The Internet’s horrifying new method for installing Google apps on Huawei phones

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Enlarge / I don't speak Chinese, but that's "Something, something Google Play..." You know what, I'm just going to click the blue button and install whatever this is.

As you probably know, the Trump administration banned US companies from doing business with Huawei several months ago. Recently Huawei had a big smartphone launch, the Mate 30 Pro, the first Huawei phone to launch without Google apps, thanks to the export ban. The lack of Google apps is a serious black mark on the device, as it is now shipping without the Android app ecosystem and without killer Google apps like the Play Store, Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, the Google Assistant, and more.
The Internet, as it is wont to do, has been coming up with workarounds to fix this problem to get Google apps on the Mate 30 Pro. The gray market distribution of Google apps is something the Android modding scene has down to a science, and it's fairly easy to get Google apps on things that don't normally come with Google apps, like Amazon Kindle Fire devices, custom ROMs based on the open source Android code (like LineageOS), and on imported devices meant for the Google-free Chinese market.
Unfortunately, none of these methods works on the Mate 30 Pro. They rely on either an unlocked bootloader, which allows users to flash Google apps to the normally read-only system partition, or they rely on "stub apps" left in the system partition by the device manufacturer specifically for the Google apps, so sideloaded versions can get the system-level permissions they need to work. The Mate 30 doesn't allow for either method.

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