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Huawei spin-off phone brand Honor resumes cooperation with Google to pre-install Google Mobile Services in its new smartphones for overseas market

Editing by Greg Gao

Honor, the Chinese smartphone brand spun off from Huawei to evade U.S. sanctions, announced on 11 October that it resumed cooperation with Google, and will pre-install Google Mobile Services (GMS) on its new Honor 50 for overseas market.

The Shenzhen-based smartphone company tweeted, “Honor has succeeded in confirming cooperation with a number of supplier partners in the early stage and will provide a more comprehensive application environment and extraordinary mobile experience to our customers,” 

Honor CEO Zhao Ming stated in an earlier press conference that Honor has experienced a longer shortage of devices in the overseas market than in China. It now is gradually resuming operations in more than 50 countries around the world, and there will be more new devices supporting GMS in the future.

GMS is a collection of proprietary applications and application programming interfaces (APIs) services from Google that are typically pre-installed on Android devices, which is necessary for Android mobile phones in overseas markets outside China. GMS is not a part of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP), which means an Android device manufacturer needs to obtain a license from Google in order to legally pre-install GMS on an Android device.

Google applications such as Google Maps cannot be run on Android devices that are not certified by Google. Even if the user is able to install the Google application on the phone, the apps will crash or the mobile phone will pop up a notification of "service not running".

At the beginning of this year, Honor announced that it was negotiating with Google and hoped to resume its cooperative relationship with the U.S. tech giant. A few months ago, there were reports that Honor was undergoing a security review and compatibility test by Google.

Meanwhile, Honor phone users in China are reporting that they have the option to automatically upgrade to Huawei's Harmony OS, the latest sign that Huawei's OS is gaining ground in China in absence of more Google's GMS. 

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