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Did Google just turn Huawei smartphones into a brick?

Huawei is not having a good year,  Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in currently on house arrest in Vancouver.  Meng is the daughter of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s billionaire founder, Ren Zhengfei, Meng was arrested at Vancouver’s airport in December on a U.S. warrant and is fighting extradition on charges that she conspired to defraud global banks about Huawei’s relationship with a company operating in Iran.  Then last week Huawei was hit with a major ban that will limit its ability to do business in Canada.

Now it looks like Google has put some salt on that wound as they announce they will pull Huawei’s license to Android operating system.  According to Reuters,

“We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications.” The order, in this case, appears to be the US Commerce Department’s recent decision to place Huawei on the “Entity List,” which as Reuters reports is a list of companies that are unable to buy technology from US companies without government approval.  This now means the smartphone maker is restricted to using the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), cutting the company off from critical Google apps and services that consumers outside of China expect on Android devices.

Did Google just make Huawei smartphones into a brick?

So is your Huawei device now useless? This war between the US and Huawei is just beginning. Huawei has been working on its alternative to the Google Play Store. Huawei has been pitching app makers since 2018 and suggesting incentive’s to help them make inroads into China.  There has already been a 90-day reprive issued by the US government so it looks like the US is not completely turning its back on Huawei  – the company still has some life left.

1. Policy changes take time

Google’s decision to revoke Huawei’s license could become a permanent thing, however , it will take time to come into effect. Your Huawei
device will work today and tomorrow; Google’s services are so intertwined into Android and Huawei’s EMUI skin that it is not as easy as flipping a switch to make a change.

Current Huawei might be safe

Since this is so new, less than 48 hours ago, no one has the full details on the Google license revocation, for all we know it might only apply to new /future devices leaving current owners still having access to the full Android. Lawyers and executives will need to have several meetings and come to an agreement and final sign off.

Huawei is a fighter, plan B is in effect

Huawei’s core EMUI code won’t be affected, this is the software that all Huawei devices use versus what Google is restricting. So Google can block the use of its apps and the Play Store on Huawei phones, most of what you know about EMUI could stay intact if Huawei chooses.  The company is also working on its over version of the Google Play Store which could be where Huawei smartphone owners gain access to future app updates and releases.

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