It Is No Longer Possible to Install Google Play Services on the Huawei Mate 30

Oct 1, 2019
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The Huawei Mate 30 was unveiled a few days ago amidst much fanfare. One major problem, however, was that all variants of the device launched without Google Play Services, which include apps such as the Play Store. Shortly after, a technique emerged online that let users install Google Play services on their Mate 30 devices using an enterprise management app that was based in China.

Google Play services, unlike other apps, can't be sideloaded by installing an APK file as they require enhanced permissions. If a device launches without them, the only way to get them is sideloading them via a custom recovery such as TWRP. And, to install a custom recovery, the Bootloader needs to be unlocked. Huawei (and Honor) stopped providing Bootloader unlock codes to users stating that it would compromise the devices' security.

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The app that lets users install Play Services on the Huawei Mate 30 is LZPlay. It has a good reputation in the Chinese market as an enterprise management solution. The problem, however, is that installing it on your phone gives the app makers unrestrained control over your device. Take a look at some of what it can do in this Twitter thread.

The LZ Play app uses a set of undocumented APIs Huawei has hidden in the Mate 30's software that serves as a backdoor for installing the Google Play services with elevated permissions and privileges. The problem here is that the APIs can be used by anyone within Huawei, effectively circumventing the traditional Android security model. Huawei and its developers can easily make changes to any device running LZPlay without the user ever finding out.

Now, we're not implying that Huawei will do something like that on a device that runs LZPlay, just that it can do so. No company should have the power to modify its user's devices on a whim, especially one like Huawei that has been accused of engaging in shady behavior in the past. Nevertheless, the LZPlay website appears to be down now, so any hope of you installing Google Play Services on the Huawei Mate 30 devices are effectively gone. It is unclear if the website was shut down due to these allegations coming to the front or routine maintenance, but we'll know more as time passes.

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