Chinese tech titan Huawei has launched a new flagship smartphone, but without popular Google apps such as Chrome or YouTube, a result of sanctions levied on the firm as part of the trade war between Washington and Beijing.
Rolling out its Mate 30 phone series at an event in Munich on Thursday, the company was forced to debut the new gadget stripped of all proprietary Google software, including the Google Play Store, the portal through which most customers download Android apps.
The 5G-capable Mate 30 runs on an open source version of the Android operating system – which Google allows anyone to use free of charge – and can access its own ecosystem of Huawei-specific applications. Customers will still be able to download Google apps, but only from third-party websites, according to Huawei CEO Richard Yu.
The second-largest smartphone producer in the world behind the South Korea-based Samsung, Huawei was slapped with US sanctions in May and added to a trade “blacklist,” preventing American firms from doing business with the company.
Days after the blacklisting, Google announced that it would gladly comply with the sanctions, and noted that all future Huawei devices would “only be able to use the public version of Android and will not be able to get access to proprietary apps and services from Google.”
When planning the launch for the Mate 30, Yu said the company did not expect the US-China trade war to endure as long as it has, adding that it has disrupted business and turned Huawei into a “bargaining chip between two great nations.”
In a move to cut down on its reliance on Google software, Huawei recently invested some $1.5 billion into a developer program, hoping to attract programmers and developers the world over and create more of its own indigenous applications.
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