Huawei Can’t Launch New Phones with Google Play Store until May 2021

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The US government barred Huawei and ZTE last year from doing any business with US-based firms. This was a massive blow to the companies as they were stopped from launching new phones with GMS (Google Mobile Services) and supply network equipment to US network carriers. Huawei had hoped that the ban would be lifted sometime this year, but that won’t happen until at least mid-2021.

US President Donald Trump has extended the Executive Order 13873 by re-signing it earlier today and declaring that Huawei is a threat to the country’s national security. This means that Huawei and Honor have been barred from using technologies developed by American brands for one more year. The companies won’t be able to launch new smartphones, smartwatches, smart TVs, and tablets with the Google Play Store and other Google services until May 2021.

There have been several allegations against Huawei by Australia, New Zealand, the EU, and the US that the company is too close to the Chinese government and its military. Several reports stated that telecommunication network equipment manufactured by Huawei have backdoors that allow the Chinese government to spy users on the network. This forced the US government to apply sanctions on the Chinese firm and stop it from doing any business with US-based companies.

Donald Trump was quoted saying, “For this reason, the national emergency declared on May 15, 2019, must continue in effect beyond May 15, 2020. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 USC 1622(d)), I am continuing for one year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13873 with respect to securing the information and communications technology and services supply chain.

Huawei is currently using (Huawei Mobile Services), the company’s alternative to GMS, on its new smartphones and tablets. However, it doesn’t offer software and services that are as good as the ones provided by Google, making the phones as good as useless for consumers residing outside of China. HMS doesn’t offer the ability to sync data with Google services such as Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Docs, Google Home, Google Maps, Google Photos, and YouTube.

Our Take

Allegations against Huawei are not unfounded, and countries like the US take these issues quite seriously. So, we don’t see the US government removing sanctions against Huawei anytime soon. Hence, Huawei has been relaunching refreshed versions of smartphones like the Huawei P30 Pro New Edition that have been launched already.

Although Huawei and Honor have been selling its newly-launched smartphones in Europe, India, the UK, and other countries, they lack GMS. It is better for consumers to spend their money on smartphones from other OEMs such as Google, OnePlus, OPPO, Realme, Samsung, and Xiaomi until the US government removes trade sanctions on Huawei and its subsidiaries.

[Source: White House]