Last year, Huawei was banned from using its U.S. supply chain, on which it spent $18 billion in 2018 alone. The ban also hindered Huawei from licensing Google Mobile Services, which obstructed the company’s international smartphones to use Google‘s apps.
In spite of all this, Huawei managed to increase its mobile phone shipments by 17 percent in 2019 to 240 million units, replacing Apple as the second-largest company in the industry. This definitely did not please the U.S. Commerce Department, and many other technology companies in the United States.
Now, after stating that Huawei had ‘stepped-up efforts to undermine these national security-based restrictions,’ U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross made the U.S. export rule more stringent, and practically took control over shipment of processors to the Chinese company. Any firm, including TSMC, now has to get an export license from the government before shipping chips to Huawei.
Petal Search – A High-Tech Option for Huawei Users
While the Chinese manufacturer is trying to find a way to get advanced chipsets, it has already figured out how to replace Google Search and enable its smartphones to run U.S.-created apps.
According to Forbes, found in Huawei’s Android app storefront, AppGallery is a new listing for Petal Search. The new app offers users ‘daily weather forecasts and top news; live sports scores and schedules; video, image, and music searches; and financial news and stock market updates.’
With regards to travel, the app will ‘search millions of hotels worldwide and book rooms; and check flights and travel info for top global destinations.’ Petal Search is also able to ‘lookup local services and businesses with comprehensive directories,‘ but what might get the government of the United States in a fury is the fact that Petal Search allows users to search for their favorite apps and install them.
If a certain app cannot be listed in AppGallery, the new search engine can find a third-party app store that has it. Either way, the results will appear with an install button to make things extremely easier.
A Smart Roundabout
Screenshots published by Huawei Central depict that apps such as Amazon, Snapchat, Speedtest.net, and AccuWeather can be downloaded using Petal Search. Moreover, Huawei plans to be a lot different compared to Google by ensuring that its app storefront is way more secure than the Google Play Store.
Google has indeed had numerous issues scanning apps while looking for malware. Huawei intends to make sure that developers are who they say they are, and has also mentioned that it is not a data-collecting company like Google is, which means that it is not going to sell any data generated by Petal Search to tracking companies looking to cash in from it.
Huawei says that ‘Petal Search puts the world in the palm of your hand. Search for your favorite apps for your phone with our state-of-the-art technology.’ The app will even make it possible for apps from U.S. developers to be uploaded on Huawei smartphones, but Google’s core Android OS is still not allowed.
Still, this is a rather big deal for Huawei and for those who bought the Mate 30 and P40 series. Surely, the U.S. government will hear about this soon and look for a way to block U.S.-developed apps, but until then, Huawei users can use the Petal Search app to get any app they want.