A return to the Play Store isn’t out of the question for Huawei; not even after everything the U.S. government put it through in recent times. That’s the message Huawei’s consumer electronics chief, Richard Yu, remains committed toward.
In a Wired interview published Sunday, the executive asserted Huawei is still open to restoring its partnership with Google. If for nothing else, then because they’re both leaving a lot of money on the table by not collaborating.
“In the past we’ve brought huge revenue and profit to US companies like Google,” Yu explained; concluding Huawei wants to remain part of the Android ecosystem.
It doesn’t take an industry expert to know Google most certainly shares that sentiment. After all, it was Washington that made it revoke Huawei’s licenses to use a variety of its technologies, not some abstract sense of patriotic duty. Corporations tend to be lacking on the emotional front, you see.
That’s also why Huawei’s willingness to restart its partnership with Google is completely par for the course. In fact, Yu’s quite straightforward about a company-wide desire to return to GMS as the core of its Android products. That’s why the Shenzen-based conglomerate sees Huawei Mobile Services as merely a supplement to Google’s platform, not an outright replacement.
By far the biggest hit to Huawei’s mobile business was the loss of core Android solutions from Alphabet’s subsidiary. Manufacturer implementations aside, the only version of Android truly ubiquitous in the West comes packed with Google Mobile Services. The lack of Play Store alone undermines everything that remains of the user experience offered by Huawei-made handsets and tablets.
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However, Huawei is proving to be a rather tough cookie to crack, thanks to a fiercely loyal home market and unprecedentedly aggressive investments. The company actually turned the extremely unfavorable situation to its advantage, using it to grow its own Android ecosystem independent of Google and accompanying licensing fees. For the time being, China’s tech giant certainly appears unbankruptable, as crazy as that sounds.
Make no mistake about how friendly past U.S. administrations were toward Huawei (hint: they weren’t). Regardless, President Trump’s cabinet turned the heat on the Chinese conglomerate by a significant margin.
Even before effectively banning American companies from supplying Huawei, Washington went hard after its leadership. That’s why Huawei founder’s daughter — who’s also the company’s CFO — remains under house arrest in Canada. Facing an incredibly long list of charges including racketeering, fraud, conspiracy, and embargo violations, Meng Wanzhou’s been fighting to avoid extradition to the U.S. since early 2019.
Being tough on China was one of President Trump’s core foreign policy principles since he took office. Huawei can hence hardly hope for improved relations with the incumbent administration. At the end of the day, various stateside agencies still consider it a national security threat, as does Capitol Hill.