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.
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.
 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.
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.
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...?
As an insurance, so they do not have to be afraid of Google's wrath.
I assume that Japanese manufacturers are under a similar threat.
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.
It's not as easy as it may sound like.
There have been attempts:
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.
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.
Not sure though how inclined the other manufacturers are to work with each other.
So I guess that they won't want to "get in bed" with China on this.
China alone is a bigger market for smartphones, than EU + US together.
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.
To reskin the contacts list. Anything dealing with the contacts list needs permission to do so, even reskinning appearance.
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.
Also, why don't you spare Samsung your strategy. Both you and they will be better without it.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Edit: Quite possibly Windows will not receive updates on Huawei laptops anymore.
"No more updates" ain't bricking.
I know that's not what the word "bricked" means.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
So it is now effectively an offense for US companies to trade with Huawei directly or indirectly.
I hope it leads to competition, but i doubt that will happen any time soon.
Which in some way makes this a self-fulfilling action.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
> 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.
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.
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.
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?
So if this comes to US versus the world, maybe Android or Google services wouldn't be that relevant, long term.
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.
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.
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.
Any country can influence the local company and if you do business with the company then there you go.
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.
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?
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.
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.
It makes strategic sense to do industrial espionage but there's so many ways it can go wrong.
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.
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
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 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.
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.
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'.
"Let them fight"
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.
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.
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.
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.
Looks like I dodged a bullet, for now at least.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.