The Huawei news surrounding the US trade ban is quite confusing. What do the sanctions mean for your phone, for example? In this article, we provide an overview by answering some important questions.
Huawei news: 7 questions and answers
Then yes, then no, a bit later yes, but not yet. The situation around Huawei and Android is a bit confusing. For example, the trade ban announced a year ago has still not come into force. Some Huawei phones also have Google services on board, but other devices do not. In this article we will update you on the current Huawei news. This overview is regularly updated with the latest state of affairs.
1. What about the Huawei trade ban now?
Since May 23, 2019, American companies are no longer allowed to contact Huawei. The trade ban is said to take effect immediately, but sanctions have been postponed after protests from businesses and local authorities that rely on Huawei services. This then happened a few more times. The provisional last extension took place on May 15 (2020). It will be clear before August 13 whether the trade ban will be postponed again.
Postponing these sanctions is of particular importance to companies. American providers use Huawei network equipment. Thanks to the postponement of the trade ban, these (especially smaller) providers have more time to switch to alternatives. At the same time, President Trump also announced an extension of the “ Huawei ban ” on May 15. US providers are therefore not allowed to use any network equipment from the manufacturer until at least May 15, 2021.
All in all, therefore, a confusing situation. On the one hand, it is not allowed for American companies to do business with Huawei, but on the other hand, the ban is continuously postponed. At the moment, it is therefore not illegal for American telecom providers to do business with the Chinese manufacturer, which besides smartphones also makes a lot of network equipment.
2. Why is there actually a Huawei trade ban?
That’s a long story, but the bottom line is that the US government suspects Huawei of espionage practices. The network producer would try to eavesdrop on the Chinese government from America. “Foreign enemies are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in our communication systems,” said Trump’s memo when sanctions went into effect. These allegations have never been proven and Huawei denies spying.
3. What does this mean for Huawei smartphones?
It depends on. Do you already have a Huawei phone? In principle then little changes. Has the company promised an update for your device, such as the upgrade to Android 10? Then you should ‘just’ receive it. However, some updates have been delayed. However, the situation gets a lot trickier when you plan to buy a new Huawei smartphone.
Almost all of them are delivered without Google certification. After all, Huawei is not allowed to do business with the American tech company. That is annoying because the Android version of Google is commonplace nowadays. Android is basically open-source, which means that the source code is accessible to everyone, but in an ordinary language people actually mean the Google version of Android, which is put together slightly differently.
In practice, this means that many new Huawei phones (such as the P40 and P40 Pro ) come without Google apps and services. So you can not navigate with Google Maps, watch videos on YouTube via the app and email with the Gmail app is not included. Moreover, you do not have Google Play Services, which ensures that apps can talk to each other. Also in the field of software support, there is still a lot of ambiguity in terms of updates, something that Android Planet has outstanding at Huawei Netherlands.
4. Why do some new Huawei phones have Google services?
Not all new Huawei smartphones come without Google certification. Some devices handle the current sanctions in a handy way. The trade ban only applies to devices that do not yet have Google certificates and therefore still need to be inspected. Phones that already have such ‘paper’ in their hands can ‘just’ be released with Google services.
In practice, Huawei therefore releases new versions of previously released phones. These are slightly adjusted but remain largely the same in terms of hardware. That way, the devices do not have to be tested again and they keep their Google approval. However, this strategy seems short-lived as phone hardware is developing at lightning speed.
5. What about Honor?
Honor is a daughter brand of Huawei. The above Huawei news therefore also applies to Honor. Again, there is only something going on when you plan to buy a smartphone from the Chinese brand. For example, the recently released Honor 9X Pro does not have Google services on board. Instead, you use Huawei’s own software.
6. How does Huawei respond to the ban?
The Chinese manufacturer is not down to business. Instead, people are busy with their own software, such as Huawei Mobile Services. This package installs alternatives to known Android apps on Huawei smartphones and allows apps to communicate with each other. For example, you can get started with a cloud storage service other than Google Drive and an alternative to Chrome, the Google browser, is installed.
AppGallery also plays a crucial role in Huawei’s ‘counteroffensive’. This Google Play Store pendant has been available in the Netherlands for a few years, but will become much more important in the future. The AppGallery contains all kinds of Android apps that you can install on your Huawei device. For the time being, however, the offer is limited, something that Huawei is busy with.
7. How does the AppGallery work?
Broadly AppGallery works just like the Play Store. Open the app store on your Huawei phone, search for the application you want to download and install it. Then you can log in with your account from that app and you can get started. However, many popular apps are still missing.
For example, you will not find Facebook or Spotify in the AppGallery itself. However, such apps can be downloaded, installed, and used in other legitimate ways. Twitter, Deezer, and TikTok, on the other hand, are directly available in the app store of Huawei itself.
The editors of tech largest keep a close eye on all the Huawei news. We therefore regularly update this overview with the latest developments. Don’t want to miss anything? Then sign up for our newsletter, which you will receive daily and/or weekly in your mailbox. We will also keep you informed via our free Android app.