Huawei’s coming Mate 30 flagship will be missing crucial Google apps

29 Aug 2019

Image: Martyn Landi/PA

According to Google, US trade restrictions mean the rumoured Mate 30 smartphone from Huawei will not be able to use its apps and services.

Huawei’s next flagship smartphone will not be able to use Google apps and services under the current US trade ban, Google has said.

The Chinese firm is expected to launch its new Mate 30 line of smartphones in the autumn. However, Google has told the Reuters news agency that, under the current US restrictions on trade with Huawei, the new phones cannot be sold with licensed apps such as Google Maps or Gmail, which form part of its Android operating system.

Exemption applications

Huawei uses Google’s Android operating system to power its line-up of smartphones. The Chinese firm was effectively blacklisted by the US government in May, amid allegations that the company was a threat to US national security because of alleged close ties to the Chinese government – something Huawei has always denied.

‘Huawei will continue to use the Android OS and ecosystem if the US government allows us to do so’

A temporary licence was issued by the US government earlier in the summer and renewed again last week, which has allowed Huawei to maintain existing devices, but does not apply to new products such as the Mate 30, Google said.

US companies are able to apply for specific products to be exempted from the ban, but Google has not said whether it had applied for any such licences.

“Huawei will continue to use the Android OS and ecosystem if the US government allows us to do so,” a Huawei spokesperson said. “Otherwise, we will continue to develop our own operating system and ecosystem.”

What’s next for Huawei?

The forthcoming Mate 30 launch will be the first major phone released by the company since the restrictions were introduced.

In June, Huawei’s UK managing director, Anson Zhang, said “nothing has changed” for the Chinese company despite the ban and it would continue to provide software and security updates for Android in both the short and long term.

However, earlier this month, the company unveiled its own operating system, HarmonyOS, which it said it could use if it was no longer able to access Android in the future – but Huawei has said its first choice is to continue using Android.

– PA Media