Huawei Mate 30 phones apparently lose backdoor access to Google apps

A workaround for the Trump ban has seemingly been eliminated.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
Expertise Culture, Video Games, Breaking News
Sean Keane
Huawei Mate 30 Pro

Huawei's Mate 30 Pro can no longer access Google apps via a backdoor, a report said.

Érika García / CNET

Huawei 's new Mate 30 phones reportedly lost their ability to install Google 's Android apps, Bloomberg reported, eliminating a workaround for President Donald Trump's ban on the controversial Chinese company

Security researcher John Wu outlined the process that let Huawei Mate 30 owners manually download and install major apps Google Maps and Gmail. This method, which used an app called LZPlay, apparently no longer works, and Bloomberg reported that only Google is able to make that kind of change.

The Mate 30 devices are Huawei's latest flagship phones, but shipped without full Android support. They're based on Android open source, which means they don't have Google services (like Play Store) or apps (like Chrome or Maps). Mate 30 owners have to use Huawei equivalents instead.

Watch this: Huawei unveils Mate 30 series phones

Huawei lost full Android support after the US Commerce Department blacklisted the Chinese company in May, following Trump's executive order effectively banning it from US communication networks due to national security concerns over alleged ties to the Chinese government (which Huawei denies). 

Google parent company Alphabet revoked Huawei's Android license, so Huawei resorted to the open-source version. In August, Huawei has also unveiled its own mobile operating system -- HarmonyOS -- which could be applied to its phones if it's locked out of Android.

Neither Google nor Huawei immediately responded to requests for comment.

First published at 4:40 a.m. PT.
Updated at 5:25 a.m. PT: Adds more detail.

Mate X foldable phone: Here's what it's really like to use

See all photos