Google reportedly cuts off Huawei’s Android license

Image: Ng Han Guan/AP/REX/Shutterstock

By Adam Rosenberg

Be nervous if you’re a Huawei customer.

Google has reportedly stopped doing business with the Chinese tech company behind the P-series and Mate-series smartphones. Functionally, the revoked Android license means delayed Google updates and, for Huawei’s future devices, no access to apps like Gmail or the Play Store.

Reuters first reported the news via unnamed sources on Sunday afternoon, and The Verge followed up a couple hours later with — again, anonymously sourced — confirmation. 

The move from Google comes in the midst of an ongoing trade war between the United States and China. It was likely prompted by an executive order Donald Trump signed on Wednesday that bars U.S. businesses from using telecommunications equipment made by companies that pose a national security risk.

With the license cut off, Huawei would only have access to the open source version of Android (or AOSP, for Android Open Source Project). Think of it as a more limited version of Google’s operating system. Security updates arrive later and core Google apps and services aren’t available.

SEE ALSO: Huawei to launch an 8K TV with 5G support, report says

This means no access to the Google Play Store, a critical gateway to the safest and most secure form of Android’s app ecosystem. It’s a significant threat to Huawei’s smartphone business outside of China.

The specifics of how this will play out and materially affect Huawei customers isn’t clear just yet. The news isn’t even technically official at this point; neither Google nor Huawei has commented, though Mashable did reach out to both for a statement.

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