Google no longer provides an Android license to Huawei. That means that the Chinese smartphone manufacturer must switch to an open source version of Android, without the Google Play Store and apps like Gmail. Existing devices keep Play access.
Reuters brought out the news about revoking the license on Sunday evening Dutch time. The news agency writes that on the basis of sources that are familiar with the case; Google and Huawei have not yet responded. The American tech site The Verge says it has confirmed the news at its own source.
The revocation of the license is a consequence of the trade ban that the US government introduced last week. Huawei and seventy companies that are related to the Chinese tech giant have been placed by the US Department of Commerce on a list of companies that US companies cannot trade with.
Huawei can continue to use Android without a license, but not in its current form. Huawei should switch to the aosp version without additions such as the Play Store and Google apps such as Gmail and Maps. In addition, security updates for the aosp version will become available later and without a license, Huawei will also not have access to early beta versions of new Android versions. When users of current Huawei devices will notice something about the revocation of the Android license, it is not yet clear.
Google would still be looking internally at which parts the revocation of the license all has influence. Engadget writes that updates for Google Play Services and apps can continue, because this requires no interaction between Google and Huawei. However, Huawei could no longer receive security updates and new Android versions from Google.
Huawei has been working for years on its own operating system to possibly replace Android. Huawei chief Richard Yu confirmed this again in an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt last March. The Chinese manufacturer sees that own operating system as a ‘plan b’, the preference is for Android.
The US government has long been critical of Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei. The Americans state that the Chinese government can spy through the hardware. Hard evidence has not been provided for this.
Google confirms that it must comply with the US government’s trade ban and guarantees that existing Huawei devices with Android will have access to Google Play and the security of Google Play Protect.