Google is barred from selling Android license to Huawei, meaning its phones could use the base open-source code, but would not have access to the all-important Play Store and Google apps.
Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has confirmed that the US sanctions were hurting it badly, especially the absence of Google’s core Android software, Play Store and popular apps like Search and Maps on its devices. According to a Financial Times report quoting a senior Huawei executive, the company hasn’t been successful in finding replacements for Google apps which are very popular on Android devices across the globe.
“There are so many Android users in Europe and south-east Asia. They’re so used to these Google applications on top of Android phones,” Joy Tan, Vice President of Public Affairs at Huawei US, was quoted as saying on Sunday.
“We can continue to use the Android platform since it is open-source, but we cannot use the services that help apps run on it.”
Under the terms of the previous US trade ban, Google was barred from selling Android license to Huawei, meaning its phones could use the base open-source code, but would not have access to the all-important Play Store and Google apps.
A temporary licence was issued which allows Google to support and update the Android OS currently running on existing Huawei devices.
However, the trade ban has affected the development of future products. Huawei is also working on its own operating system HarmonyOS but that is far from reality.
Despite trade restrictions put in place by the US, Huawei last week generated 610.8 billion yuan ($86 billion) revenue during the first three quarters of this year, an increase of 24.4 per cent year-on-year, with a net profit margin of 8.7 per cent.
Richard Yu, the head of Huawei’s consumer business, during a media interview last month, said that if the situation does not change with the US government, the company would start using its HarmonyOS.
The newly-launched Huawei Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro doesn’t have access to Google Play services.
Ahead of the next round of trade talks between Washington and Beijing, US President Donald Trump’s administration is mulling to issue licenses to some American firms that will let them sell non-sensitive equipment to Huawei.