Huawei Community Statement 2021

Baudin Toolan

Grepolis Team
Hello players,

As some of you may be aware, there have been recent pieces of legislation created by the Chinese and United States governments, which limited Chinese manufacturer's access to Google Play services on devices the US government had security concerns over. You can find press releases and news articles on the topic online. So why are we talking to you about this topic today? Well, in short, it is starting to impact some of our players.

Players who have recently purchased Huawei devices, or some Honor brand devices, may have found that their Grepolis app does not work on these devices. Furthermore, these devices do not ship with Google Play Store, or its services, which some apps use to run various background features such as push notifications. These services are required for our app to run, which is why these devices are having trouble.

Additionally, people who have Huawei devices which are older, and do have Google Play Store pre-installed, will at some point likely also start to see that they can't install or run apps, in the instance that Google updates their services, but doesn't continue to support them. There may be cases where players have older versions of the Grepolis app installed which work on these devices, but at some point, we will need to 'force' everyone to update to the latest version of our app, which in turn may mean some players who the game previously worked for will no longer have a working app, and installing an older version wont be a fix for these players, as our game won't allow them to login anymore without updating to the latest version.

So, what does this mean for us, and you the player? In short, past technological vendor decisions have lead to the situation where our push notifications wont work for Huawei's AppGallery (their equivalent of Google Play Store) in the short or mid term. This has lead us to the difficult decision to officially stop supporting Huawei devices for the foreseeable future. This may cause some frustration for you, especially if you are a player in this situation, but to be frank it is the best solution for all. Why? Because to develop the app for Huawei devices, we would need to stop working on other mobile projects we are currently implementing, and invest our energy into creating what is essentially a broken by design version of our app, which is missing one of the main features it is used for, the attack alarm and other push notifications.

We are still investigating alternative methods for resolving this issue, but this is a more significant piece of work which won't be complete in the short term, so doesn't really address the underlying issue.

The good news for players with Honor devices is that Huawei sold this company, and they should no longer be subject to the same restrictions related to Google Play Services at some point in the future. So, even if your Honor phone doesn't currently support Google Play Services, it will likely at some point.

We apologize to those who are impacted by this decision. Ultimately, a significant proportion of this is out of our hands, as it relates to governmental decisions. If you need support, you can of course contact the support team in the usual way, but please be aware that there is limitations on how much they can assist you with this issue. Please refer to the FAQs below to answer some common questions.

Kind regards,

Your Grepolis Development Team

Q: I have a device not manufactured by a Chinese company (for example, Samsung). Do I need to do anything?

A: No. Only devices manufactured by Huawei and Honor are impacted.

Q: I have a device which is not manufactured by Huawei or Honor, but is a Chinese branded phone. Do I need to do anything?

A: No. Currently, the only companies impacted are Huawei, and for now, Honor. However, Huawei sold Honor, and in the near future, Honor devices should be supported again by Google.

Q: Will you ever support Huawei devices again?

A: It is possible, but not without Google offering support again for Huawei devices. As mentioned in the above article, we may be able to overcome our reliance on Google Play's Services for push notifications, which in turn will make it worth investing the development time into creating an app for the AppGallery.

Q: I currently have a Huawei device and the app works fine! Why won't you support me?

A: The main issue here is that your device currently works, but most likely won't at some point. This could be either due to us updating the minimum version of the app on Google Play, which will mean you have to update, but can't due to no access to Google Play Services, or it could be due to Google themselves updating requirements for Google Play's Services, which you won't be able to update. Once either of these things happens, your app will no longer work. Of course we will continue to support you whilst the app does work on your device, but if your issues relate to the fact that the app isn't working anymore, then this is where the support will end.

Q: Can't I just side load the app and install it manually?

A: Not really, no. The app will likely install if done this way, but due to its reliance on Google Play services, will not work.

Q: I am in the market for a new device, should I avoid buying a Huawei or Honor device?

A: The short answer is we can't tell you what you can and can't buy. But, if having Grepolis on your device is important to you, we would recommend a device which supports Google Play Store and services.