Huawei Mate 30 to ship without Google apps amid US-China trade war

The full implications of Huawei‘s US trading ban will be realised with the launch of its next flagship smartphone, Google has confirmed.

The Huawei Mate 30, which is set to be unveiled on 18 September in Munich, will ship without Google Play or Google apps that have come as standard in all Huawei phones in recent years.

Popular apps owned by the US tech giant, including Google Maps and YouTube, cannot be included on any device unless they have a license to use them.

Since Huawei was blacklisted by the US government earlier this year, US companies like Google have been banned from doing business with the world’s number two smartphone maker.

More than 130 applications have been made to the US Commerce Department by companies wanting to sell goods to Huawei, however none have been granted.

After placing Huawei on the US government’s Entity List in May, President Donald Trump claimed that some companies would still be able to sell goods to the Chinese firm.

But in the months since the ban was announced, tensions between the US and China have ramped up amid an escalating trade war. The world’s two largest economies have threatened to impose significantly increased tariffs on the other, though both are set to take part in trade talks in September.

Huawei was placed on the Entity List after trade talks initially broke down. The US cited national security concerns, claiming that China would be able to use Huawei devices and network infrastructure to spy on customers.

Huawei has consistently denied such claims but its continued inclusion on the list has forced it to end its reliance on US companies when developing new products.

Earlier this month, Huawei announced a new operating system called Harmony OS that it claimed could replace Google’s Android “immediately” if necessary.

The firm claimed it was 60 per cent faster than Android and could work across a variety of platforms and devices, including smart TVs, wearables and other internet-connected devices.

The open-source nature of Android means Huawei would be able to continue using it on its devices, though it would be severely limited without the usual suite of Google apps. With the release date of the Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro less than a month away, it is not clear which operating system the phones will run.

Chief executive Richard Yu previously said it was Huawei’s preference to continue working with US firms like Google and Microsoft to build its products.


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