Google asks for U.S. license to let it resume work with Huawei – report

MANILA, Philippines – Google reportedly asked the US government for a license that will allow it to resume working with Huawei. 

According to a report by German news wire Deutsche Presse-Agentur on Tuesday, February 25, (as seen on German news sites Finanzen and Heise) cites Sameer Samat, the company's VP for Android, Google Play, and Wear OS product management, who said that as of this time, he couldn't pinpoint a date when the government's decision might come. 

Since the US government put Huawei on its Entity List – prohibiting US companies from conducting business with the tech giant – on May 2019, hundreds of requests have been made for an exemption. Among the biggest to receive an approval is Microsoft, which was granted a working license in November 2019.

With the exemption, Huawei was able to resume making laptops powered by Microsoft Windows, including new ones just announced earlier this week. 

Google is looking to do the same for its Android OS and apps. With the ban, Huawei flagships such as the Mate 30 Pro and its 2nd foldable, the Mate Xs, have shipped or are scheduled to ship without commercial Android and other Google services. 

Details are very scarce regarding Google's application. No reports have come out as to when exactly Google applied for the license. At the very least, it is known that Microsoft's own application took, at the most, 6 months, since Microsoft itself didn't announce when they applied for theirs. Google has also not released any further comment on the application. Its last say relating to Huawei matters was focused on explaining the basics of the issue and on matters concerning sideloading apps

Google benefits from having Android back on Huawei devices. They make money from each device sold with commercial Android and its apps. At the same time, it eliminates an immediate necessity for Huawei to develop its own app stores, OS, and other services, which could develop into a legitimate adversary for the US giant.

Huawei, on the other hand, will be able to restore its footing in markets worldwide that have grown with Android. –

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.