back to article Pushed around and kicked around, always a lonely boy: Run Huawei, Google Play, turns away, from Huawei... turns away

Google will pull Play Store and other services from future shipments of Huawei mobile phones. If you've got a Huawei phone in your pocket, you can still get updates to your apps but future devices shipped by the world's second largest handset maker will not get access to the latest Android operating system or Google services …

  1. werdsmith Silver badge

    Choose carefully if you like the google Android ecosystem , Huawai might not be the only victim.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Strange remark. Seeing as there is AOSP and other app stores are available. Moves like this might end up making Android less dependent upon Google and, hence, less under the influence of the US government.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Strange remark. Seeing as there is AOSP and other app stores are available.

        Strange remark. Seeing as I wrote "if you like the google Android ecosystem".

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Seeing as Huawei sells most of its phones in China with Google Play Store this is unlikely to cause them that much difficulty and you said that they are the victims here. In many countries outside China where Huawei sells lots of phones such as India and Indonesia, users aren't going to care that much either and even in Europe, people aren't going to care that much about the store, etc. when buying the new shiny.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "...and even in Europe, people aren't going to care that much about the store, etc. when buying the new shiny."

            I don't believe that statement at all.

            "Seeing as Huawei sells most of its phones in China with Google Play Store this is unlikely to cause them that much difficulty"

            Surely that fact makes it more difficult.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              >>"Seeing as Huawei sells most of its phones in China with Google Play Store this is unlikely to cause them that much difficulty"

              >Surely that fact makes it more difficult.

              I think he meant it's not a technical challenge as Huawei don't include Google Play Store (and other Google apps) on their Chinese phones.

              Got to love the irony of the whole debacle given Google's revenue stream is almost entirely dependent on legal spyware.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "...as Huawei don't include Google Play Store (and other Google apps) on their Chinese phones."

                Well the above poster said they sell most of their phones with Google Play and you say they don't so only one of you can be correct?

                1. ibmalone Silver badge

                  Believe the earlier poster just made a typo, if you re-read the post as google play not being used for the phones in China it makes more sense. As for that: https://www.techradar.com/uk/news/huawei-suffers-major-android-setback-as-google-pulls-access-to-core-apps-and-services "However, the loss of the Google Play Store – which for users outside of China is the key source of Android apps" is the closest I can quickly find to the play store not being used in China, but reporting on the radio last night mentioned it too, so I think it's the case that Huawei ships without play store there, or ships with an alternative that gets actual use (as opposed to the Samsung store on my last phone...).

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    >so I think it's the case that Huawei ships without play store there

                    Indeed - it would be illegal to ship Google Play - they ship with Huawei App Market though Tencent is still the most popular in terms of app downloads.....

                    It's not totally impossible to access (VPN etc) and Chinese developers are legally allowed to sell apps on Google Play - but market share for purchases is tiny and it's essentially black market. In any case competition is healthy and keeps app prices low.

                    https://www.appinchina.co/market/app-stores/

                  2. doublelayer Silver badge

                    Google services are blocked in China, including the play store. No Chinese phone accesses this store directly, though there exist side channels to access some of it. For this reason, lack of Google play availability will not dramatically impact the ability to sell the devices inside China. Outside China is a very different story. It is also worth considering that even those phones in China need chips from the various companies who have agreed not to sell them to the company, which may cause problems for them in the short term until they find alternate suppliers for the functionality or arrange for a third party to purchase the chips and send them on.

                2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

                  I think "with" was meant to be "without" and most of us mentally auto corrected it - surely the Great Firewall of China won't let you use a non government approved app store, so unless Google runs a government-approved Google Play, it isn't an option. And wouldn't a Chinese censored Google Play mean that we'd be denouncing Google as the tool of communists instead of the tool of imperialists?

                3. wayward4now
                  WTF?

                  "Well the above poster said they sell most of their phones with Google Play and you say they don't so only one of you can be correct?"

                  \I just bought a Huawei phone and it came with all the google shit on it. Plus, I got a terrific phone for 25% of the cost of a similar high end phone. THAT is where the REAL rub is.

          2. werdsmith Silver badge

            Seeing as Huawei sells most of its phones in China with Google Play Store this is unlikely to cause them that much difficulty and you said that they are the victims here. In many countries outside China where Huawei sells lots of phones such as India and Indonesia, users aren't going to care that much either and even in Europe, people aren't going to care that much about the store, etc. when buying the new shiny.

            Yes I know. But I said "if you like Google's Android ecosystem.

            I don't know what you are trying to argue about here but it has nothing to do with what I wrote.

            1. To Mars in Man Bras!
              Facepalm

              Now! Now!

              Calm down everyone. You're arguing about nothing

              Obviously Charlie Clark meant to say: "...Seeing as Huawei sells most of its phones in China WITHOUT Google Play Store..."

          3. Chris G Silver badge

            You need to get out more; several providers in Europe are dependent on Huawei as their main range on offer outside of Apple.

            They offer more or less, a model to equal everything Samsung offers but cheaper.

            Now is the time for someone to jump in and secure the niche left open by Google via the Orange one.

          4. Ian Emery Silver badge

            TYPO

            I think it is a typo, it should be "WITHOUT Google Store".

            Google is almost entirely blocked in China; no domestic phones have Google services of any type on them.

            They all have the Chinese government spyware infested versions like Baidu.

      2. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Android Clone Wars

        I bet Huawei already has an AOSP -based OS waiting in the wings, ready for roll-out when a situation like this arises. It was not entirely unexpected after all.

    2. Empire of the Pussycat

      Choose carefully if you like the USA ecosystem, Huawai willnot be the only victim.

      Clearly you are lacking in understanding

      This is the result of Trump's actions, google has to comply or suffer the consequences, same as every other company that wants to avoid the risk of sanction

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Choose carefully if you like the USA ecosystem, Huawai willnot be the only victim.

        > Clearly you are lacking in understanding

        > This is the result of Trump's actions, google has to comply or suffer the consequences, same as every other company that wants to avoid the risk of sanction

        I think the OP understands perfectly that Google are following Trump's orders - that's exactly the point. Today it's Trump v Huawei, tomorrow it might be Trump v. Samsung. Hence the recommendation to choose carefully.

        1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Re: Choose carefully if you like the USA ecosystem, Huawai willnot be the only victim.

          Not only that, but our government fired minister over Huawei on US orders. Oh, and we HAVE to ban Huawei.

          This is a clear call to reason, I would say, about heavy handed politics, and who are our friends and enemies.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Choose carefully if you like the USA ecosystem, Huawai willnot be the only victim.

            We are only taking orders from the USA because of the EU. It's all the EU's fault. When we leave the EU, we're TAKING BACK CONTROL, so the breixteers tell us.

      2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Choose carefully if you like the USA ecosystem, Huawai willnot be the only victim.

        This is the result of Trump's actions, google has to comply or suffer the consequences

        In this case I am afraid Google is complying and still has to suffer the consequences, in this case reduced market share and a succesful alternative OS voor Android phones.

    3. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      This is the day that an Android alternative suddenly becomes a lot more viable. Thank $deity, because since Windows Phone left, there's room for a 3rd ecosystem.

      1. Alan Potter 1

        This. Every mobe maker in the world is going to be reconsidering its dependence on Android. Why would they commit their business to a thing that us.gov can switch off on a whim?

        I expect there to be a new, fully open-source O/S from some foundation backed by all the major mobe makers (except Apple and Google) before the year is out...

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          A GSMA-run app store to cut Google out and get back to The Way Things Used To Be (given that Google and Apple cut manufacturers and telecos out with their app stores)?

          But the GSMA have never knowingly got anything off the ground since SMS so I doubt this would be any different.

          1. LewisRage

            > ...back to The Way Things Used To Be...

            An unpoliced wildwest thats impossible for the technically average to stay safe in?

            1. doublelayer Silver badge

              Please no on the GSMA-run app store. The last thing we need is extra control over our phones by the mobile providers. They've already made it so it's hard to get a device without being locked into a provider. I don't want them deciding or even knowing what applications I can run.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                They've already made it so it's hard to get a device without being locked into a provider.

                Go to shop, pay money, walk out with new never-locked device?

                1. doublelayer Silver badge

                  What shop? A bunch of them are owned by the mobile providers or have signed a contract with one of them. The devices are locked. You can get plenty of unlocked devices from online or the occasional retailer, but your choice is much reduced because they don't always have the specific one you want. You can get into the area of importing devices from other places, but that's a lot of hassle compared to the benefit.

                  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                    Never really had a problem online, the only one I would have liked to get hold of but never managed to was the Nokia N9 but that was because Elop was selling them in "selected markets".

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          I appreciate the enthusiasm. I really hope it is proven correct. Unfortunately, I don't think we will see a viable third alternative. Huawei will probably have something. Whether that is AOSP-based or something less compatible, I doubt it will be released as open source for everyone else, and I doubt that it will really provide useful things over standard AOSP let alone something less supported but more powerful like Lineage OS. Meanwhile, while other companies may indeed worry about android access being cut off, they will probably worry even more about a third OS eating into their market share because they would have to expend resources on building and maintaining it, let alone advertising it. If it dies like every other attempt at a mobile OS (Windows phone, Ubuntu Touch, Firefox OS, ...) they will be out that development cost, the hardware that didn't sell cost, the loss of android market share cost that Apple can try to pick up, and the made Google angry cost. Companies have a lot of financial people who do not like that type of mathematics.

      2. DougS Silver badge

        There isn't going to be an "Android alternative"

        They will use Android without Google, which was already an alternative (and owns nearly 100% of the Android market share in China already)

        The question is whether they or anyone else can make Google-free Android a thing outside China, and whether customers will accept in places that don't have a full local ecosystem of Google replacements like China does.

        What would even be the point of a third OS that isn't Android? The hard problem is how to replace stuff like the Google Play Store, Google search app and so forth. That problem exists whether you use AOSP or something totally different. At least using AOSP developers don't have a third API to target. There's little or no chance of a third API getting traction, but Android devs submitting their apps to alternative app stores used by another version of Android could easily happen.

        Someone just needs to have enough clout (like say Huawei?) to set up that alternative app store and get everyone to buy into it. If phone owners have to manually point their phone at various third party stores it'll never work - that's fine for Reg readers who are technically knowledgeable, but the other 98% of people will be as hopless and helpless as if you told them in 2000 "just open up your PC and upgrade the RAM".

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      We basically need to understand Trump's stock holding, and then we will find out the true motives.

      I find it hilarious that morons think they live in the land of the free, but there is more corporate control and corruption than there is in China....

      Fools.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "more corporate control and corruption than there is in China...."

        Thank goodness that we in the EU are free of such anti-democratic goings-on.

        My world-beating EU-R-OS will be ready for release Real Soon Now.

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        As I said in a conversation yesterday, making a note of sho buys what immediately after one of Trump's spats could be very informative, a bit of insider trading based on his 'political' decisions must be hard to resist for some.

      3. DougS Silver badge

        I don't think Trump owns much stock, his wealth (what there actually may be of it) is tied up in a few real estate holdings and brand licenses.

        His hard on for China is because he criticized Obama's handling of China and Hillary's initial support of TPP, and loudly proclaimed he could do a better job because he "makes great deals". So he was sort of forced to put up or shut up. Unfortunately his negotiation strategy consists of a lot of shouting and threatening, and hoping the other side gets scared and gives in to his demands.

        That won't work with China. They know they have the upper hand because he has to run for re-election next year while China's president never faces voters. They can just hang on and weather the storm, waiting for Trump to cave, which he will be forced to by next summer due to the impending election - if not sooner due to economic issues it causes in the US. He'll cave, claim "victory" in a tweet, and his supporters will believe him because Fox News will support his lie.

        If you want to understand Trump's motives there is only one - what is best for himself. That is solely to put himself in the best position to get re-elected, or be able to claim some type of treasonous conspiracy if he loses. The only economic factors he's personally invested in are lower interest rates (because he has a lot of debt) and generous tax treatment for real estate investments.

    5. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
      Pint

      Choose carefully...

      Once upon a time, I bought the moderately expensive (at the time) Google Nexus 7 tablet because it was supposedly going to be the most future proof, always first-in-line for native Android updates.

      As it turns out, it became unsupported more quickly than just about any other gadget I've ever bought. Worse still, there's some obscure design fault in the memory such that it barely worked at all, after just several years. One of my least satisfactory gadget purchases.

      Yes, choose carefully.

  2. Andus McCoatover

    This is nothing but protectionism. Trump barks, and Google runs to heel.

    I hear the slavering of anti-trust lawyers champing at the bit!

    1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Lawyers

      What use would be lawyers in the US vs the US? I doubt it would be of any use..

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: Lawyers

        On the other hand, lawyers in the EU against Google (for antitrust reasons)...

      2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Lawyers

        What use would be lawyers in the US vs the US? I doubt it would be of any use..

        Those lawyers will be employed so not bothering us and on top of that they will be paying taxes (unless they are very good tax lawyer as well, in which case I wish them all the luck).

        1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: Lawyers

          They will, but demand will fuel supply and when this ruckus is over we will have them as well!

    2. itzumee

      Upvoted because you didn't write "I hear the slavering of anti-trust lawyers chomping at the bit!"

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Happy

        "Upvoted because you didn't write "I hear the slavering of anti-trust lawyers chomping at the bit!"

        Who could ever get that wrong after seeing the beating Scott Mills got? ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ltb_14CWqDA

    3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      I don't know the American system, but this action seems broadly unjustified, so can it actually be challenged? Like Trump arbitrarily but apparently officially designating inconvenient organisations as "terrorist" in order to invoke established sanctions against "terrorists"... however, those decisions appear to be allowed to stand. Martin Niemöller's theorem may apply.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Some of the stuff can be challenged in US courts and Huawei has already filed suits but the "national security" card is pretty much a get of jail free card that all countries want to be able to use. I don't think there can be anything done about the export bans. But, as with the cryptographic export bans of the early 2000s, these can be mixed blessings: South Korea, for example, was not allowed versions of Netscape and Internet Explorer with strong encryption so had to use ActiveX extensions for secure pages.

        Currently, it's unthinkable that China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan can be pushed so close together that they'd actively start looking for solutions that cut US exports out but if Donny keeps on pushing their buttons, they might start coming to some arrangements in areas like energy and shipping and thus effectively cripple US sanctions on Iran.

  3. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Continuous Integration vs Donald Trump

    "We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications. For users of our services, Google Play and the security protections from Google Play Protect will continue to function on existing Huawei devices."

    How are they going to do this?

    Pull security updates for active phones from now on - madness.

    Not accept new Google Account sign-ups or logins from Huawei mobiles - what happens if you reset your phone and it's worked up until now?

    Implement by model ID - Huawei can sell current stock for several months.

    Only implement the ban from Android Q onwards - someone in the US administration could notice get upset.

    Back in 2016, Huawei was reported to be hiring ex-Nokia developers for "secret phone OS project", at the time seen as a way to fend off Google attempts to further tighten its grip on Android. Just two months ago, Huawei's mobile chief Richard Yu was clearly authorised to confirm this information, letting it slip out in an interview with German newspaper Die Welt.

    Go Sailfish!

    This is the best thing that's happened yet to give manufacturers an incentive to break the Google monopoly. EU fines are one thing but they don't hit the mobile manufacturer, knowing that Racist Grandpa could get upset with your company at any time and tell Google to pull the plug is something completely different.

    Android relies on foreign mobile manufacturers, there isn't one home-grown manufacturer except the Pixel slurpmobile which is expensive, not widely available from third-party retailers, and has terrible after-sales service.

    1. JetSetJim Silver badge

      Re: Continuous Integration vs Donald Trump

      > How are they going to do this?

      FTFA:

      If you've got a Huawei phone in your pocket, you can still get updates to your apps but future devices shipped by the world's second largest handset maker will not get access to the latest Android operating system or Google services like Play Store, Gmail and YouTube.

      So, basically when a new IMEI registers with the Play store, "Computer says no". Also, at the very least, Android has the following to query further device information:

      System.getProperty("os.version"); // OS version

      android.os.Build.VERSION.SDK // API Level

      android.os.Build.DEVICE // Device

      android.os.Build.MODEL // Model

      android.os.Build.PRODUCT // Product

      But, antri-trust/anti-competitive lawsuit in 3, ....

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Continuous Integration vs Donald Trump

        It's not going to be pretty if retailers can't sell current stock. Trump will have turned retailers, operators, and manufacturers against Android overnight.

        1. JetSetJim Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Continuous Integration vs Donald Trump

          and obviously that's good for Tim Apple. Is it a coincidence that they met moderately recently?

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Re: Continuous Integration vs Donald Trump

            According to Auntie, this applies to new designs, so existing stock won't be affected.

            1. veti Silver badge

              Re: Continuous Integration vs Donald Trump

              Oh right, I'm sure American consumers will be queuing up to buy these things now.

              1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Continuous Integration vs Donald Trump

                It's a big world outside Murica's borders, there are other consumers apart from American ones...

        2. midcapwarrior

          Re: Continuous Integration vs Donald Trump

          Huawei is a minor player in the US.

          Not much of an affect on US retailers, operators...

          Now in Europe and asia different story but they aren't his concern

          1. Spanners Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Re: Continuous Integration vs Donald Trump

            Huawei is a minor player in the US.

            The US is a minor player in the global phone market.

            Not much of an affect on US retailers, operators...

            US phone retailers & operators, happily, have little to zero affect on the rest of us.

            Now in Europe and Asia different story but they aren't his concern

            Not Europe and Asia - EARTH.

            To get an idea of how far from the global norm the US phone market and usage is, just consider that over half the smartphones sold there are iPhones. Globally, its around 10% so, excluding the USA, it must be lower still.

            I see two possible reasons for this, stupid move.

            1. Huawei does not have any back doors and does not want any from the crooks of the CIA, NSA etc.

            2. This is part of Trumps, economically illiterate, trade war with China.

            1. LewisRage

              Re: Continuous Integration vs Donald Trump

              1. Huawei does not have any back doors and does not want any from the crooks of the CIA, NSA etc.

              AND/OR the backdoors it *does* have aren't for US allies but for it's home country. See the row about Huawei 5G kit.

            2. Just Enough

              Re: Continuous Integration vs Donald Trump

              You missed the most likely option.

              3. Trump is delivering what Putin wants; the US and China at each other's throats.

      2. Chet Mannly

        Re: Continuous Integration vs Donald Trump

        " future devices shipped by the world's second largest handset maker will not get access to the latest Android operating system or Google services like Play Store, Gmail and YouTube."

        Pretty sure it's only the Google services - android itself is open source.

        Come to think of it I'd be up for a de-googled phone!

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Go Sailfish

      You mention Sailfish. Russian government are adopting this for their official devices as they don't want to depend on iOS and Android, for security fears!

      The Russian version is rebranded Aurora OS and they are getting behind the development effort having licensed more than a million units. Should mean Sailfish can stay in the game a bit longer.

      I am a Sailfish user, It's had two OTA updates with improvements since 3 (X) was released a couple of months ago and it's perfect for me. Not ready for Mr Whinger yet though.

      1. MrReal Bronze badge

        Re: Go Sailfish

        Well it seems that America is Isolating itself one step at a time from the rest of the world, in an attempt to maintain dominance over the rest of the world.

        Trump has now (ab)used their currency and tech as weapons, each time he does this countries learn and America becomes smaller. Even Venezeula is not allowed to trade freely as America attacks it's ships in international waters - piracy by definition.

        Google should have stuck to what it used to do and do well, today it's becoming a bit of a nuisance.

      2. Gio Ciampa

        Re: Go Sailfish

        All very well if you have a supported device...

        ...the website mentions 4 Sony handsets (8 if you count the dual-SIM variants I guess), and that's it.

  4. Rocket888

    Google not allowed to work with company accused of spying. The irony is strong in this one.

  5. beaker_72
    Thumb Up

    Chapeau

    That's an outstanding headline for a Monday morning

  6. Steve K Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Contender for best sub-heading 2019!

    Great job - Contender for best sub-heading 2019!

  7. LeedsMonkey

    This is pretty dumb. Huawei and other Chinese manufacturers have both the resources and a massive local market to release their own OS, and they have never been too shy with just copying stuff either. They will just replace Android with their own OS. They might not be able to sell these in the US, but there is this thing called 'the rest of the world', and that's a fairly big market. Not to mention the US will have absolutely no control over this at all.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      I don't think the Google restrictions are that much of a problem for Huawei, but the chips might be: Qualcomm has the monopoly on some of the radio stuff. Then again, the Chinese have been working on their own 5G stack for years so this could end up being a boost for their own kit.

      Either way trust in the US as a trading partner will be further eroded.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        trust in the US as a trading partner will be further eroded

        That's what confuses me about this. If you try to cut off a company as huge as Huawei now is, all you are going to do is encourage it to look elsewhere. It may not yet have an entirely home-grown solution, but it certainly has the resources to throw at creating one, and it seems to have a vast market outside of the US which may or may not care too much if their next phone actually runs Android, so long as they can still access Snapchat or Facebook or whatever.

        As with import tariffs, in the meantime you are really going to annoy the rest of the world because said blocked company will have a lot of stuff to offload at "dumping" rates. Trump may not care if he annoys India or Brazil or Russia or Europe, but his successor surely will when he's mopping up the mess - and that might be soonish if Trump can't win a second term.

        As others have said, this ban could - if it is sustained, rather than a short-term slap-on-the-wrist - be the thing that brings a valid competitor to Google and Apple into the market.

        Personally, I'd rather it were someone else than Huawei, but very few others have those kind of resources. If someone can produce a sub-£200 AOSP-based phone (I'm currently running Lineage OS on a 5½ year old Moto G) or something usable based on Maego or KaiOS or whatever, I'd definitely be in the market. Heck, I'm even considering strapping a big battery to a Raspberry Pi and a small touchscreen to brew my own.

        M.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > It may not yet have an entirely home-grown solution, but it certainly has the resources to throw at creating one

          And, presumably, as of today it also has the entire resources of the Chinese state available to it as well as I can't imagine China's government are going to take this lightly.

        2. Norman Nescio Silver badge

          Other options

          Sailfish has already been mentioned, which I've duly upvoted. I use Sailfish OS on a Sony XA2 as my daily driver. It is not problem-free, but good enough for my purposes, and your use-case may differ. For example, I have not enabled the Android compatibility. Obviously, for most people, the ability to use either Google/Android or Apple/iOS apps is a necessary requirement, and I have no quibble with that.

          There are some other (smart)phone operating systems floating around, including plain old GNU/Linux, but they will take a bit of time to polish up and also, dare I say it, have a monetized walled garden/prison of an app store created. Observers of Google's strategy on Android will have seen that the ecosystem is dependent on the non-free Google Play Services, as this episode shows - and that Google will be able to dispense with the Linux kernel once they can slide Fuchsia into the bottom of the software stack in place of the Android Linux kernel, enabled by Project Treble's hardware abstraction. Linux proponents like me may hate it, but I can easily see Google moving from being one of the biggest enablers of Linux on the planet to being the biggest threat as all Google-phones run Fuchsia in future, and apps (such as banking) expect the Google Play Services to run on top of (locked-down) Fuchsia only. As someone who supports software freedom, to me the future doesn't look great. I would dearly love to be wrong.

          Any replacement for Google Play Services that Huawei come up with is certain to be Chinese government approved, so is unlikely to respect your freedoms, so even if Huawei do continue to use a Linux kernel in their products, I do not expect the ecosystem to be FLOSS and privacy-respecting. The security and intelligence services of most countries are not in favour of the general population having access to secure, private communications methods, for a variety of reasons. I do not expect the situation to get better quickly, if at all.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Other options

            "..I use Sailfish OS on a Sony XA2 as my daily driver.."

            I'm using a Sony XA2 with Lineage (pie) + f-droid for a bit less than a year and it is viable. Certainly not for everyone, but for an IT minded person it's certainly approachable. Most of the effort is upfront doing the initial research, flash and then finding the equivalent apps. Past that point it is practically maintenance free (OTA updates work).

        3. ibmalone Silver badge

          Even if they stick with AOSP for the time being and provide their own alternatives for play store, email, maps, that will put Huawei in the position of being able to legitimately hoover the data Google currently hoovers. Whether you'd think ironic or counter-productive is the more apt phrase might depend on whether you take into account western governments' demands to build back doors into devices and software.

          1. Chet Mannly

            Huawei already have their own app store, mail client etc (I have one of their phones - it's great).

            Sure maps wouldn't be too difficult to put together...

      2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Either way trust in the US as a trading partner will be further eroded.

        Is that even still possible? Let's start exploring the consequences negative trust levels.

  8. Chz

    How long will this one last?

    ZTE was barred for all of three months. Though they admittedly sell fewer phones outside of China than Huawei does, but it didn't seem to trouble them much.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: How long will this one last?

      ZTE was hit harder by the restrictions on server chips. By all accounts Huawei has been stockpiling chips for a while now but will still struggle with a sustained ban. But there could be all kinds of collateral damage to companies who rely on Huawei for networking kit, who might be the real target of the ban.

      In the end the ZTE ban was resolved by payment of a "fine". Might be the same here but Trump is not giving the Chinese much room to save face here what with the extradition order still in force in Canada.

      There will be payback for this at some point and the US is going to be reliant upon China to enforce sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

  9. lsces

    Isn't this a good thing finally

    Personally I'd prefer to be able to switch off the Google crap so I could use the better free alternatives without wasting so much space on apps I've never used! Although I'm stuck with the crap Samsung ship with the device as well. If Huawai come up with a 'google free' phone it could be very attractive as long as they don't replace it with their own junk? I was currently debating if I bother with the update program from the S9 to S10 but give all the current crap I don't see any point. I may get even more apps that simply refuse to work in portrait mode or like the shit Facebook push - they change from portrait to landscape for no reason! So I am hoping this will be a push for Huawai to come up with something that actually works properly ... none of the American companies do anyway!

    1. JohnG

      Re: Isn't this a good thing finally

      Well - you get the advantage of not having the Google stuff pre-installed in every firmware build but you are still stuck with the Huawei stuff, which is even less useful possibly more risky.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Isn't this a good thing finally

        which is even less useful possibly more risky.

        Ah, but that's the crux: citation (or rather hard evidence) needed.

        If there was even a shred of evidence for these allegations I'd agree, but we're now in a situation where Huawei has passed more security evaluations than any other supplier, internationally so. Compare that to US providers who don't want to be that open - who would you trust? It's a bit like someone claiming "no collusion" and then fighting against the release of the very report that allegedly exonerates them.

        You don't make security choices based on marketing, emotions or politics, you make them based on facts. So far, they do not exactly favour the Americans.

      2. the spectacularly refined chap

        Re: Isn't this a good thing finally

        No evidence has been presented that Huawei is any more of a risk than Googly stuff. I don't even see much in the way of actual allegations: instead it is mere speculation: this COULD happen, not that it IS.

        The only evidence available that I can see is their Ts & Cs. Huawei’s are very reassuring compared to Google's. For the base system the scariest terms are "if you buy something from our website we store your payment information for the time needed to process the transaction". Additional services may have additional terms but again they are reassuring in comparison: for example the backup tool needs an account and to store your data if you go for online backup. If you use SD or USB storage you don't even need that. The domestic Chinese market is very privacy focussed because it is known in China what the government's inclinations are, and Huawei would be sunk internationally if anything substantive got out about spyware.

        Like a few other commentards already I suspect this could hurt Google more than anyone else. Little of the Google services bundle is truly irreplaceable. Competitive browsers and mail clients are readily available and have the advantage of no Google spyware. Maps is a little more of an issue but Amazon managed it. Most of the rest is simply loading up the correct app. There are a few fringe services at play, Google Pay or "Assistant" for example, but for 99% of users I can't see these even crossing the buyer's mind as a potential deal breaker

        1. Patrician

          Re: Isn't this a good thing finally

          The "Deal breaker" will be the lack of apps available in the "store" of the new OS; people stating there are other alternatives for email and web browsing are thinking about what is available in the Google Play library. Those alternatives won't be available to Huawei if they produce their own OS.

          1. lsces

            Re: Isn't this a good thing finally

            https://f-droid.org/en/ has considerably fewer dross applications and all of the key actually usable components and is open to everybodies inspection!

        2. Chet Mannly

          Re: Isn't this a good thing finally

          You can run maps in a browser. Works fine, you don't need the app necessarily...

  10. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    It's all very well releasing their own OS, but apps are released on the Play Store, not a Chinese store. How would they get round that?

    1. ARGO

      Suggest you take a look at Huawei's "App Gallery". It's installed alongside Play Store on their most recent devices and has almost all of the most popular apps.

    2. JohnG

      Huawei would probably use their own online store (which they already have). The question is what mix of app developers they can persuade to list on their online store.

      1. Paul D Smyth

        Depends on whether the orange man baby has Google eject them from the Play store for doing it. If you have to pay 30% to Google but someone else charges you 15% it's a no brainer

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          The tricky bit is all the apps that rely upon Google APIs.

          Amazon have their own app store, as do Samsung. Samsung stayed within the fold, but the duplication of Google Apps with Samsung equivilents is evidence of hedging their bets.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            >The tricky bit is all the apps that rely upon Google APIs.

            Not that tricky - cf Amazon who've reduced the workflow to minutes by duplicating the calls almost exactly. It's not a technical challenge just a marketing problem - partly addressed at least by educating users about privacy and including a cheaper app store - when they're making money from hardware, they don't need to charge a 30% commission for a start.

        2. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Huawei will have to go make their own store ... with blackjack! .... and hookers!

        1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge
          Pint

          Damn, you beat me to it! Pint and upvote for you, sir!

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "...and hookers!”

          They aren't Broadcom.

    3. Yes Me Silver badge

      Open source wins

      App developers would be strongly incented to submit to the Huawei app store.

      This whole thing fully justifies the existence of the open source movement.

  11. JohnG

    To date, it has been relatively easy to add Google Services and Play to Android devices that don't have them. Google has not appeared to be bothered by this - but would the new directive form the US government see a different attitude from Google.

    1. Velv Silver badge
      Pirate

      Exactly, while Huawei might not be able to bundle the Google version of Apps with whatever OS is in the box, is it legitimate for Google to block access to services based on the hardware manufacturer?

      Can the user still fire up Chrome or Firefox and browse to YouTube, GMail, etc?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Can the user still fire up Chrome or Firefox and browse to YouTube, GMail, etc?

        In Huawei's case they can stick to the original Chromium FOSS code, not Google's extract of it, and so give Uncle Sam the one-up digit they richly deserve.

        I'm OK with people trying to find security risks, but this political BS is starting to tire quickly. It creates uncertainty and runs roughshod over established principles that have kept us relatively safe for years.

        Nowadays I come across New! Exciting! DevOps! infrastructures that deal with finance or personal data and don't even have the most basic network segregation in place (not in the least because management insisted they had to go cloudy).

        Ugh.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >Google has not appeared to be bothered by this

      Of course as they are in the adverts business, the more eyes that see their adverts the more cash they make.

  12. Rainer

    Be careful what you wish for

    While many people would like to get rid of Google (the spying-on-the-user Google, not the search-engine), the alternative (a Sino-Russian "influenced" version of it) might not really be what they have been waiting for.

    I certainly haven't - but then I'm a certified Apple fanboi.

    As such, I know that nothing exists without somebody paying the bill.

    Huawei already have their own OS ready. They don't need Google in China (blocked anyway), they just need it for the rest of the world, where they need to convince users to switch.

    And for that, they "just" need a couple of apps:

    - WhatsApp

    - Instragram

    - Facebook

    - Netflix

    - Snapchat

    And maybe a handful of others that people use. If these were there and would and work - how many people would switch?

    A lot of Android and even iPhone Apps are developed in China anyway these days.

    The devs there will develop for whatever OS people will have running, as long as money can be made in the process.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Be careful what you wish for

      Whatever happens, it won't be those US companies coming to an agreement with Huawei to pre-install those apps on their phones or to put them on a Huawai-run app store.

    2. tim 13

      Re: Be careful what you wish for

      The other big one is more awkward, YouTube.

      Plus, your first three are FB, which presumably has to follow the same US laws as Google, Netflix is also US. How do you provide apps for those?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Be careful what you wish for

        >The other big one is more awkward, YouTube.

        Already happened elsewhere. Google went all tiffy over device sales on the Amazon platform and removed it's You Tube app from Fire TV etc a while back - Amazon replaced it with a web link/interface instead of an app - chances are hardly any users have actually noticed the difference.

  13. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    Huawei to Dante's 9 Circles of Hell

    1. Limbo. Where those who never knew Jesus (Phone) still use "feature phones" can be found.

    2. Lust. Ooooh - shiny!

    3. Gluttony. All the apps one can eat. All the selfies one can take.

    4. Greed. All the slurps and all the ads and all the in-app payments

    5. Anger. Why can't I delete the stupid Facebook app?!?!

    6. Heresy. A smartphone without all the "made in America" "social apps" and no chance of them sneaking onto the phone with some unrelated update without the possibility of paroledeletion? May be a unique selling proposition...

    7. Violence. What next? Websites blocked because your phone is not officially approved?

    8. Fraud. Software developed to masquerade as another make/model.

    9. Treachery. Having a particular brand of smartphone (with a camera, too!) is high treason and you will be arrested at any airport or, if you don't travel, as soon as you pull the phone out of your pocket in a street.

  14. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    but why

    I can see the logic in not letting Huawei design and supply the whole 5g infrastructure,

    But surely individual handsets can only hurt the owner , and therefore the risk is up to them?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: but why

      It is the default legal position of any tech company with US exposure.

      Over the next weeks and months they will +all) go through their tech and see what they can and cannot still allow Huawei access, or provide sanitized version of, to continue to try and do business with them.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: but why

        The upper and lower parts of your answer contradict each other.

        first bit says blanket ban

        second bit says review all parts for a yes/no

        Do you mean start with blanket , then review what they can allow- like handsets - Obviously!

  15. PhilipN Silver badge

    100 years and its the Yellow Peril* all over again!

    *coined by Kaiser Wilhelm and we all know what happened to him.

    1. Uffish

      Re: 100 years and its the Yellow Peril* all over again!

      Yellow Peril vs Orange Peril. I know which I would bet on winning in the long term.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: 100 years and its the Yellow Peril* all over again!

        Yellow Peril vs Orange Peril. I know which I would bet on winning in the long term.

        Long term? Even medium term, say about 50 years, the result is already pretty clear.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    proxy war

    continued

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Massive own goal ?

    given the size of China, and how much money they could throw at a problem, could this not signal a rival to Google/Android ?

    As far as I know, the law of unintended consequences hasn't been repealed.

    1. John G Imrie

      Re: Massive own goal ?

      If China gets really pissed they could call in some of the $1.123 trillion debt the US owes them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Massive own goal ?

        > If China gets really pissed they could call in some of the $1.123 trillion debt the US owes them.

        And if China really wants to rub the US' nose in it, they could insist that, in future, they'll only lend to the US if it is Yuan or Euro denominated!

        1. Locky Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Massive own goal ?

          As I recall for my economics A level 30 years ago, if China really wants to play hardball it could convince all OPEC states (other than the US) that oil should be traded in Yen rather than dollars.

          That one single act could bring down the US economy

          1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Massive own goal ?

            The USA isn't an OPEC state, see the member list. As for convincing OPEC that oil should be traded in Yen, I don't see why China would prefer to use the Japanese currency. And the Yuan isn't an internationally traded currency. Besides that, most OPEC countries aren't that fond of China either. And we all know the real reason Iraq got invaded was because it wanted to trade oil in Euro.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Massive own goal ?

            @Locky

            "That one single act could bring down the US economy"

            Why they want to do that - the US owes them trillions?

            1. Locky Silver badge

              Re: Massive own goal ?

              @A.P. Veening - Fair point, well made ;)

              @AC - So the theory is (and remember this was 30 years ago and I wasn't really paying attention to the teacher and only took the class as I fancied a girl doing it too...) that all oil is traded in $ no matter where it is produced. So you have to change your local currency into dollars to get a tub of deceased dino juice, and on the scale this happens this skews the supply and demand curve right to such an extent that it is effectively propping up the US currency and economy.

              Well that's what I remember from what was said, but I also bought Appetite for Destruction and learning Welcome to the Jungle was more pressing at the time....

      2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Massive own goal ?

        They can't call in that debt, since all they've done is bought US T-bills on the open market - with fixed maturities. So all they can do is sell the debt they've got. Which is a significant amount so it would reduce the price - meaning they'd lose money.

        OK, it might cause the US government some temporary problems, if a significant amount of old debt was being sold cheap, attracting customers away from new debt. But the Chinese government would have to buy some financial instruments to replace those T-bills with, thus increasing the price of those, and leaving the people they bought them from with cash they might use to invest in the old Chinese (now cheaper) T-bills.

        Basically there's a whole market out there of organisations that want to hold a portfolio of low risk government debt - of which the Chinese government is one of the larger players, but not large enough to exert all that much control.

      3. c1ue

        Re: Massive own goal ?

        Officially the debt is to balance and protect trade in dollars.

        In reality, holding huge US dollars means you don't get bombed and have a seat at the table when the grownups talk.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Massive own goal ?

          @c1ue

          They're certainly not grownups - even less so with Trump. They're international, undemocratic bullies who have no interest in doing what's right for the planet, only for their own selfish aims.

          Even if that means thinking they can win WW3.

          :(

        2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Massive own goal ?

          c1ue,

          Officially the debt is to balance and protect trade in dollars.

          Nope. That US debt they hold is the result of a decade of large scale currency manipulation. Back before 2007 the Chinese government were exporting way more than they were importing - and in order to avoid their currency shooting up and thus reducing their competitive advantage of low wages - they bought lots of foreign government debt.

          I think their holding of US Treasuries hit something close to $3 trillion at one point, with total foreign exchange reserves topping out at a bit over $4 billion.

          The purpose of this policy was obviously to grab extra business from Western companies by making manufacturing in China extra cheap - but also to forestall the movement of some of the work they'd alrady got to places with labour that was becoming relatively cheaper, like Vietnam, Indonesia and India.

          Another side effect of artificially holding down the currency was to hold down the buying power of wages in China. Thus lowering effective wages in China and limiting its internal market in favour of being an export power house. Exporting lots tends to boost the value of your currency, which of course makes it cheaper to buy imports, i.e. makes all Chinese people richer in terms of the imports they can buy. Thus they could keep Chinese workers poor and struggling for enough to get by, and hopefully less likely to have time to think about using their new economic power to try and influence Chinese politics, to the detriment of the Communist Party of China.

          Yet another side effect (along with the big oil exporters getting rich of historically high oil prices) was that all these savings were being pumped into Western markets in the first decade of this century - artificially lowering interest rates and creating asset bubbles. When that popped in 2007 - there was a dirty great recession in almost all of China's export markets simultaneously.

          That created the perfect policy storm for the Party. They'd artificially limited the strength of their internal economy, leaving them desperately dependent on exports to survive. Their calculation apparently being that they'll only be tolerated if they keep the economy on an even keel. They'd also weakened the economies of their major markets by refusing to buy their imports (see mercantilism - and why Germany is fucking up the Euro), which made those exports they were desperate for harder to sell. And they'd reduced the value of their foreign assets, because loaning money to people to buy your stuff only works so long as they can keep paying you back (see Germany and the Eurozone crisis for further details).

          So since about 2010 they've been spending their way through those $4 trillion of foreign assets in order to prop their currency up, as their economy has rebalanced towards domestic demand - but also squandered huge amounts of capital in investment to try and artificially maintain growth.

          Basically they stopped manipulating their currrency in a way to out-compete the US economy several years before Trump started banging on about it. Another reason the Yuan is no longer doing so well, given they still export lots and have stellar growth is that there's apparently very high capital flight. A problem the Russians also have. The rich don't trust the government not to steal their money, so salt it away abroad. When everyone is doing this, because your system is horrifically corrupt, it buggers up normal investment in the economy - and has forced the Chinese government to rely on huge loans from state controlled banks to the old nationalised and semi-nationalised bits of industry to keep the boom going.

          There's a myth that the Party are brilliant strategic planners. It really doesn't seem that way to me. They're still dancing, keeping everything going, but their war-chest is getting smaller, and they're starting to suffer the consequences of the short-termist policies they persued in the past. Is Trump's election not a symptom of having damaged the goose that laid the golden egg (the US economy) too much with their past currency manipulations?

      4. DougS Silver badge
        FAIL

        I think you don't understand how bonds work

        You can't "call debt due" anytime you want. You buy bonds knowing they pay on a predetermined schedule. China can only stop buying new issues (which won't hurt the US much since if the world economy is hurt by this there will be plenty of takers for them) or sell off their holdings.

        Theoretically they could force US interest rates to rise if they put all $1 trillion of their holdings up for sale, but doing would also cost them a couple hundred BILLION dollars because they wouldn't get full price for them. Price and interest rates are inversely correlated on bonds the more they drive interest rates up the less money their bonds are worth.

        It would be sort of like if an angry wife wanted to hurt the husband she was divorcing and burned down the house they own.

      5. JohnMurray

        Re: Massive own goal ?

        "China sold the most Treasuries in more than two years in March, magnifying concerns that the country might weaponise its position as the US government’s largest foreign creditor in the trade dispute between the two countries"

        https://www.ft.com/content/0933cdfa-7766-11e9-be7d-6d846537acab

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Massive own goal ?

      >given the size of China

      Not just that, the Chinese are very skilled payers Mahjong and I doubt Trump has ever seen a chess board let alone played it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Massive own goal ?

        I think Go is the reference here. The object is to surround your opponent.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: Massive own goal ?

          I think Go is the reference here.

          You are correct on one level as it is the better game for the analogy, but wrong on an entirely different one as Go is a Japanese game, while Mah Jong is a Chinese one. And while Japan and China are polite enough towards each other, there is a large cultural divide.

  18. mark l 2 Silver badge

    Although Huawei can roll out a Google free phone using the ASOP portion of Android and use their own app store, but wouldn't the US ban also stop other US based software developers and services releasing their apps on an Huawei app store? Think Facebook, Microsoft etc. Therefore meaning users would have to resort to manually downloading apps such as Whatsapp and skype onto their phone possibly from dodgy websites.

    Its easy enough with rooted devices and a bit of knowledge to flash the Gapps onto a device that hasn't been certified by Google. I have a cheap Chinese tablet that I did this on a few years ago. But that isn't really something a lot of end users would want to do.

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Want facebook, etc, on a new Huawei 'phone ?

      Many will, that is why they buy their 'phones.

      A facebook/whatever app is just something that talks to facebook using a their protocols. It would not be hard for Huawei to write some apps that use the protocols, I doubt that facebook would make them hard to reverse engineer - if they don't publish them; after all: better to have someone on facebook using an unofficial API than not have the user at all.

      If some find the Huawei written facebook app is not good enough for them then they could always install the official one.

      Will the gov't of the USA stop anyone using a Huawei 'phone from connecting to servers owned by USA companies ? I don't think so, but with Trump in charge I don't know.

      1. MacroRodent Silver badge

        Re: Want facebook, etc, on a new Huawei 'phone ?

        If you look around in app stores, you will notice the world is already awash with alternate Facebook, Twitter etc. apps. The protocols in question can be found on the web sites of these corps. So this part is not the problem.

    2. Mage Silver badge
      Big Brother

      apps such as Whatsapp and skype

      Or maybe just using QQ, Viber etc instead of privacy slurping Yankee Running Dog Spyware.

      Are people still using Skype?

      Whatsapp maybe toxic and Facebook likely to be in further trouble over it as well as ALL their other apps and web services.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: apps such as Whatsapp and skype

        You're troubled about the privacy implications of social media and your primary suggestion is QQ? The one that transmits a bunch of cleartext messages straight into the servers run by the Chinese government? They of social credit score fame? Viber doesn't have those implications but isn't exactly known for their privacy, either. Try things like Signal or Telegram.

    3. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

      No Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram, Skype? Yes please. Where do I sign up?

  19. Velv Silver badge
    Terminator

    Reap what you sow

    The beginning of the end of American dominance?

    Americans seem to think they are the only First World country, that the rest of the West is years behind, that the Second World is still stuck in 1950s communism, and that South America, Africa and the Far East still live huts. Americans are in for a sharp awakening when Huawei, Samsung and others marginalise the USA.

    1. Jonathon Green
      Holmes

      Re: Reap what you sow

      The irony being that with its insularity, crumbling infrastructure, cult of personality dominated politics, and dysfunctional law enforcement it’s actually the USA which is looking more and more like some kind of third-world banana republic with more money...

  20. Mage Silver badge
    Pint

    "Google will pull Play Store and other services from future shipments of Huawei mobile phones."

    So LESS spyware!

    This could backfire (for Google, NSA, TSA, CIA, FBI) if non-USAian makers got together and produced something less creepy than Google's Binary Blob Spyware.

    Need some liquid refreshment with the popcorn.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Physician, heal thyself!

    The Patriot Act DEMANDS all US companies give the US government and their spy agencies access to anything they want and Google have a really bad reputation when it comes to respecting their Users' privacy. Why does President Trump think anyone would trust China less than a supposed ally who routinely screws over any other nation they can?

    All this will do is force Huawei to develop their own Android-like operating system and offer it to anyone who doesn't want the US of A spying on them - not quite the result President Trump and his advisors want, especially since it will then start people asking exactly what it is we do need America for?

    1. Rainer

      Re: Physician, heal thyself!

      Given the choice, living under a "US-system" still looks better than living in a "CPC-system".

      That said, inhabitants of Iraq or Libya might have a different opinion.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Physician, heal thyself!

        better than living in a "CPC-system"

        Oh, I dunno. I hear Preston has improved a lot, recently.

        M.

  22. Nick Kew Silver badge

    OpenAppStore

    What is clear from today's news is that the world needs not merely an Open phone OS (this could provide a boost for some of the available options to mature), but also an Open App Store. The latter based somewhere in the Free World (neither US nor China, though freedom-loving citizens of those countries are welcome), with multiple nodes (so no single point of failure when another government turns rogue), and a fundamental commitment to universality.

    Where do we start?

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: OpenAppStore

      Where do we start?

      F-droid?

      M.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: OpenAppStore

        That's more of a repository than a store. It can't charge credit cards or do operator billing and has no user accounts.

        1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

          Re: OpenAppStore

          That's more of a repository than a store. It can't charge credit cards or do operator billing and has no user accounts.

          As a user I don't see that as negative points. As an app-seller I might.

        2. Nick Kew Silver badge

          Re: OpenAppStore

          A repository can link to vendors' own sites for those who want to charge. Possibly that could involve an arrangement with phone vendors and/or telcos. Especially if we could produce a Code of Conduct that would preclude them blurring the line between store apps and their own dodgy adware.

          The more challenging issue is how to deal with malware being peddled through the store: it's inevitable the villains will try. But first things first: it needs infrastructure, community, and mindshare.

        3. Uffish

          Re: OpenAppStore

          " It can't charge credit cards or do operator billing and has no user accounts."

          That's my favorite kind of store !

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: OpenAppStore

          another HUGE disadvantage: instead of millions shitty apps ,Fdroid house only a few thousands. Worse still: they force the apps to WARN YOU before you install them when "This app has features you may not like". Read: spyware / spamware - BEWARE. Oh, I much prefer to be milked in the Alphabet Garden of Eden...

    2. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: OpenAppStore

      Sounds good but we can't have nice things and it will be riddled with bent apps. And then the genuine ones will get lots of fake down votes from the mafia app makers of the bent versions.

  23. CCD

    Retaliation, Escalation...

    Perhaps the Chinese government could ban all imports of US-branded phones? That wouldn't help the bottom line in Cupertino...

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Retaliation, Escalation...

      Perhaps the Chinese government could ban all imports of US-branded phones?

      They could ban the export of all US-branded phones: that would hurt the bottom line even more, at least in the short term. Although Apple has been stockpiling money for some considerable time, so would presumably survive as a corporation, though whether it would still have customers by the time it swapped production to other locations might be a different matter.

  24. Merrill

    Will Apps be Thing in 5G?

    Apps, essentially special purpose client software running on the phone, were needed with early generations of mobile data, since they could conserve bandwidth while providing a rich user experience.

    With 5G, bandwidth would no longer seem to be a problem, and most functionality could be delivered with a modern mobile browser.

    The other purpose of apps seems to be to nickle and dime the user for this and that. However, most useful services can be had for free.

    Finally, how many apps does the average smartphone user need? Clearly not the hundreds of thousands that are available in the stores. The vast majority must be downloaded only by the creator, his family and friends. Probably the top thousand apps account for almost all of app usage.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Will Apps be Thing in 5G?

      90% of apps i've seen are just an interface for a shop, odd given thay already have websites to do that.

      5G will reinforce that ,as you say

  25. Mostly_harmless76

    Backfire

    How can they not see this is going to backfire? The United States are delusional if they still think they can still dominate the world. From a chinese perspective Google is entirely replaceable. So in a few years Huawei OS and Huawei app store will be the market leader, and the other chinese brands will probably even join them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Backfire

      It's no different to ITAR restrictions - if you can buy products that are not ITAR crippled, you'd be insane not to.

  26. Ian Emery Silver badge

    Huawei not alone.

    Despite all the attention, Trump has also ordered other Chinese companies out of the US; China Telecom for example.

  27. Spanners Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Will I be able to do it?

    If, at some time in the future, I get a new phone from Huawei, will I be able to install those Items myself?

    I quite like the idea of getting a phone that US spooks won't have ready made back doors on, as experienced by iThing users and anything else made by companies from the "land of the fee".

    As far as I can see,a P30 will have the playstore, maps etc but what about the P40 or P50?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Will I be able to do it?

      Well I will be happily purchasing a pair of P30 Pro without any googly bits - currently LineageOS supports P20 Pro - 'app' stores mirrors host pretty much all the google one does, some will also check for updates for you, AdGuard takes care of any leakage to the non-google harvesters.

      As already mentioned, this could (hopefully) be the start of mainstream acceptance of AOSP as an alternative to google slurp

  28. c1ue

    I'm curious: just how much actual difference is there between Android (as used by Huawei today) and AOSP?

    I'm sure there is some, but just how much is it? Or is it really just a case of being able to access Play Store?

    I'm assuming that drivers and what not are either from the component makers or Huawei itself.

    1. Dez Scotland

      What’s to stop Huawei owners using websites like apkmirror to bypass Google Play store for access to all Apps?

  29. tempemeaty
    Thumb Up

    Over Due

    As long as China is dependent on the west for an OS to run it's industries computers and an OS to run it's phones it will never be completely independent. China's industries should have had engineers start Computer and Phone OS projects a decade ago.

    1. Merrill

      Re: Over Due

      They have Kylin, a version of Linux, and they have COS for mobiles. These find application in the government and military for obvious reasons.

      For widespread use, there needs to be a commercial reason to more widely deploy them. This move by the US may be the trigger that is needed.

  30. Tom Paine Silver badge

    Meh

    "....future devices shipped by the world's second largest handset maker will not get access to the latest Android operating system."

    So, just like all the other Android devices?

    (Don't misunderstand me, I've got a direct-from -vendor (Motorola) Android myself. They used to push Android updates fairly regularly, not it's 6-9 months at best.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waiting for future press release...

    Huawei today confirmed they were banned from US networks as they refused to install a US Govt backdoor to spy on their global customer base. The measure was mandated by the Patriot Act and Huawei, standing apart from the other top mobile phone manufacturers, refused to undertake the measure as it would undermine the trust that customers give to the company.

    Probably followed by: New UK PM blocks Huawei following refusal to install UK Govt backdoor to spy on global customer base after receiving a Technical Capability Notice as part of The Investigatory Powers Act 2016.

  32. Dez Scotland

    ...and by start of next Week China will band Foxconn from manufacturing or shipping Apple products?

    ...and war with Iran?

    It’s time Trump was dumped by the US electorate and I peached by Congress

    (And UK cancelled the June presidential visit)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's ironic but then they say Yanks don't do irony

    In it's short lifetime, the US has done arguably more to benefit the planet than anyone else in history.

    On it's current trajectory, ie a waning superpower, it looks as if will cause more damage than anyone in history.

    Scorched earth will be an appropriate term, in more ways than one.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Aside from this being political

    Can someone explain why Google was obliged to take this action?

    1. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: Aside from this being political

      I believe because they are an American registered company so are forced to if a ban is in place.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If anyone need a reason to avoid buying a Pixel phone

    You now have one.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's time the rest of the world started boycotting the US

    If Donald wants to make it another "you're either with us or against us" choice.

    It may eventually dawn on those of his supporters who end up losing their livelihoods that win-win is infinitely preferable to win-lose.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Play store? What's that?

    What is this Play store? I never use it. I just use the browser. That has the additional benefit I don't have lots of crap on my phone.

    To use the play store you have to tell Google your phone number. Plus if you root your phone[1] you can then remove all the Google DNS enties by mapping them to localhost.

    Why would a sensible person want to tell Google who they are, where they live, their inside leg and cock length.

    Anonymous obviously.

    More stupid moves like this please.

    [1] Rooting your phone should be the very first activity you perform after opening the box on a new phone.

  38. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    The US refusing to sell components to China?

    Hmm. While I'm sure this will be inconvenient, I imagine it's a drop in the bucket to what will happen if China stopped selling components to the US.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: The US refusing to sell components to China?

      It's only a ban against Huawei, not China as a whole. And in practice, both countries could hurt each other quite strongly by refusing to export chips. Most of the chips concerned are designed in the U.S. and manufactured in China. If the U.S. won't export them, the Chinese can't use them. If the Chinese won't allow them to be manufactured, the U.S. can't use them. Of course, the U.S. could shift manufacturing to other places, mostly Taiwan and South Korea, and the Chinese could either design their own replacements or start manufacturing the chips from designs they had previously, but both would take longer and come with major downsides. So if either country tries that, expect some pain.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Trumpy

    That egotistic, techno-ignoramus idiot really doesn't care who he upsets or how much chaos he causes to satisfy his power-crazy ego. About time he was deposed - one way or another. Yes.....I DO have a Huawei phone - and jolly good it is too.

  40. steviebuk Silver badge

    Well thats just fing great!

    We switched to honor 10 lite at work as they are good phones but cheap. Come with gorilla glass protector already installed. So now we have to look for another make. Bollocks!

  41. Claverhouse Silver badge
    Go

    Google Discontinues Yet Another Project

    Google could make a grand gesture here and renounce control over Android, divesting itself of all liability into an independent non-profit entity, similar to the Linux Foundation, based somewhere non-aligned like Sri Lanka or Venezuela.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google Discontinues Yet Another Project

      Why do you think google built so much slurp into Android? - along with the 'play' store? they're not going to give up the chance to harvest data that easily! AOSP is the bare minimum they had to do to comply with the licencing for the FOSS code they used (as I understand it).

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's just come back to me that Huawei stopped allowing / issuing bootloader unlock codes late last year - maybe this spat with the US might persuade them to recind this decision? - heres hoping!

  43. tallenglish

    This will only improve the Huawei

    Less bloatware/spyware from Google. Less ad revenue for Google. China will very likely retaliate, banning Google or Apple phones being sold (or put such a punitive tax on them nobody can afford one).

    Funny thing is I dont see any negative to Huawei apart from the annoyance of having to redesign the phone which likely might mean they miss a year or deploy later.

    This really will only hurt Americans, or should we start calling them Americants

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I quite like the idea of a Huawei operating system without google.... :-)

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't understand...

    I've had over a dozen android unbranded cheap chinese devices and tv boxes, every one would work with google play. every one allowed me to login to my googl account, and every one auto-update gms and play when google rolls out new version.

    I realise play and gms aren't open source, but they are freely available. If a device comes without play, what's stopping a user installing it?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the USA has finally dropped the pretense that this was to do with 'security'

    So the USA has finally dropped the pretense that this was to do with 'security'

  47. Tom P

    Hey focus on the important stuff … am I the only one to recognise the Bronski Beat ref in the headline? Wow what a great headline … top … top …. top drawer! Headline of the year imho! :)

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