Two Years On: Are Huawei Devices a Security Risk at Work?

In 2019 Google stopped supporting Huawei devices and prevented them from accessing the Google Play store. We consider if Huawei smartphones are still to be regarded as a security risk and if the Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi may face a similar future.

Huawei Android Enterprise recommoneded
The Huawei Mate 20: As Google made its announcement in 2019, this once popular device series suddenly became taboo in European businesses

Not much has changed regarding Huawei since 2019. Due to US trade ban, devices produced by the manufacturer lost access to the important Google services like Google Play Store, Maps and Gmail. The trade embargo has hit their sale figures hard and also caused Huawei to sell the Honor smartphone brand last November.

Tying in with the ban, all Huawei products were pulled from the Android Enterprise Recommended list – a list of devices which Google recommends for business use – and as of today no devices back on the list. The Android Enterprise Recommended status carries essential advantages, and lists for examples which devices receive regular security updates and therefore remains the key reason why Huawei’s devices should not be used for business deployments.

Devices from another Chinese developer, Xiaomi, could be heading for a similar fate. This year the Germany’s advisory body for IT-Security, the BSI, announced that it would investigating Xiaomi regarding alleged security concerns. This follows claims from the Lithuanian Defence Ministry that a censuring tool is pre-installed on Xiaomi devices. There are currently 11 Xiaomi devices on the Android Enterprise Recommended list. Whether this will remain the case remains to be seen.

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