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Trump Ban Hits OLD Huawei Smartphones

Early model Huawei smartphones and tablets may no longer be able to receive security updates or updates to Google apps after a reprieve from a US government ban on collaborating with the Chinese company lapsed.

The move could see Australian retailers selling Huawei smartphones face return problems.

The Trump administration labelled Huawei a security risk and added it to the Department of Commerce’s Entity List last year, banning US companies including Google from collaborating with or supplying the company; however, a temporary general licence (TGL) was instated allowing Google to continue to provide updates to its own apps, as well as security updates, for devices sold before May 16, 2019.

This TGL, which was extended to August 13, has now expired without being renewed, leaving future updates in doubt. As a result of this, Huawei devices will likely now fail SafetyNet attestation, meaning apps such as banking and some games will no longer work.

New Huawei phones have been unable to ship with Google apps since the ban was implemented, as services such as Google Play Protect, the Google Play store, and core apps such as Gmail are not distributed to phones which cannot be certified under the Google Play Protect program.

“New Huawei device models made available to the public after May 16, 2019 have not been able to go through this security process nor will they have Play Protect preloaded. As a result, they are considered ‘uncertified,’ and will not be able to utilise Google’s apps and services,” Google said in a February support article.

There is as yet no word on whether the TGL will be renewed.

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