'Recent' Huawei phones can no longer download VLC from Google Play

'Recent' Huawei phones can no longer download VLC from Google Play
When it comes to Android media players, it’s pretty hard to find a simpler to use, more feature-packed, versatile and popular title than VLC. The free and open source app might not be updated as frequently as some of its rivals, but that hasn’t stopped non-profit organization VideoLAN from amassing over 100 million Play Store downloads and an average of 4.4 stars based on more than a million reviews.

Obviously, VLC’s mobile success is owed in large part to the fact the app serves no ads, has no in-app purchases or hidden fees, and no built-in spying code. You can easily play essentially any video and audio files out there, as well as network streams, network shares, and drives, on any Android device running OS version 2.3 and up... except for “recent” Huawei handsets.

Wait, what? It’s true (and kind of ridiculous), as the passionate volunteers behind the development and evolution of the VideoLAN project have taken the drastic measure of blacklisting certain products from the world’s third-largest smartphone vendor.

This obviously has nothing to do with Huawei’s recent struggles of penetrating the US market, but rather the company’s “ridiculous policy of killing all background apps.” All background apps except those developed by Huawei, which is a sketchy tactic in itself. What’s worse is VLC’s widely praised audio background playback functionality is impacted by this unusual policy, which in turn forced Videolabs to strike back.
The decision came as the media playing app started collecting negative Google Play reviews without actually doing anything wrong. But for what it’s worth, you can still download the apk from this link and manually install the app. It’s also important to stress not all Huawei phones are banned from getting VLC in the Play Store, while Honor-branded devices are entirely unaffected by the (hopefully temporary) embargo “so far.”



1. AbhiD

Posts: 850; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Cool. Everytime seeing Huawei/Honor phones face the brunt is awesome. It is the shadiest company from China with deep ties to it's communist dictator government. Xiaomi, BBK ones(Vivo,Oppo, OnePlus) etc are all much better.

2. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

That's some nice racism there buddy. Don't see you crusading against Apple, Google or MS being complacent in prism and their deep ties to the state (you know, the ones which sanctioned the NSA and GCHQ).

3. kiko007

Posts: 7518; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Chinese isn’t a race. Ethnicity or nationality fit your narrative much better in context.

6. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

This is another way of fragmentation that plagues the poorly managed Android eco system....lolzzzz

9. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

"A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct by society." From the Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity and Society. The word has a wider context than it was originally defined for, so please look things up next time.

13. kiko007

Posts: 7518; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Asian is a race. Chinese is a nationality that happens to be mostly Asian. They are different things young man.

4. AbhiD

Posts: 850; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

How is this racism?

5. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Disparaging a particular Chinese company whilst praising other Chinese companies is clearly not racism.

10. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Well you referenced their origin specifically instead of just calling them a shady company. I don't know what them being Chinese has to do with anything if they're being shady. Them having ties to the "communist dictator government" of China is basically the same as Apple has with the gov't in China and with the US here for example (at least what is based on actual evidence) so I don't see how they can be bad when basically everyone else has the same relationship. See post 9 for definition.

11. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

You are obviously placing racism where there is none.

18. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

You're grabbing at straws now. Your original comment was nonsense.

7. Seany

Posts: 94; Member since: Sep 28, 2012

And you have proof of this do you?? Proof that Huawei is dodgy somehow?? It was proved sometime ago nothing was to see regarding Huawei. Please, no stupid posts unless you have facts

8. mixedfish

Posts: 1562; Member since: Nov 17, 2013

"Google Play reviews without actually doing anything wrong" Google Play reviewers are some of the dumbest people on the planet. I thought Youtube was already bottom barrel, but damn..Google Play. Seeing some giving 1/5 stars to an app even though they don't even have the blatantly obvious compatible hardware is not uncommon.

12. rouyal

Posts: 1583; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

1 star review “Please add niche feature X and I’ll give five stars.”

14. AfterShock

Posts: 4147; Member since: Nov 02, 2012

Imo, Chinese OEM need to update and correct this issue. Onus should not be on end user to figure out it's a built in task killer stopping play or operation of any app. Offer the option up front, but it should be off by default if it can effect the user experience negatively enough they believe it's the app at fault. Imo

16. Sparkxster

Posts: 1240; Member since: Mar 31, 2017

Huawei phones let you whitelist apps so they can run in the background just adding vlc to the whitelist solves the problem as Huawei phones kill background apps.

17. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

^^ This. Emui and miui both kill background apps by default and allow whitelisting. The developers of VLC need to pull their heads out of their a$$es.

19. Cyberchum

Posts: 1095; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

Shouldn't it be the other way around (all apps whitelisted by default)? Do you like it when network service providers automatically opt you into a service and requires you to manually opt out? If you don't like an app keeping background service(s), you should be the one to blacklist it! All the OEMs need do is provide the option.

20. TheOracle1

Posts: 2340; Member since: May 04, 2015

Don't knock it until you try it. The reason it's that way is because not all apps are coded or optimized well and some tend to try all sorts of stuff in the background (Facebook being a notorious example). The granular permissions in miui and emui allow you to decide if/how/when they can wake the phone. In the case of miui that's one of the secrets to the excellent battery life across all Xiaomi devices. It's an aggressive in built Greenify on the system level.

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