Google Blocks Huawei From Android Services and Apps
In what could be described as an escalation of the U.S.- China trade war, Google suspends the Chinese giant, Huawei from accessing its services and apps.
According to Reuters, Google’s businesses with Huawei that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services are suspended. The only exceptions are those that can be accessed through open source licensing.
The Google spokesperson said they are complying with the order and reviewing the implications.
Also, the spokesperson pointed out that Google Play and security protections from Google Play Protect will still function on existing Huawei devices. “Huawei will only be able to use the public version of Android and will not be able to access proprietary apps and services from Google”, the spokesperson added.
The suspension came as a result of the addition of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to a trade blacklist on Thursday May 16 by the Trump administration. It created restrictions that will make it very difficult for the company to conduct business with U.S. businesses.
The Trump administration made the move because it suspected Huawei to have relationship with Chinese intelligence. It also accuses the company of stealing U.S. technology.
Moreover, Google is not the only U.S. company to stop doing business with Huawei, chipmakers including Intel Corp, Qualcomm Inc, Broadcom Inc, and Xilinx Inc will also stop supplying critical software and components to Huawei until further notice.
Impact on Huawei
The suspension implies that the Chinese giant will not be able to access updates to Google’s Android O.S. Reuters reports that it could disrupt Huawei’s smartphone business outside China.
Popular services such as Gmail and YouTube apps and Google Play Store will disappear from future versions of Huawei smartphones that run on Android.
Henceforth, Google will also stop offering access, technical support and collaboration, regarding its proprietary services and apps.
In an interview with Reuters, rotating chairman of Huawei Eric Xu said that the Android Community have no legal right to block any company from accessing its open-source license. In other words, the company will still access the open-source android version known as Android Open Source Project (AOSP).
If the suspension lasts for long, Huawei may lose its competitiveness especially in regions like Europe. These apps are important to stay competitive in these regions. Considering the fact that Europe is Huawei’s second-biggest market, the impact could be far-reaching.
As expected, the impact would be less in China because several domestic competitors like Baidu and Tencent offer alternatives to these apps and services.
Huawei’s Contingency Plan
Users of Huawei smartphone should be familiar with Huawei’s “AppGallery”. Interestingly, this is one of the contingency plans the company has been working on for years.
The company pointed out that it has spent the last few years working on these plans by developing its own technology in case it is blocked from using Android. Most of its products sold in China already use this technology.
It is unclear how long the ban will be and it is unlikely that Huawei will go down quietly. The Chinese giant will likely challenge the blacklist placement. Also, the ban could be a political tool to leverage the next meeting between President Trump and Xi Jinping.
Although the ban puts a lot of pressure on Huawei, it also hurts U.S. businesses. Huawei is a major business partner to several businesses in the United States and Europe and therefore the ban will prevent U.S. businesses from doing business with the second largest smartphone maker in the world.