back to article What's a Google Play? Huawei talks up fledgling AppGallery store, shows off another voice assistant with a female name

For much of its life, Huawei didn't have to think too much about its software ecosystem, at least with regard to its once-growing Western market. But then Donald Trump pulled the rug out from underneath the Middle Kingdom mobe maker with a Google embargo. Suddenly, Huawei found itself having to plough around $1bn into its own …

  1. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I am confused as to why Google can't offer the play store and other apps to Huawei because of the US restrictions, while another American company - Microsoft are able to have their Office Mobile and Bing through the Huawei AppGallery?

    1. IGotOut

      I'm guessing MS are being clever and using something like MS Europe, a separate company.

      Who knows.

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      There seem to be two offences being committed here: providing succour to an enemy and providing suckers to an enemy. Not sure which is worst.

  2. ratfox Silver badge

    I wouldn't bet much on the new assistant (I suppose Samsung has an assistant hiding somewhere and nobody cares), but the app store is something more interesting. Considering the percentages demanded by Apple and Google, there is a need for more app stores, and some game companies are already taking steps...

    That said, does somebody understand why these sanctions make it impossible for Huawei to put Google Play on their phones, but lets Microsoft put apps on Huawei's app store? Maybe Google should put Google Play in Huawei's app store?

  3. HildyJ Silver badge

    Why Microsoft and not Google

    Microsoft applied for a license to export to Huawei and it was granted in November. Presumably Google applied and it was rejected or not yet processed.

    As to why Microsoft, it was probably a goodwill gesture in the lead up to the phase one trade deal.

    As to why not Google, I wouldn't be surprised if it was a favor for Trump's friend Tim Apple.

  4. martinusher Silver badge

    We can expect nothing less from this administration

    From a user's perspective Google's software ecosystem is like a pact with the Devil. We're getting useful things like maps but we're really paying dearly for the privlege. Google exacts quite a heavy price for their code in both the use of our resources for their 'analytics' -- spyware -- and for our screen space. The balance is kept just this side of 'useful' because Google is one of the relatively few Internet companies who know just how far they can push the envelope without risking alienating their customer base. Everything worked well and was likely to continue to be mutually beneficial to supplier, user and Google for the indefinite future.

    Then along comes US suppliers who are feeling a bit left out. Depending on who you listen to they're 2 to 5 years behind with usable, standards compliant 5G parts. They're also facing a competitor that owns about two thirds of the patent portfolio needed to implement this technology. Instead of realizing they've blown it and coming up with a long term investment plan to deal with this they choose a political solution. If we can't compete with Huawei let's try to bring Huawei down -- we'll stop selling them chips and try our damndest to hobble their business by any means we can. We've got plenty of PR types so we can just talk up Cold War type BS, relying on most people not having a clue what the real issues are. But the writing's been on the wall for some time -- if we'd cared to read it. These kinds of bans are a challenge and instead of damaging this company they're likely to backfire on us. So, forbidding US suppliers to sell parts merely means that these suppliers lose a very large chunk of business -- it doesn't finish off Huawei because no manufacturer is going to rely on single source if they can avoid it, they were merely buying our parts because it made business sense. The software ban is even more dangerous. Google needs people to use their mobile services just as much as users need Google's services. If a viable replacement is forced on a sugnificant part of the market then that's market share that Google has lost. Permanently -- because Huawei has no interest in making that software a business but if they're forced into it then they have no choice. The end result for us in the US is lose/lose; our hubris has once again hurt us because we can't see the world as it really is but only as we'd like it to be.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We can expect nothing less from this administration

      > The end result for us in the US is lose/lose

      Depends which "us" you're talking about. More players increasing competition in a market has historically been a positive thing for both customers, innovation, and the resilience of the market itself.

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge


    For much of its life, Huawei didn't have to think too much about its software ecosystem,

    You do know that Huawei develops network kit for networks, builds servers and runs data centres? How's it supposed to do this without knowing a bit about software? And, seeing as it doesn't rely on the Google Play Store in its biggest market (China), do really think that finding a replacement for this for other markets is really going to present a challenge?

    1. Irongut

      Re: What?

      Enough of a challenge that Huawei had to resort to paying devs to submit their apps.

  6. Dave_uk

    Very clever: "Oh Ce-Celia, I'm down on my knees, I'm begging you please to phone home".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I have an ex named Cecelia. God help them if their phones sound like her.

      And God help me, too.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No Google cloud, no Google music or video, and no voice-operated assistant?

    Great! Where can I buy one?

    1. moiety Silver badge

      Must admit, it's a large selling point for me too. My current phone just doesn't work at all if you turn all the google shit off. And yet I very much do not want it there.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm more comfortable with rooting, adding custom app stores etc to a mobile device but the damage has been done for casual mobile users..

    I have a Samsung device and I must admit, I don't use their store. I use Google Play.

    My wife's phone contract comes to an end this year and she doesn't know what do with regards to getting another Huawei phone.

    The loss of Google Play will damage product sales.

  9. Irongut

    Sounds like the (almost) perfect App Store to me

    > But still no WhatsApp or Facebook. No Uber Eats or Deliveroo. And, for that matter, no Uber.

    Excellent. Now if only they didn't have TikTok and SnapChat...

    1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

      Re: Sounds like the (almost) perfect App Store to me

      > But still no WhatsApp or Facebook. No Uber Eats or Deliveroo. And, for that matter, no Uber.

      Excellent. Now if only they didn't have TikTok and SnapChat...

      Exactly my thought too. I would have considered those factors in it's favor.

      ...also means that users of the company's phones are cut off from Google's cloud storage platform – not to mention the Chocolate Factory's music and video stores.

      Again, factors in it's favor.

      I thing Huawei should concentrate on contributing to the AOSP base. Code that projects like LineageOS could make use of. Might encourage other phone makers to do the same.

  10. stu 4

    This is great news

    A great way to get an android phone with an almost guarantee of being free from google's spying minceware. Previously you had a few basic choices or a custom firmware. Or iOS - but if you've a problem with privacy I've never seen how giving all your data to apple is any better than giving it to google. Now you can get a top quality phone, with no google anything. sweet. sign me up.

  11. TheProf Silver badge


    like Anna Wintour yelling really mundane questions at a bedraggled assistant who is also, coincidentally, hard-of-hearing.

    Such a wonderfully evocative sentence. Anyone else have to Google Anna Wintour?

  12. Captain Obvious

    Now that MS supports their play store

    lately every single one of MS forays seems to end in failure thus will that be the end result for Huawei?

  13. tiggity Silver badge

    Good and bad

    Good for people who dislike all the Google junk on a phone & the privacy issues (that might be a lot of reg readers but not of wider public)

    Bad for wider public (who are not that bothered about privacy) who want their favourite apps to be easily available to install, many people have "must have" apps & if they cannot easily install them its a deal breaker - It's not just getting the "big" apps such as FB, Twitter, Insta etc. its all the niche apps that do not have monster numbers but some people "need"

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