Published: Fri, October 04, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Huawei had bootleg access to Google apps. Not anymore

Huawei had bootleg access to Google apps. Not anymore

As a effect of Huawei's dispute with the United States government, the company announced its latest flagship phone without Google apps.

According to trusted Android security researcher John Wu, LZPlay - the Chinese website that enabled GMS to be installed on the Mate 30 - is no longer available for download. The company's SafetyNet system is created to check if a phone was secure (and had not been rooted or otherwise hacked) enough to run Google's apps.

Wu goes into some detail in his post, though through manually installing Google Mobile Services via an app called LZ Play, users were able to take advantage of an oversight.

Google has revoked Huawei's Android license as a direct effect of the US ban, which consequently lead to Huawei launching the Mate 30-series of smartphones without Google Mobile Services. Soon after the launch, a backdoor was found allowing you to side-load them on the device using the LZPlay app, which is found on Google Play Store.

"This means the system framework in Huawei's OS has a "backdoor" that allows permitted apps to flag some user apps as system apps despite the fact that it does not actually exist on any read-only partitions", Wu wrote.

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In other words, LZPlay used two secret Huawei files that no one else outside Huawei seemed to know about, and which no other app seemed to use.

Those rumors now seems to have been confirmed, at least to some extent, with US-based Qualcomm and Chinese tech giant, Huawei, both reportedly confirming that the USA government has allowed them to start trading once again, possibly paving the way for Huawei devices to once again start shipping with technology - both hardware and software - from USA companies.

The app in question, LZ Play, had made the rounds on forums and tech web sites as it made the loading of Google Play Store and Google apps on the device fuss-free and quick. Besides, the apps don't even work anymore.

Huawei said in an emailed statement it has had no involvement with LZPlay. It could install GMS packages on the Mate 30 Pro without rooting or unlocking the bootloader, both of which require security workarounds. This is a major blow to the users who are using the Mate 30 devices outside China as the only workaround known has been shut down.

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