Google breaks up with Huawei, pulls Android license

Huawei's Android license has been revoked

Huawei Mate X Folding Phone

Huawei Mate X Folding Phone

Credit: Fergus Halliday | IDG

Huawei's Android license has reportedly been revoked, days after the US Government added the Chinese tech giant to a trade blacklist.

As reported earlier today by Reuters and The Verge, Google have suspended all business transactions with Huawei that involve the transfer of hardware, software and technical services.

“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,” one source told Reuters.

Reports say that, going forward, Huawei will still be able to deploy security updates for Android once they’re made available through the Android Open Source Program but they won't be able to work with Google in any meaningful capacity.

According to a Google spokesperson, "We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications. For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices.”

This restriction could affect everything from the availability and compatibility of apps like Gmail, Chrome and YouTube on future Huawei smartphones to the speed with which existing Huawei smartphones receive major firmware upgrades like Android Q.

It may even force Huawei to bring out their own rumored mobile operating system - though this would hardly allay any security fears around the brand.

It's also unknown how an inability to work with Google will affect Huawei's first foldable phone, the Huawei Mate X.

Foldable phones like the Royole Flexpai are fast becoming notorious for their software issues and Google's efforts in making Android a more foldable-friendly operating system were expected to play an important role for premium foldables like Mate X in the future. Simply put: a version of the Mate X released without Google's support looks like a much worse buy than one with it.

PC World Australia has reached out to Huawei for comment.

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Fergus Halliday
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