Honor, a smartphone brand formerly owned by Huawei Technologies, confirmed that Google apps will return to its Honor 50 global series. This comeback of Google services is expected to reboot Honor’s overseas market. Meanwhile, it also marks Huawei’s victory in the China-US trade war – successfully rescuing this sub-brand by detaching it from the company.
Back in 2019, Google stopped all businesses and services with Huawei, following a ban imposed by former US President Donald Trump. At the time, Honor was still part of Huawei and unavoidably deeply affected by the US’s sanctions – from chips to software. As a result, this once popular mid-range brand was left with almost zero overseas market share.
Fortunately, things started to change after Huawei sold off Honor last November. It was a tough decision, but the “clean break” with Huawei immediately made some positive impact. American companies like Qualcomm started to approach Honor for possible cooperation. Being independent of Huawei, Honor is now no longer part of the thorn in the heart of Washington and is making its way back to the market.
This June, Honor launched its 50 series in China and regained its domestic market in the post-Huawei era. In the following month, its sales surpassed Xiaomi and Apple, representing the third-highest monthly sales in the Chinese market.
Many Chinese consumers still think there is no difference between buying Honor and Huawei products. In fact, they do have some close associations – Honor’s CEO Zhao Ming is a former president of Huawei. And Zhao once said that “Huawei and Honor share many core underlying technologies, including chips. We will also share resources in camera and operating systems in the near future.”
Before announcing the return of Google apps, Honor had already restarted its operations in 50 countries, ready to reboot its overseas market.