Business Insider Edition

Huawei probably won’t bring its latest flagship phone to SA, and it is all Donald Trump’s fault

James de Villiers , Business Insider SA
 Oct 10, 2019, 11:07 AM
A staff member of Huawei uses her mobile phone at the Huawei Digital Transformation Showcase in Shenzhen, China's Guangdong province on March 6, 2019.
  • Huawei’s new flagship Mate 30 series smartphones will likely not launch in South Africa. 
  • Huawei lost its Google licence after the American government banned US companies from doing business with the Chinese company over espionage concerns. 
  • Huawei said it will be working with local developers to build apps for its own mobile operating system which will likely run on future devices. 
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Huawei’s new flagship devices, the Mate 30, Mate 30 Pro, and Mate 30 Lite, will likely not be launching in South Africa anytime soon. 

Instead, the Chinese company will be launching its middle range Huawei Nova 5T and the Huawei Y9S devices locally. 

Also read: New Huawei phones in SA - and around the world - will likely not have Android

Huawei has been blocked from using Google’s Android operating system since May, after the United States government banned Huawei over concerns that the technology can be used to spy on users. 

Huawei has vehemently denied the claim.

The Huawei Mate 30.
The Huawei Mate 30.

MyBroadband reported that Huawei indefinitely postponed the launch of the Mate 30 range in South Africa because of the Android ban.

The company will be working with its own operating system built on Android source code, Huawei consumer business group South Africa vice president Likun Zhao said. 

The application ecosystem of Huawei’s operating system is however not developed enough for the local market, Zhao said. It doesn’t have popular applications such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, for example. 

Also read: Huawei may replace Android with its new operating system – here’s how South Africa will be affected

Speaking to Business Insider South Africa, Zhao said the company would prefer using Google’s Android with the Google app store in the future, but if it remains blocked, future devices will come with Huawei’s operating system.  

In November, Zhao said, the company will host a Huawei Developer Conference in South Africa to encourage local developers to develop applications specifically for Huawei. 

“We understand the ecosystem will be a big challenge, but we will focus on our local partners to extract benefits for them and our consumers,” Zhao said. 

“In South Africa, some of our strategic partners are already developing their applications based on Huawei’s [mobile operating system].” 

Zhao said their South African sales have remained steady despite the US ban, as devices with Google’s Android already installed will not be affected. 

He said they have developed a strategy for South Africa which include exploring other consumer categories such as wearable, routers, smart speakers, smart glasses and the company’s laptop range.

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