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Google applies for license to work with Huawei for mobile services

As Huawei continues to build its AppGallery, Google seeks exemption to work with the Chinese smartphone maker. Does that mean Google apps will return to Huawei smartphones? Read to find out.

  • Updated: February 27, 2020 9:31 AM IST
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Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is set to launch its next flagship smartphone next month. Huawei P40 series will be unveiled as the successor to P30 series on March 26 in Paris, France. While it is expected to not include Google Mobile Services, the saga just got more interesting. Google has reportedly applied for an exemption with the US government. It means Google might be able to acquire a license to sell its software services to Huawei after all. Once granted, Huawei will be able to bundle GMS on its mobile devices.


Huawei was placed on the US entity list in May last year by the US Department of Commerce. This restricted US tech companies from working with the Chinese technology giant. While Microsoft has acquired a license to sell its Windows software to the Chinese giant, Google did not seem to apply for the same. In an interview with a German publication, Google executive has confirmed that the company is seeking exemption. If granted exemption, Huawei will be able to update all of its current devices to offer Google Mobile Services.

Google wants to work with Huawei: Here is why

The exemption means that apps and services like the Play Store, Google Maps, Photos, YouTube and Gmail will once again appear on Huawei devices like the Mate 30 series. It should naturally extend to Honor devices like the V30 series and 9X as well. The confirmation comes amidst Huawei building its own alternative to GMS. Called Huawei Mobile Services, the platform wants to offer alternatives to Google apps and services. The Chinese company has also signed TomTom for mapping services and is likely to replace Google Maps for navigation in the global market.

During the recent developer conference, Huawei announced that its AppGallery has become the third largest platform for app developers. The company is yet to bring major players like Facebook onboard but it is making steady progress. It is still not clear whether Google will get an exemption to work with Huawei. If HMS succeeds, Google will not only lose Huawei but might also see other Chinese smartphone makers move away from using GMS. Google had recently also explained why Huawei Mate 30 users should not sideload Google applications.

Since it was placed on the US entity list, Huawei has revealed its plans to build its own software. The company is building HarmonyOS as a microkernel for connected devices. It is also building AppGallery as an alternative to Play Store. Other initiatives from the company include bug bounty programs and better split in app revenue. The company also said that it won’t revert to GMS if the US removes it from the entity list. However, Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei CBG told recently that Android and GMS remain its primary choice.

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  • Published Date: February 27, 2020 9:10 AM IST
  • Updated Date: February 27, 2020 9:31 AM IST