Huawei devices get banned from downloading VLC on the Play Store

Huawei's been in hot water for most all of 2018 thanks to various legal disputes with the U.S. government, and now the company's facing repercussions for its heavy-handed custom Android skin.

On July 25, VLC creator VideoLAN announced on Twitter that the popular media player app can no longer be downloaded by Huawei devices on the Google Play Store.

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As mentioned above, the reason for this decision has to do with Huawei's EMUI Android skin that aggressively kills non-Huawei background apps — thus resulting in a less-than-ideal experience when trying to use VLC for background playback.

VideoLAN goes on to note that this change affects all Huawei devices (not just newer ones), and if you still want to use VLC, you can always download the APK file directly from its website.

It's possible VLC will be made available for Huawei phones later on down the road if Huawei decides to change the way third-party background apps are handled, and seeing as how this is one of the largest apps in its class, maybe this will be a big enough statement for some real change to take place.

Download: VLC (free)

Joe Maring

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • Owned a Huawei Mate 10 Pro briefly this year and I have to agree about the aggressive handling of background applications. The phone was amazing, but it was a bit too "trigger happy" in killing off background apps. Also, using third party launchers created a host of problems, at least from my experience. It doesn't look like Huawei likes to play with third party solutions.
  • I haven't had problems as of yet with third party launchers but I had sync problems with apps like Firefox
  • Same here. Great phone frustrated by the software. I have to keep the Garmin Connect app locked and kept running in the multitasking 24/7 or it drops connection to my Garmin watch. Such a pain
  • Wonder who’ll blink first. My bet’s on VLC.
  • It's a free app that's trying to stop the flood of negative reviews of their app. Those negative reviews are caused by Huawei's customizations, but the user is going to associate it with the app. There is no reason for VLC to unblock their devices.
  • Explained 👏
  • There's no reason to use VLC when Mx does the same thing, but actually works.
  • On my Mate 9 I went into the app settings and disabled automatic memory management for that app and I haven't had any issues. On the other hand I do occasionally have issues with my Bluetooth headphones disconnecting during audio then suddenly my music starts blaring from my phone speakers in the middle of work.
  • Just downloaded VLC from Play Store with my Huawei Mate 9. No problems here
  • The blocking is coming into effect, it's not yet fully implemented.
  • P20 Pro, no vlc on playstore already. need to download on the vlc site.
  • If this is the case then it would explain a lot!
    Huawei P20 Pro is my first experience of Huawei phones.
    Both Samsung & Apple can learn one hell of a lot from Huawei, especially the amazing battery life. The camera is without a doubt the very best camera on any smartphone out there, almost as good as DSLR Pro cameras!!
    The only issue I've had is a "error -505 code" it's where 2 similar sounding apps conflict, mainly on all Amazon apps. You can download them fine but, try updating the apps when an update is available & this becomes a nightmare. I've had to factory reset the phone twice now because of this & it's a PAIN!!!!
    Huawei have said they will resolve in next update but, reading this article........????!!?!?!!?
  • So I wasn't crazy with my phone when concerning sync.
  • It's vendors like VLC that want to use background activities unnecessarily, and when they are blocked they cry foul. Thumbs up to Huawei
  • Some apps have to work in the background that's why the Android phones wow whitelisting of certain apps on power management. Not every app that works in the background is bad.
  • Huawei (and others) needs to use the mechanisms Android provide and if they bring in their own then they need to be prominently explained and default to off. A byproduct of most/all? skins is an incompatibility with many different applications and that proves they have gone too far. A truck load of apps are (or were last time I looked) incompatabile with Samsung phones.
  • Oh well I prefer Mx player anyway
  • No big loss. MX Pro is better anyway. I've had it on my Mate 9 for a year and a half. Never crashes. Never gets shut down when playing audio in the background. It's my default video and music player because it just works so easily. I've had problems with VLC since Windows. It's never really worked right, it just works better than WMP and RealPlayer. It's never worked properly on any Android device I've owned. Even my Moto G has problems with it taking forever to find new videos. Renaming files randomly. The file interface is still God awful. When it's not crashing. If VLC wants to blame Huawei, that's on them. Their application is a coding nightmare. That's acceptable for Windows. What's one more buggy application on Windows OS? Just crash less than the other ones and you've got a hit. I expect more on a mobile OS than VLC can provide.
  • Is this a recent ban. I recently bought a Huawei nova 3e phone and so far it's been making me happy. I have vlc downloaded and use it all the time. Both vlc and Huawei are my favorite brands. Hope they be able to work this out however the ban didn't seem to stop me from having vlc downloaded from play store a month but that was a month ago.
  • The P10 here keeps on crushing the rootless pixel launcher.
  • just got a huawei p20 pro a week ago and vlc works just fine no problems what so ever and the power problem well it did complain about some apps that use alot of power told it to ignore those apps in settings for battery run first one it complained about whas pokemon go it wanted to shut the app down for using to much power so clicked the notification link and disabled it so it stops monitoring it but the wierd part vlc is not installed on my mediapad m5 and yet i can install it on it from the play store but not on my p20 pro ofc had that on my old phone so i came over when i cloned the apps over strangly enough it does get updates from playstore but i mainly use mx pro player for movies on my phone