Huawei phones 'blacklisted' by VLC media player

The phone maker cut off background apps other than its own, and now it's offering a solution.

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Sean Keane
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VLC for Android is no longer available for at least some Huawei phones.

Nicole Cozma/CNET

VideoLAN, a nonprofit that builds open-source media player software, says it's blocking Huawei phones from downloading its free VLC for Android app from the Google Play Store.

The decision came in response to the Chinese phone maker's decision to cut off all background apps except its own, which stops VLC's audio playback, VideoLAN said in a tweet.

"PSA: @HuaweiMobile phones are now blacklisted and cannot get VLC on the Play Store. Their ridiculous policy of killing all background apps (except their own) breaks VLC audio background playback (of course)," the company said.  

The blacklisting apparently applies only to Huawei's newer phones. Last Wednesday, Android forum site FrAndroid noted that it couldn't download VLC to the recently released Huawei P20 Pro, but could do so on the Mate 10 Pro and P9.

Huawei says it's working with third parties to fix this issue suggested that updating phones' settings should help. 

Under the Settings menu, you can tap Battery, Launch and and turn off "Manage all automatically." From here, go to "Manage batch manually" and ensure that these three settings are switched on: "Auto-launch," "Secondary launch" and "Run in background."

Huawei overtook Apple in the second quarter of 2018 to become the world's second largest smartphone vendor, according to research released Tuesday.

In mid-July, the company crossed the 100 million shipments mark and CEO Richard Yu expressed hopes for the company to ship 200 million phones by the end of 2018, despite its fraught relationship with the US government.

Updated August 1 at 2:20 a.m.: Adds Huawei's suggestion for fixing the problem and details about Huawei overtaking Apple.