Huawei Mate 30 Pro

Google advises against sideloading apps on Huawei smartphones

Huawei's latest phones are considered "uncertified" by Google Play Protect.

Last updated:

Google has advised users against sideloading Google apps on Huawei smartphones. Google says that “Due to government restrictions, Google’s apps and services are not available for preload or sideload on new Huawei devices,”.

Tristan Ostrowski, Android & Play Legal Director said on the Android Help Community pages :

On May 16, 2019, the US government placed Huawei on its Entity List. This government action prohibits all US companies, including Google, from collaborating with Huawei. 

This means that Google is prohibited from working with Huawei on new device models or providing Google’s apps including Gmail, Maps, YouTube, the Play Store and others for preload or download on these devices. 

“Google is prohibited from working with Huawei on new device models or providing Google’s apps including Gmail, Maps, YouTube, the Play Store and others for preload or download on these devices.”

The article acts as a warning against sideloading Google services and apps onto Huawei phones in an indirect way.

“[S]ideloaded Google apps will not work reliably because we do not allow these services to run on uncertified devices where security may be compromised. Sideloading Google’s apps also carries a high risk of installing an app that has been altered or tampered with in ways that can compromise user security.”

The article is referring to newer Huawei devices such as the Mate 30 Pro, which has just seen official release in the UK without Google services preloaded. There are technically ways to sideload GMS and Play Services onto the phone, but as Google states, the security of them is compromised and Google cannot speak to the stability of the APKs out there.

Google Play Protect

To protect user data privacy, security, and safeguard the overall experience, the Google Play Store, Google Play Protect, and Google’s core apps (including Gmail, YouTube, Maps, and others) are only available on Play Protect certified devices. 

Play Protect certified devices go through a rigorous security review and compatibility testing process, performed by Google, to ensure user data and app information are kept safe. They also come from the factory with Google Play Protect software, which provides protection against the device being compromised.  

It’s as direct as Google has been about the ongoing trade ban the US has imposed between Huawei and US companies since May 2019. Ostrowski reassured phones certified for Google use before the ban are still supported by Google updates, saying:

“We have continued to work with Huawei, in compliance with government regulations, to provide security updates and updates to Google’s apps and services on existing devices, and we will continue to do so as long as it is permitted.”

Huawei is likely to announce its P40 and P40 Pro phones in March. At it stands, they will represent the company’s second flagship launch without Google services.

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