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Huawei Mate 30 cannot ship with key Google-made Android apps

The Huawei Mate 30 series of phones may launch without access to key Google apps and services, according to a Reuters report, dealing a crucial blow to the handsets’ chances of success.

Huawei executives told Reuters that the firm plans to press ahead with the launch of the flagship range, despite the ban on U.S. companies dealing with their Chinese counterparts.

The Mate 30 range, expected to be unveiled at an event in Munich on September 18, could still arrive packing the open source Android operating system. However, because Google cannot license its apps to Huawei, the phones would be missing the Google Mobile Services ecosystem, which includes the Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube and more.

A Google spokesperson practically confirmed the threat, telling Reuters that the Mate 30 cannot be sold with licensed Google apps because of the U.S. ban on sales to Huawei. Unfortunately Huawei’s problem in this instance is that the temporary reprieve afforded to the company by the Trump administration only applies to existing products.

Exemptions are possible, but it has to come from the U.S. side, and Google hasn’t said whether it has applied for an exemption to deal with Huawei to ensure the Mate 30 range has all of the staple apps Android fans know and love.

A Huawei spokesperson told Reuters: “Huawei will continue to use the Android OS and ecosystem if the U.S. government allows us to do so. Otherwise, we will continue to develop our own operating system and ecosystem.”

Should that occur, fans of Huawei devices may have to resort to side-loading the key Google apps onto the devices using APKs, something that wasn’t a mainstream practice then, and wouldn’t be now.

As well as the ongoing trade war with the United States, Huawei is somewhat of a special case. The U.S. (and indeed many of its European allies) have concerns over whether the company uses its mobile infrastructure technology in order to conduct espionage on behalf of the Chinese government. Those allegations have never been proven.

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