A senior Huawei exec confirms, “We don’t need Google” but then its HQ apparently backflips.

Wang Fei, head of Huawei’s Consumer Business Group in Austria (not Australia) has confirmed at a press conference in Vienna that “We don’t need Google.” Huawei does not plan to go back to using Google services even if it regains its license.

Fei was firm that Huawei has ruled out a return to Google’s app and service ecosystem even if it was on the table. Huawei does not want to be a geopolitical poster boy again.

Huawei – we don’t need Google.

The breaking news was on respected mobile site GSM Arena and XDA Developers but has quickly been denied by a faceless Huawei HQ one-line response, “An open Android ecosystem is still our first choice, but if we are not able to continue to use it, we have the ability to develop our own.”

We don't need Google

As GSM Arena interprets the above, it does not mention Google Play Services in any way, shape or form – obfuscation at its best.

Huawei must focus on Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) – fact

It will still use Android open source (AOSP) overlaid with Huawei’s EMUI User Interface. It is ready to spend approx. US$3 billion dollars and working with more than 4000 app developers to convert essential Android apps to the Huawei App Gallery Store.

And as Huawei’s primary market is China where Google is not allowed then provided it mainly markets there – who cares.

GadgetGuy’s take – uncertainty still rules.

One thing is for sure – the longer Huawei is denied a Google Android licence and access to US parts and tech, the more it must develop alternatives, even if that is only for its home markets. And that point looks as if it has reached a ‘no return’. The Great Firewall of China!

Huawei, and to a much lesser extent, ZTE are the only two smartphone companies affected by the US Entities list. And has Trump has made abundantly clear it is not about the US/China Trade negotiations – it is about allegations that Huawei is too close to the Chinese Communist Party for his (and five-eyes) comfort.

But it does put a huge question over AOSP. Google is currently committed to publishing a vanilla Android version and continually contributing to it if Google Android users play ‘ball’. It is also helping to stop Android forks (like Huawei) as these cannot access Google Play Services (Play Store and Google Apps).

But that is obviously not working in Huawei’s case, and Google may have to break the AOSP link because it can’t afford to develop Android and give its ‘secrets away for free’. There is a lengthy discussion on that here.

What we can tell you that from a Google Android users’ perspective in Australia the Mate 30 Pro is utterly unusable, regardless of the engineering and camera marvel it may be. No Google apps, maps, no local banking or shopping apps – nada.

You can read older Huawei coverage here.

We don't need Google