded phone without Google.


I'd actually love to jump on a quality phone that's not using the Google ecosystem. Except that I'm not so sure the Huawei ecosystem is less evil.


That's why Huawei would probably benefit from using an independent ecosystem, together with Samsung, Sony, etc. They could set it up in Singapore or Hong Kong to avoid political issues and share the profits. At the same time you get US-critics to buy those phones instead of Google or Apple controlled ones.

Not sure though how inclined the other manufacturers are to work with each other.


Korea and Japan are American vassals on the one hand, and wary of China's growing power on the other.

So I guess that they won't want to "get in bed" with China on this.


There is one small american company that makes those. They have some fruit as their logo...


Why would Samsung want to team up with Huawei on this? Huawei is a major competitor to Samsung; having Google services available on Samsumg phones and not on Huawei ones is a major competitive win for Samsumg. They must be laughing all the way to the bank right now.


A de-Googled Huawei might actually save Samsung's folding phone line. The Galaxy Fold was a PR disaster, whereas Huawei's Mate X had none of those issues in bloggers' hands.


They already have. This only affects the "International Firmware" editions of Huawei phones/tablets. The Chinese editions of these devices are unaffected because those already use AOSP.


I don't think it is in Samsung's or Sony's interest.


so?

China alone is a bigger market for smartphones, than EU + US together.


The US is by far the most lucrative smartphone market. It's not even close.

Most of the smartphone buyers in China are purchasing phones that the manufacturer makes effectively zero net profit on.

When it comes to phones, Apple earns more in profit than every other competitor globally combined. Apple gets half its enormous profit just from the US market. Apple can afford to lose the entire Chinese market thanks to that fact (then they'd only generate a mere $45b in profit and would still be the world's most profitable company).

For another example, while Google is printing massive profit via mobile search thanks to its Android position in the US and Europe, Baidu is losing money in China and has never been able to expand globally (and never will, they're largely hostage to the Chinese market).

If you're Apple or Google and you can only choose one market to participate in, you choose the US. It's where all the margin is, because US consumers provide the largest-wealthiest market by far. Samsung also still actually sells phones in the US, whereas their market share has been entirely wiped out in China due to nationalism and poor Chinese consumers being unable to afford most of Samsung's phones.


Why not? They also built on Android to have one common ecosystem with all the benefits of scale. If Huawei now builds their own App Store, Samsung risks losing customers in countries where Huawei already dominates. Building one together would at least keep the status quo.


Please use some sense. You are suggesting Samsung and Huawei - two of the fiercest competitors to collaborate on an OS? While the Occam's razor argument is that Samsung will just goto Android with Google's apps and bleed Huawei away.


Because of their country of origin. They both are based in democracies and are unlikely to be embargoed like Chinese companies. What we see are symptoms of trade war between China and the west. South Korean and Japanese companies do not share the same role in this story as Huawei.


While I agree that South Korea and Japan are unlikely to face embargos, the trade war is not between China and the West. It's between China and US only. I don't think any Asian country is happy about this as no one wants to have to choose sides.


I tried the Samsung app store briefly on my Android. I didn't last long with it, it was not that great, and reluctantly intstalled Google Play. It's yet another company trying to usher me into signing up, and trading my data privacy. The themes app for example, wants access to my contacts. Why?


"The themes app for example, wants access to my contacts. Why?"

To reskin the contacts list. Anything dealing with the contacts list needs permission to do so, even reskinning appearance.


I hadn’t thought about it that way but makes total sense. A new OS that all factories would install on their - now Android - phones, would cause a big blow to Google. We’e already seen ecosystems like Wechat and their impact. That move seems imminent


Why would they want to as it is just Huawei?


They don't seem to be doing a very good job of communicating whether this is voluntary or mandated by the trade sanctions. It would seem to be terribly damaging to Google and Android if they can't convince OEMs that this is something extraordinary that no other OEM will need to worry about.


According to the article they think this is mandatory but they are still reviewing it.


Which would mean that it could hit any Chinese company within days and companies from other nations within weeks/months. I doubt the US government will put a ban on South Korean manufacturers but I'm not sure if Samsung wants to take that risk.


Samsung is a top OEM in US unlike Huawei. Also South Korea is a big US ally.


Currently, but the US has already chastised South Korea for not spending enough on its defense as it relates to the US. South Korea capitulated I believe, but there remains the possibility that in South Korea's goal of being on agreeable terms with North Korea, it could have negative ramifications on the US/SK relationship.

I don't think it is highly likely it'll play out like that, but if I'm Samsung, I'm either throwing resources into Tizen or forking AOSP into a tailored version of the OS.


To suggest that China and South Korea are at the same receiving end of US' wrath tells me how twisted your thinking is.

Also, why don't you spare Samsung your strategy. Both you and they will be better without it.


you're taking that to an oddly personal level.

Obviously, the views of China vs SK are different in the US right now. Who is to say what the future holds if South Korea tries to make stronger ties with North Korea (considering NK blames the US for their current stalemate)? I'd argue that Samsung probably wants to have a contingency for things that are outside of their control, but yeah, out of wack thinking.


Apologies for my tone. However, I find your assertions pretty flagrant and not any basis in reality. South Korea has been a US ally for 50+ years. Samsung is even the top mobile OEM in US. I don't understand why suddenly Samsung now needs to build another OS because of US threats. This is so unfathomable to me that it is coming out in the caustic remarks I typed above.


> Apologies for my tone.

Okay, guess we can circle back...

> that it is coming out in the caustic remarks I typed above. > I find your assertions pretty flagrant and not any basis in reality.

And we're done here.


China does seem uniquely positioned to give SK what they want re: NK..


> It would seem to be terribly damaging to Google and Android if they can't convince OEMs that this is something extraordinary that no other OEM will need to worry about.

what makes you believe that this is something extraordinary? why other Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi or OPPO don't need to worry about such move?


Part of the push against Huawei in US, is because it also deals with networking equipment. Xiaomi and OPPO don't do that.


Android has cryptography in it for app signing and secure logins and such. Crypto is a real sensitive subject for export, even fairly standard implementations like what Android has. I'll bet that once the question is raised with government officials they will say that Google licensing crypto to (or just trusting certs from) Huawei is a hard no.

It would be real hard to make the Play store useful if you take away its main feature of getting trusted versions of apps. Ditto for most of Google's other products in Android.

Edit: For those of you who disagree with me, check out what happens now that Huawei is on the entity list (https://www.bis.doc.gov/index.php/policy-guidance/lists-of-p...). Most notable is that they are now subject to "license requirements are independent of, and in addition to, license requirements imposed elsewhere in the EAR." Even if Android is deemed no license required (NLR) to every other person in the world, the US government can still prohibit Google from licensing Android to Huawei. If you don't think that the government would use a petty excuse such as [easily available] crypto to deny the license, then you obviously haven't dealt with the government enough. The US government was treating crypto the same as nuclear technology up until the year 2000, and they would still prefer if US companies didn't give out source code on the internet. This isn't a bunch of forward thinking Silicon Valley types making the judgement call, it's a bunch of bureaucrats in suits that don't understand how the internet works.


Cryptography used in these products have been public for years.


Just because it's publicly available doesn't mean the US government won't try to embargo it. The government does silly things all the time.

The book "No Easy Day" became a New York Times best seller as soon as it was published (it's written by the SEAL that allegedly shot Osama bin Laden). The Department of Defense threatened to revoke the security clearances of military members that read the book because it contained classified details. It took a few weeks before they walked back their threats, because somehow nobody at the top realized how stupid it was to revoke security clearances over reading a bestselling public book.


First Google time-bombs their Nest-devices, and now they’ve created precedent for time-bombing huge swaths of Android-devices too.

All in less than a week. You’d be crazy to invest deeply into anything Google at this point.

Edit: This clearly shows the weakness with the android software update delivery mechanism and architecture.

If you install windows on a Chinese laptop, there is no way Microsoft is going to block updates for your laptop in any way in the future.

However if you buy a Chinese android phone, there is no generic update pushed to everyone equally, but there has to be a specific update tailored for your device. And everyone (Google, vendor, telecom service providers) can block those updates from reaching you.

If Google wants Android to remain a viable platform in the future, they’ll need to fix that.

Make all devices use UEFI for ARM and boot genetic OS images made equally for everyone. Or anything else. Whatever works.

I don’t care how, they just need to fix this mess.

Edit 2: I was about to replace my iPhone SE with a Samsung Galaxy S10e (3.5mm jack, wireless charging). I'm now reconsidering and might just end up with a new iPhone instead.


It‘s not like it was their choice to make. Intel, Qualcomm, etc. are doing the same. The US and Chinese government are to blame.

Edit: Quite possibly Windows will not receive updates on Huawei laptops anymore.


As a European customer I couldn't care less if Martians were to blame... simply put I won't ever put a penny in Google's pocket if they brick my phone.


That's why they're not bricking any phones.

"No more updates" ain't bricking.


If no more updates means no more up to date security patches then as far as I'm concerned they killed my phone...

I know that's not what the word "bricked" means.


It's not Google/Intel/Qualcomm's fault.


His point is that not a single end-user in the world is going to care about that when their $500+ Google-powered device stops working.

Ultimately, this may erode trust in US-based tech companies in general, which for the long game may play into Huawei's advantage if they manage to come up with a viable competing platform.


Maybe Average Joe won't care, but he's informed about what is actually happening, and he should care and take his decision based on that. The fact that he's proud of blaming the wrong party is not something to be applauded.


> Quite possibly Windows will not receive updates on Huawei laptops anymore.

If that is true, that will be the basis of the biggest class action lawsuit in history, against Microsoft from every single company in Europe now being left vulnerable to attacks.

Microsoft knows that, which is why they will do everything in their power to ensure this is never happening.


It's not MS's fault if US govt is not allowing them to push the updates to Huawei devices.


The thing about Windows updates is that Microsoft will actually have to put effort into obtaining the knowledge about what kind of devices are requesting the updates, since the updates are utterly generic. Also companies can setup their own WSUS servers, which may again serve Huawei laptops. And what is MS to do about that?

In general, Microsoft's mechanism and architecture for OS updates are clearly superior to whatever Android has, since they can be applied blindly and generically across devices and units, with stupid proxies and mirrors in between.

More important than architecture though: Microsoft has fought the US government in the past when they have tried to enforce things Microsoft has disagreed with (like US governemnt blanket access to MS-owned EU datacenters).

I'm pretty sure they'll fight this one too. Their quite significant EU business depends on it.


I don't really see where China has faulted here.


I don’t support the decision to ban android for Huawei but ... how many companies in China been kicked from their market including Google , Facebook etc . Most of Chinese still saying that was right decision, so what’s wrong with kicking out one company due to espionage. No issues with let’s say one plus which is more popular in US and still Chinese.


>how many companies in China been kicked from their market including Google

For the record, Google voluntarily withdrew from China as a form of moral protest (it didn't want to help the government censor/spy on its citizens). It wasn't just banned as a means of protecting local companies, since Bing isn't banned, nor for that matter is Azure or Outlook/Hotmail.


Google didn't withdrawn. They stopped censorshipping sensitive keywords and moved their servers to Hong Kong. Then China blocked their sites. You can't withdraw from the Internet by simply move your servers. Bing censor sensitive keywords so China allows them to stay.


Warning: Personal opinion, so treat it as such.

Regardless of this being mandated or not, they are sacking the best Android flagship representative thus leaving the market open to others.

Huawei is huge outside US and their latest phones are a better purchase than Samsung, more performant but most importantly they age slower which is a critical thing for an Android device.


This has been mandated by a US government decree. The US president has declared a "National Emergency" which gives him this kind of power. They have placed Huawei and 70 linked partners on a trade blacklist saying Huawei is a danger to national security.

So it is now effectively an offense for US companies to trade with Huawei directly or indirectly.

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/3010403/us-commerce-...

I hope it leads to competition, but i doubt that will happen any time soon.


The ironic part here is that by blocking Huawei phones from security updates from Google, could/will create security issues with anybody who has a Huawei phone.

Which in some way makes this a self-fulfilling action.


> The US president has declared a "National Emergency" which gives him this kind of power.

When everything is a 'national emergency', nothing is.

> I hope it leads to competition, but i doubt that will happen any time soon.

Are you living under a rock? There is already a LOT of competition in the US smartphone market (both domestic and foreign brands) and now, with this new 'national emergency,' there is less competition in the US. Mission accomplished?


The choice is between a very expensive and heavily walled garden Apple iOS or Android where your experience can vary.

While Apples growth rate has fallen, i'm am sure there is a reason why it can charge over 2 x high-end premiums. Hint: It has nothing to do with the hardware.


Meanwhile, banning a handful of Chinese phone manufacturers does absolutely nothing to address your "only 2 phone OSes" concerns. In fact, it further validates my previous comment, because now there are fewer OEMs operating in the US who could introduce an alternative to Android or Google.


You have to go beyond this kind of limited view. A new OS which has momentum anywhere is an opportunity to weaken the chains of monopoly everywhere.

As i said i originally: I hope it leads to competition, but i doubt that will happen any time soon.

There is an absolute requirement for Huawei to build new technology and actually any other successful firm which has dependencies on US imports.


I'm not sure I understand the argument you are trying to make here. I agree that having new OS opportunities is a great thing, but removing competition from the US market means there's less incentive for companies still in the US market to create alternative operating systems. Are we basically saying the same thing?


This is ominous for Apple as well, being the poster child of American industry.

China could retaliate by disrupting Apple's supply chain, but I don't think it will happen as it would put a huge question mark over China as a component supplier for every single industry.


Apple is also slowly building a backup supply chain in India to handle such retaliation by China.


It's not ominous at all. China can't retaliate in that manner if they want Huawei to remain a functioning business.

The US controls nearly all aspects of the global technology industry. It can rather smash Huawei any time it chooses to, ZTE style, by entirely revoking Huawei's access to critical components (and a lot of markets).

Without China, Apple remains the most profitable company on earth and can safely, entirely abandon China. Taiwan I'll note is not China.

Huawei on the other hand can't survive as is without US technology. They'd lose at least 3/4 of their business and most likely end up in bankruptcy.


Can you please tell us which part of US technology Huawei will need at all costs? CPU? Based on a European company design Memory? Chinese and Asian companies already in charge of most of this market Modem? They have their own design OS? They are already using open source Android without Google technology for Chinese use Screen? Same local and other asian sources dominate this world etc.

No the only way, US can impact these company is by preventing them to trade with the rest of the world. But after ZTE, this will be seen as full war by China, and the global economic impact of this will make 2008 looks like a great year for the economy.


You're about a decade behind the curve. Huawei already has its own Kirin mobile SoC. There are no critical components that the USA can lock-down.

> Taiwan I'll note is not China.

Assuming you are referring to.Foxconn, their HQ is on Taiwan but the assembly lines are on the mainland.


>Taiwan I'll note is not China.

And I'll note that headquarters are not the same as supply chains. Much of what Apple sells all over the world is made in China (PRC).

There's little doubt that both the US and China are capable of massively disrupting each other's tech industries in the short term.

But as I said, the incentives not to do that are overwhelming. Let's just hope the tit for tat doesn't get out of hand.


Apple moving its supply chain out of China (and back to the US) is exactly what Trump wants. If only for political reasons and self-interest, there's just no way China would retaliate how you suggest.


As I said, I do _not_ think that China will retaliate in this way. But I worry that things could get out of hand if emotions take over.

Trump's emotions are on display for everyone to see, but I think the US administration and maybe even Trump himself are more aware of the trade-offs than they're letting on.

In China, I believe, it's the other way around. The regime likes to appear rational and unemotional, but I think they are struggling hugely to keep more aggressive nationalist sentiment at bay.

There's a danger that face saving and responding "adequately" to perceived national humiliation could take on a dynamic of its own.

This is the stuff that wars are made of - real wars, not just trade wars.


If all it took was the threat of tariffs to bring Apple's manufacturing back to the US, I seriously doubt the Trump admin would have been the first to think of it. Apple might move parts of their supply chain to places like Vietnam or India, but definitely not back Stateside.


I don't know how is it in US, but in Europe recently Huawei is very successful and growing. All big smartphone stores have now special tables with Huawei show-cases, lots of TV Ads.


Recently bought a cheap Huawei P5. After having owned phones from Nokia, Sony, LG, Apple, Microsoft and Google, the Huawei beats them hands down, no question.


I was about to say - in Poland Huawei is absolutely huge, I see a lot of people using their devices and having far more prominent stands in electronic shops than Samsung for instance.


As a consumer, I'm almost at the stage now when buying a phone or any consumer tech - that I feel that I should be printing out a list of features the phone offers and getting the sales chap to sign them, so if any are changed/removed down the line (like software updates stop prematurely) - I'd have an easier legal redress to obtain a refund under being mis-sold.


This. I can't update Android in my phone, because I'll lose ability to record calls. But I can't even turn off the popup to perform Software Update! I should at least be able to snooze these reminders forever.


And it's a legal easy way to force you to update. And every update introduces some slowness. They use all these tricks really to make you feel needed to buy a new faster device. Apple does it since years.


"was"

Without Google, users will just shift over to Android. Agreed Huawei's phones are good but are they as good for users to not care about GMail, YouTube, Play Store etc.? On top of that, will users trust an OS by a Chinese company?


The same way we as Europeans, have to trust an US company, foreign to our countries with its own agenda.

So if this comes to US versus the world, maybe Android or Google services wouldn't be that relevant, long term.


Or maybe it's time to enable anti-monopoly laws?


Does this apply to phones being currently sold? If I buy today the Huawei P30 Pro, in amazon.de, will I have (and keep) access to Google services?


The P30 Huawei phones currently sitting on shelves should have all the major Google apps installed already, including the Play Store, and thus should fall into the "Existing Huawei Devices" category. I know this because I bought and returned two P30s (both defective) and settled on getting a P30 Pro.

I don't know what this means for phones that haven't been manufactured yet and whether Huawei will pre-load them with the G Apps.

The big question now is for how long "Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices." We'll probably find out more during the week.


Phones like the P30 Pro come in various versions : Europe (VOG-L29), International (VOG-L04),... and China (VOG-LT00). From what I've read on some forums the one for China don't have any Google services (+ no SafetyNet).


This is obviously super destructive for Huawei, but for the current phones specifically, I wouldn't be surprised if they grew in value, as the last few phones that has the highest dxo score and with Google.


my (well-informed but not expert) opinion is that you'll be able to use google services and the play store indefinitely, but that phone will not receive any more _system_ updates that maintain access to google services (since any android update w/ services baked in require google's cts and vts certification, which they will no longer perform for Huawei)


Are you saying that:

A) all Huawei phones (old or currently being sold) with Google services will keep access to the services, even in the long term?

B) the only effect fo the ban on current Huawei phones (old or currently being sold) will be that updates will be stopped?

A is good news, but B is catastrophic. This means that the effects of this ban will be to put Huawei customers at risk.

One thing is to prevent customers to access a given service. Another thing completely different is to allow access to a service, and then let those same customers down regarding security updates.

I hope that at least security updates will be allowed.


Apparently they won't get CVEs ahead of time, so they'll have to patch them themselves once they are made public.


So a Huawei phone will be stuck on Android Pie, since any upgrade to the forthcoming Q release requires re-certification?


I don't think anyone knows. But it says existing and that phone is existing in customer pockets today.


And this is the danger of having so much power concentrated in a single country.

Google might not want to do this, but they might need to, because they are a US company.

Unfortunately this affects everyone. Why should Europeans care about US’s trade wars?

And don’t get me wrong, I would never buy Huawei devices because they are made by a company owned by a communist party, but that’s my choice to make, not that of some random US government that will be remembered as one of the worst ones yet.


In a single company, not country.

Any country can influence the local company and if you do business with the company then there you go.


Huawei is not owned by a communist party. Even google will tell you that much..


Basically an owner is who can make key decisions about the "thing" in question. If US government can dictate Google what to do, then Google is partially government owned (Government shares profits and participate in decision making by enacting legislation). Then same is with Huawei.


It is owned by a union in a communist country https://www.baldingsworld.com/2019/04/26/making-sense-of-hua... How independent from CCP is that institution in practical terms?


The fundamental issues surrounding China 2025 which has prompted a shift in trade posture between the United States and China affect every other developed manufacturing nation in the world. Including Germany and the rest of the EU Nations.

Just because the EU has not gotten publicly involved does not mean that they are not involved privatively in negotiations. Europe along with Japan, Korea etc have the luxury to stay quiet because the US is taking a very public and direct strategy.

The US is the only Nation that can take that very public role.


> The fundamental issues surrounding China 2025

What are those issues? Why is the goal of advancing your local industries frown upon?

Why is the US in the business of telling sovereign countries what they should produce, buy or sell?


Nothing wrong with the goal of advancing ones local industries. Competition is good, but only if it's fair.

China uses and copies a lot of western technologies yet puts a lot of restrictions on western countries that want to do business in China. To get access to their huge market certain businesses are required to share their intellectual properties with the Chinese. Is that fair? Kawasaki Heavy Industries shared their technology and now the Chinese get more contracts to build trains than they do.

Facebook is banned, Wikipedia is blocked, and Google was kicked out some years ago. Nortel networks collapsed because it is alleged that Chinese hackers stole their IP which was used by Huawei to reach its present heights. I don't consider American governments as saints but regarding China's practices I am not surprised America is acting the way it is.


> Nothing wrong with the goal of advancing ones local industries. Competition is good, but only if it's fair.

Are you suggesting it's unfair to have a National Security Agency with the explicit goal of industrial espionage to help domestic companies?

Let's not pretend that the US doesn't do that, please.


I always assumed the NSA only did industrial espionage for the defense sector.. but it would make sense for them to steal e.g. foundry processes to hand to Intel. How's the hand-off work? How do they keep the (Chinese-American) engineers from realizing where the ideas come from?

It makes strategic sense to do industrial espionage but there's so many ways it can go wrong.


I don't know how they'd proceed after exfil, but I'm sure we can come up with lots of interesting ways to hide the origin of tech/IP.

Snowden mentioned more on NSA industrial espionage in an interview with German state-owned TV, but they didn't provide a lot of details. There was also quite a bit on NSA operations spying on all French companies that are active in IT/telecommunications, energy/power, natural resources, logistics, health care/biotech etc, so pretty much anything but how to make baguettes.


> What are those issues?

The issue is certainly not that China wants to advance there local industries. The US has spent the last 40 years+ helping china develop its industry and technology.

The Issue is that China was obligated to develop reciprocal free trade like the rest of the WTO members. Over the last 20 years they have been moving farther away from that into a state socialist mercantilist expansionist power.

A few of the issues includes the Theft of intellectual property, Industrial espionage, Lack of market access and state monopoly domination of there internal markets. Dumping of steel and other commodities. Currency manipulation, etc.

there is a very long list.

the EU has had been putting tariffs on Chinese steel for years due to aggressive dumping of steel which has harmed EU industry and distorted prices.

I think that this confrontation has been building for a long time. and now there is a consensus, a global consensus among the liberal democracies including the EU members that China 2025 is step to far away from the normalized reciprocal free trade system.


The US has pretty much withdrawn from all international organizations (or is simply ignoring them, see WTO). The US is not abiding by any international order.

The US is economically terrorizing the world by aggressively pushing the dominance of the US dollar. It has (successfully, to date) prevented the Iranian Oil Bourse (in €, 2008).

It interferes in the sovereignty of nations: for example, it has enforced the Iran embargo (against the will of the EU, which has been powerless to prevent it).

The world trade order is tilted in favor of the US, as are IP rules (favoring the incumbent power, with a head start of several decades), making the rest of the world subservient to the US, and forcing us to finance the life style of a minority of the planet's population (to be correct: to finance the lifestyle of a very small minority of the US population, since lots of Americans are also struggling)

The US has built its industrial and technological supremacy by industrial espionage during the late 19th and early 20th century, from the leading powers of the time (Europe).

The US has engaged in price dumping of agricultural products for ages, by illegally subsidizing farmers.

The US has interfered militarily, politically and economically around the world, often with devastating consequences in terms of life and property, creating power vacuums which have caused catastrophic consequences.

This is going on as we speak. The list is very long too.

I for one support the Chinese in this conflict, if for nothing else, simply for the possibility of putting some restraint on the out-of-control Hegemon.

I understand that US citizens will be siding with the US president on this one, and you may even feel you are being fair here.

You are not, and the rest of the world is pretty much not in agreement with the US.


> The world trade order is tilted in favor of the US, as are IP rules (favoring the incumbent power, with a head start of several decades).

This is not a US only issue.

the only incentive to create IP whether its scientific, technology, or the arts is that the creator can monetize there creation through copyright, patents etc. IP is the foundation of growth for this century for the entire industrialized world. I doubt the EU or anyone else supports Chinas IP theft, it has ill effects on all IP holders including EU companies.

> I for one support the Chinese in this conflict, if for nothing else, simply for the possibility of putting some restraint on the out-of-control Hegemon.

your entitled to your opinion. but I don't support the tariffs and other measures because I support the President of the US. I think the strategy behind China 2025 if implemented would lead to a destabilization of the global economy. that could very quickly lead to a serious war.

> You are not, and the rest of the world is pretty much not in agreement with the US

On some of your points Iran etc, sure there is a lot of the world that disagrees with the US position. including many US citizens. but on the issues of China's trade abuses and the Huawei ban I think most of the the world including those in the EU, UK, Japan etc, want to see China move away from there current ambitions.


There are a number of IP rights which have dubious value, century long copyright is one, software patents are another. They do benefit the Americans because they were the first movers in terms of Hollywood and the software industry, but these rights do nothing to advance innovation, yet the United States continues to push them on other countries via trade treaties.


> What are those issues?

When a country infamous for its theft of intellectual property declares its intention to usurp the dominant power in key technology and manufacturing insustries within six years, that's an issue for the incumbent.

Why would any leading power allow another to take its throne, especially through cheating?

The have the right to try, of course, but it would be irrational to aid and abet them.

If you look at US demands in this trade war, they amount to 'play fairly and openly'.


Meet the new hegemon, same as the old hegemon.

"Let them fight"


The Play Store and current Play Services, on the existing devices, sure.

Anything else, including OS security updates (the security they talk about is Play Protect, not updates), or new major versions of Android (Q) for existing devices, or other services that need hardware integration (wallet/pay?) is probably out of the question.


This case shows how "open" Android is and how free is "free trade".


I'd be really happy if this leads to app developers making apps that can work without Google Play Services.


Pretty much all android apps can work without google play currently.

If you don't want to use google play, you can download the APK from any number of apk mirror sites and install the app yourself manually.


Google Play Services != Google Play Store

The play services is a framework that many (and probably all "western") apps require because they use push notifications, maps, google ads and probably a lot of other google services. An android phone without those services installed isn't able to run said apps. And while it is possible to emulate the play services, I don't think this would work on a huge scale because they would still be accessing private google cloud apis and google could shut it down very fast. You have to remember, Apps don't send your notifications to your device directly, they send it to google, who then forwards your push notification to the device (if every app would regularly pull an notification server, your device would run out of battery way too fast).

The only reason google currently doesn't ban those emulations is that the % of users who use those is so low that it doesn't cause them any harm.


From a developer perspective, the Google Play Services are so damn convenient, and they work well.

When it comes to push notifications in particular, I don't know of an alternative which works quite as well as Firebase (if there is, please tell me!)

It seems like developing apps without the Google Play Services will take longer, and be more expensive. Maybe that's just psychological, but it's risky to decide not to use them, especially when you are time constained/on a budget, and you know how to use them etc.


There isn't. I have had to self host Gotify to send myself push notifications cos some proprietary apps do not have support to keep an always on connection to the server.


It's nice to know my Nexus 6p will continue to function, then. I dug it out of a drawer a month ago and it updated. It can no longer see my WiFi. It can see my neighbours' WiFi no problem, just not mine. Looking on the bright side, I guess that means I don't need to worry about the Huawei baseband.


Only reason I didn't buy another Huawei device when I lost my phone is that there was a special on Xiaomi phones instead.

Looks like I dodged a bullet, for now at least.


Money talk, bs walks.

Of course "Play store will continue to work". To use the Sex Pistols lyrics: God save the queen, 'Cause tourists are money, And our figurehead, Is not what she seems.

Huawai may be 'evil' (or any other justification) but the money of the millions of Huawei phone owners are more than welcome.

System update is a money-losing function. You get people to work and collaborate with vendors, but this doesn't add to the bottom line what Google Play Store adds.

Edit: added "the money of" phone owners...


What is your point?


That it makes perfect sense to stop supporting those devices. The effort costs money. So if they want to put their foot down and force 'change' (and everything else in the trade-wars/political agenda), you stop spending your money on them, but you continue milking the profit from their users.

This is partially correct as a responsible business stance, because in the end of the day, you support the users, who in the end of the day, are not at fault for Huawei's bad doings.

And with that said, I do agree that China is in need of major democratic reform that will never come, as the autocracy (I don't want to use a harsher word). I also recognize the maladities that China has caused and is continuing to cause.

This was not a pro-Chinese-gov message. This was a Google-loves-the-revenue-and-the-foothold message.


That everyone is corrupt when money is involved - even if 'national security' is waived around.


... For now


This is really an appalling decision by the US government that brings us back to the darkest days of colonialism and Western exploitation: Gunboat diplomacy in full swing.

China is lucky to be too big to be actually bombed these days...

I think this will prove extremely significant because all the recent history of China (last 150 years) has been about freeing themselves from that.

In the short term this decision will likely harm China but it will also make them double down on developing their own tech and thus may end up hurting US companies in the long term: When China doesn't need Google, Intel, etc. then what leverage will the US have for blackmail? None.

Time is on China's side.


Colonialism? Western exploitation? Really? I do not think that this was necessarily a smart or moral choice by the US's part, but I guess they know more about the issue than I do, based on which this action was made.

But I am curious how you can draw a line between alleged espionage accusations and the need for the US to secure its own telecommunications networks by forcing out a possibly hostile actor and colonialism? Protectionism yes, but not colonialism. It really irritates me when people start extrapolating hyperboles based on their own emotions of how things are, with logical reasoning only an afterthought to validate their raging desire to feel certain way about something. The platform for doing that is Twitter or Facebook, not HackerNews.


Enough with repeating the official propaganda of "espionnage", etc. This is a transparent pretext.

The real issue is the US facing the end of their status of top dog with the rise of a superpower that does not answer to them (which is an emotive subject).

It's no hyperbole to state that they are fighting for their empire and resorting to gunboat diplomacy. Nothing less, nothing more.

This is an extremely sensitive, and indeed emotive, topic in China. People should really realise the level of anger and long term effects this can only have in China. Amd for what? Short term feeling of power for US...


Perhaps so, and as my emotional input I'd still rather have a bad-democracy ruling over the world as supposed to a totalitarian state. Actually I even prefer China losing influence on global scale, what do you have to say about that? Yet I still don't resort to over-extrapolation or forming my opinions based on how I feel about the subject. My personal values do have a play on how I view the world, but I try to be as unbiased about them as possible.

But I am curious how do you know so deeply Chinese emotional landscape? This is a part of US's economical and political push-back against growing Chinese influence, which you assume makes Chinese feel insulted? Sounds pretty childish, that people would get such a strong feeling of hurt-pride when the cause is purely a political power-play, and not at all a snub at China's technological or other capabilities. On the contrary, I think this flatters China that US fears Chinese influence so much that they feel this is a necessary action for them to take.


Childish? Mobs of people regarding politics? You don't say.

I mean, would you say the US body politic has been acting particularly adult lately?

Trump has painted himself into a corner with all the trade war stuff, the only move he knows is escalation, and this is obviously a dumb idea.

Chinese companies are big enough to fork Android, and now they're supremely motivated even if this were reversed tomorrow.

One more bit of influence down the drain.


Can't argue with that, but I felt the original author I replied to took it way too personally. US politics is a joke of a democracy and more so now that they have elected a true buffoon as their president. I would argue as a nation, Trump was one of the worst options they could have picked, but since they have long since descended into tribality and unsound rhetoric I guess that's their equilibrium (with Russian aid or not).

While I think the original idea of fighting Chinese influence is a relevant point and much in the US's interest, it seems a little rash and foolish to extend that animosity on Huawei's ability to use Google Android. Like, seriously. If they are not using Android, they'll be using something else which will, with high probably, be not American. Oh well, not my headache.


The US are conducting themselves like a "rogue state" that they like accusing others of being.

People should accept that and that being the rhetoric nothing has changed since 200 years.

Clearly this requires to challenge one's belief, judging by the comments.


Of course, where else they gonna get money from



Huawei has zero (official) presence in US but they are 2nd/3rd globally.


As far as I understand this whole things affects globally and in Europe Huawei is doing quite good. According to your source within year they gained almost 4% and in some countries they are already doing quite good for instance in Italy (24%) or Poland (32%).


In Europe Huawei is pretty huge at around 29%


Is this site missing css for anyone else too?


Seems like the css is missing for their mobile version of the site on iOS Safari




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