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Google cuts off Huawei’s access to key Android services

Google yanked Huawei’s access to some of its key Android services, dealing a blow to the Chinese smartphone maker as it’s caught in an escalating trade war between the US and China.

The California-based search giant said Monday that it would comply with US government restrictions that require US suppliers to seek licenses to continue to do business with Huawei, according to press reports on Monday.

That could deal a severe blow to Huawei, which recently blew past Apple to become the No. 2 seller of smartphones worldwide, trailing only Samsung.

Future versions of Huawei smartphones will be forced to rely on a public version of Android that lacks access to a number of popular services, including the Google Play app store, as well as the Gmail and YouTube apps.

For now, though, Google said basic Android services would still function on Huawei’s smartphones and existing owners would not lose access to its Google Play app store or security features.

“We are complying with the order and reviewing the implications,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

Huawei has said it has spent the last few years preparing a contingency plan by developing its own technology in case it is blocked from using Android. Some of this technology is already being used in products sold in China, the company has said.

Huawei had a 17-percent share of the global smartphone market during the first quarter, versus 21-percent for Samsung and 12-percent for Apple, according to Counterpoint Research.

With Post Wires

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