back to article Ow-wei, says Huawei as Chinese giant admits US sanctions smacked it right in the phone biz

Huawei has admitted that US sanctions are hurting its mobile phone business as it struggles to find alternatives to Google's software suite. Company executives told the Financial Times they'd managed to replace most of the hardware required but weren't so fortunate with "Google-managed services". Joy Tan, vice-president of …

  1. Dinanziame
    Paris Hilton

    What does Huawei do in China? Google has no services there anyway, so Huawei has to have other solutions that are working for the local market, no?

    1. Barry Rueger

      China has a thriving on-line ecosystem that honestly is a few steps ahead of the US in ubiquity and convenience - WeChat rules everything. Although you'll hear people complain about lack of Google services the Chinese ones are more than good enough.

      Access to the Googleverse is only an issue outside of the Middle Kingdom.

      Don't underestimate Huawei and other Chinese tech giants. It's entirely possible that they may create a new ecosystem that turns Google into the next Yahoo

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You're probably correct, but you've neglected to admin that one of those populare wechat servers is nothing but a proxy to load google play.

  2. Khaptain Silver badge

    $86bn

    With revenue like that you would presume that they are capable of developing thier own OS many times over.

    1. Steve Foster

      Re: $86bn

      Of course, if their cost of sales is $85.9bn, then it doesn't really help. :)

      (financials state they're making 8.7% profit, so there's some room to spend on R&D)

  3. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I assume that Huawei are referring to selling their Google free Android phones in the West rather than at home in China.

    Most missing Gapps could be dealt with by having shortcuts to the web versions for stuff like Youtube, Gmail, etc on the phone which might be enough for most people. But even if they put on an alternative app store its going to look quite bare compared to the Playstore. And some apps rely on Google Play services to function so would need to be re-coded to work without it.

    Even Amazon who have had a lot longer to build an alternative Android compatible app store, have struggled to get a lot of app developer to create versions of their apps to work on FireOS.

    1. DougS Silver badge

      They already have an alternate app store, they've had it for years. They don't have any issues within China, there are long established alternatives for everything Google provides and in native languages.

      They don't have as many apps as there are on the play store, but they only care about getting the top apps that everyone wants, like hot new games, and those big gaming companies do release on Chinese app stores. They have plenty of developers who release ONLY on Chinese app stores and never bother with the play store at all, so it goes both ways. They aren't missing much.

      Their problem is solely outside China, where their Chinese app store isn't appropriate since people don't want a bunch of Chinese language only apps, and alternatives like Baidu aren't useful. The many Chinese only phone OEMs are fine, it is only the big ones like Huawei who want to sell worldwide that have a problem here.

  4. amaccuish

    Source?

    > Company executives told the Financial Times they'd managed to replace most of the hardware required but weren't so fortunate with "Google-managed services".

    It would be wonderful if you could link to the article that yours is based on to save the Google search.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Some might say this is a feature

    Some Android users such as myself have gone out of their way to have a phone that doesn't use any Google services.

    https://lineageos.org/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some might say this is a feature

      Going one better, fake the Google apps interfaces

      microg for lineage

  6. EmilPer.

    Amercian ?

    "though he gave Amercian suppliers"

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Amercian ?

      The 'he' in the quote being Trump - so why are you surprised?

  7. rtb61

    The Opposite Now Preffered Purchase

    With Google off that phone, a Huawei phone is now my number one choice and it is likely to be a Linux Phone, Huawei should avoid an odd name for the OS and instead go with Huawei Linux, very much more business like.

    Depending one what other Linux Phones turn up, Huawei is now my number one choice, so sick of privacy, manipulative searches, them fiddling with democracy, that Google represents.

    Going google free will be the main benefit, DuckDuckGo and Yandex (just to annoy Americans, you know Russian email), Libre Office

    1. mithrenithil

      Re: The Opposite Now Preffered Purchase

      This is an great example of what FOSS is trying to prevent e.g the loss of access to something by it suddenly being restricted.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Help me out here... Why can't they use google services?

    I've experienced many branded/unbranded chinese tablets/boxes and phones over the years. *ALL* have had google play store, and the rest of the google stuff.

    I know the source isn't available, but it seems anyone can just distribute the binaries/apk's.

    Is this a copyright thing? Are they only meant to use these things with google permission? I've currently got 7 android devices registered with the google gms system. Only 2 of those are "official" (one ironically is a Huawei) - none of them spoof their name or manufacturer, but google is happy to allow them.

    Maybe it's because prior to my "authorised" boxes, I've spent about £1,000 via google play - money they wouldn't have received if these boxes were denied access.

    1. keithzg

      Re: Help me out here... Why can't they use google services?

      Three things:

      1. It is only true in a practical sense that "anyone can just distribute the binaries/apk's". By no means does that make it legal (which is a thing you have to worry about the larger you are in terms of size and scope; a random single person redistributing the binaries has to care less than a small OEM who in turn has to care a lot less than if you're one of the most high-profile Android OEMs in the entire world).

      2. Google has tightened up access to Google Play Services recently; previously they did not block it on uncertified devices, whereas recently they have moved towards blocking. See https://www.xda-developers.com/google-blocks-gapps-uncertified-devices-custom-rom-whitelist/ for instance.

      3. Huawei is specifically threatened with every American company being barred from doing any business with them as per the Trump administrations Entity List, which is a different situation than just being some random Chinese company.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Help me out here... Why can't they use google services?

        Thanks for the reply.

        Most useful

        My unauthorised devices which work fine are all built pre the date given, which is presumably why they still work.

        As for the binaries, I had assumed they were freely distributable, as I thought google would want to get their stamp on every device out there. Obviously I was wrong.

        I realise that I'm in the minority using android as a desktop, but it's so frustrating not being able to have a more powerful version of my current customised setup.

        http://www.welshgit.net/misc/desktop-20190316.png

        I even bought the highest spec asus chromebox 3 recently, and trying to reduce the dumbed down "everything in a browser" chromeos in preference for the android emulation has been a hassle, and not 100% successful.

        My point is, I've only been able to do my setup on a chinese box. If google continues to restrict android, and then restrict more open android platform, they'll lose me as a customer.

        Can someone PLEASE invent a nice window manager that isn't hobbled? I have no desire to copy text every time I left-click or scroll using a narrow scroll bar... x11 is a pain in the arse.

        All I want is a decent powrful and unstripped unix system underneath (I'd prefer FreeBSD but will take Linux), with android compatibility, and an android-style mouse-interface (which works more or less like the touch interface), and I'm willing to pay!

        Sorry, rant over... And I didn't mean to post the previous as anon!

        Cheers

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