Huawei Phones Lose Bootleg Access to Google Apps

One of the biggest trade war headaches of Huawei Technologies as an informal solution to the Trump administration ban on using Google Apps and services has only worsened.

Security researcher John Wu on Tuesday published a illuminating post detailing how users of Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro could manually manage Google applications despite a US blacklisting banning the Chinese company from using American components and software. Were able to download and install from. The process allowed the Mate 30 Pro (along with the original Mate 30) to run popular apps such as Google Maps and Gmail, which would otherwise not be allowed.

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In the wake of Wu’s revelation, the Mate 30 devices lost their approval to manually install Android apps, as reported by several smartphone experts. Only Google is capable of making that type of change, known as its anti-security investigation.

Wu wrote on Medium, “Although this ‘backdoor’ requires enabling user interaction, the installer app, signed with a special certificate from Huawei, is not given privileges anywhere on standard Android systems Huh.”

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Google declined to comment for this story.

An easy-to-use app enabling the installation of Google apps and services on the MZ 30 Pro, called LZPlay, emerged with the release of the device, however, it has disappeared after Wu’s posting. The researcher stated in his findings that “it is very clear that Huawei is well aware of this ‘LZPlay’ app, and explicitly allows its existence.”

Huawei said in an emailed statement that it had no affiliation with LZPlay.

Effectively, the change ensures that the US ban on Google services for the Mate 30 Pro is ironic – and that many users outside of China who can get or import devices now have only bare There will be an Android-based Huawei user experience.

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At the heart of Huawei’s problems is the Google Play Store, a system-level app that is part of Google’s licensed bundle, which opens access to a full panoply of Android applications. With this on board, an Android device can compete more effectively with Apple’s iPhone and App Store equipped with globally popular apps such as YouTube, Instagram, Netflix, and Spotify. Without it, no matter its specs and performance, an Android device is a tough sell for US or European customers. The US trade ban has been detrimental to Huawei as it underscored the company’s ability to compete in the premium smartphone market in Europe, which was one of its growth drivers.

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Huawei does not have the same challenge in its native China as the government already bans most Google apps and services on all smartphones. Instead, Chinese users rely on Tencent Holdings’ WeChat as a do-it-all super-app, as well as a variety of other sources for apps, games and entertainment, an ecosystem developed in the absence of Google.

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