The year 2019 was not a memorable year for Huawei as the company fought against the US government’s decision to ban companies from doing business with Huawei. The decision had an adverse effect on Huawei who had to rush the development of their own OS for smartphones.
Not only that, in May of 2019, the US government issued a ban to stop Huawei from using Google services and the company lost access to services like YouTube, Google Play Store and Google Maps. Earlier today Google published a support article clarifying the current situation. Google stated that even months after the ban went into effect, the company is still receiving questions about the ban and hence they published a support article to clarify all the confusion.
We have continued to receive a number of questions about new Huawei devices (e.g., new models launching now, or earlier models launched after May 16, 2019 but now becoming available in new regions of the world) and whether Google’s apps and services can be used on these devices. We wanted to provide clear guidance to those asking these important questions.
Google clarified that devices which came after May 16, 2019, are not certified by Google and those devices won’t receive any support from Google. However, all the devices that were launched or were selling in the market will continue to receive updates and support from Google.
Our focus has been protecting the security of Google users on the millions of existing Huawei devices around the world. We have continued to work with Huawei, in compliance with government regulations, to provide security updates and updates to Google’s apps and services on existing devices, and we will continue to do so as long as it is permitted.
Moreover, Google also warned users not to sideload Google services like Play Store and Gmail. This is because the company can’t confirm if those apps are genuine or are malware created by bad actors.
Sideloaded Google apps will not work reliably because we do not allow these services to run on uncertified devices where security may be compromised. Sideloading Google’s apps also carries a high risk of installing an app that has been altered or tampered with in ways that can compromise user security.
The support article was published by Tristan Ostrowski, Android & Play Legal Director and it clarifies Google’s position on the ban. The company didn’t comment on the political side of things and the article was strictly aimed at consumers who might not be sure about the future of Huawei or are concerned if they will be receiving updates in the future.
Ostrowski ended the article by outlining a way to check if the device is certified by Google. This method will work on any Android devices and is not exclusive to Huawei. However, if you recently bought Huawei smartphone or are planning to buy one then this method should help you confirm if the device is certified by Google.
To check if your device is certified, open the Google Play Store app on your Android phone, tap “Menu” and look for “Settings.” You will see if your device is certified under “Play Protect certification.” You can learn more on android.com/certified.