Update, October 7: Huawei says it didn’t find any problems with SafetyNet failing on P30 Pro phones running EMUI 9.X.
“Huawei’s various devices (including the P30 and P30 Pro), running on EMUI 9.X version, can successfully pass the SafetyNet test without any problems”.
Original post, October 4: Some Huawei P30 Pro users have reported this week issues with running Google Pay on their phones. The devices were found to be failing SafetyNet, the Google service that checks whether a device runs genuine, certified software.
Huawei has confirmed the issue to Android Authority and said it’s working with Google to figure out the cause.
The issues were first spotted by UK-based developer Paul O’Brien, of MoDaCo fame. O’Brien noted that his “unmodified” Huawei P30 Pro had previously passed SafetyNet without issues and was thus capable of running Google Pay (or any other apps that uses SafetyNet to assess software integrity).
WTF. Just went to use Google Pay on my Pie, unmodified P30 Pro and it failed? It passed Safetynet yesterday but now fails? pic.twitter.com/WhGqgYSIye— Paul O’Brien (@PaulOBrien) October 3, 2019
Several other P30 Pro users reported similar experiences on Twitter. However, the issue doesn’t seem to affect all users. On Twitter, some reported no problems whatsoever, even if they were running the exact same software version as O’Brien.
Huawei confirms issue for beta EMUI 10
We reached out to Huawei and a company representative confirmed some P30 Pro devices are now failing SafetyNet.
Huawei said the issue should only affect phones running the Android 10-based EMUI 10 beta software, which has been available since August. The issue affects only a small number of beta testers, the company said.
According to Huawei, the issue appears to be on Google’s side:
“Usually for the sake of beta testing, Google allows vendors’ beta OS version on specific models to appear and behave as certified version/device even if this version/device combination is still in the process of being certified.After some investigation, we found our global EMUI 10 beta version released on P30 and P30 pro in early August does not appear and behave as certified device anymore where they should be, as explained above.EMUI10 on P30/P30 pro had been certified recently and the certified version will be available to global users in the future. In the meantime, we’re reaching out to Google to identify the cause of this issue for the current beta users and try to solve it as soon as possible.”
We verified the existence of the problem on two Huawei P30 Pro units running EMUI 10 beta. They both returned a “failed” message when we ran the SafetyNet Test app, on build numbers 10.0.0.42 and 10.0.0.0 respectively.
On the unit I tested, the issue persisted after a phone restart and a factory reset. However, after my colleague Eric Zeman installed the latest software update available for his unit, EMUI 10.0.0.153, the phone passed SafetyNet once again.
What about EMUI 9.1?
Huawei is adamant this issue should only affect phones running EMUI 10 beta software. It’s not clear why regular users who run stable, non-beta EMUI 9.1 firmware on their phones reported having issues.
It’s possible it’s a fluke. In a follow-up tweet, Paul O’Brien said that he fixed the problem by “flashing Hisuite” on his device. We reached out for clarification and we’ll get back to you if we hear back.
Domenico Lamberti, a reviewer with MobileTechTalk, also said the issue disappeared after he rebooted his phone. Lamberti reported the problem on a P30 Pro running EMUI 10 beta.
If your phone fails SafetyNet, you won't be able to run Netflix, Google Pay, or other apps that use the service.
If you have a Huawei P30 Pro and you’re concerned about this issue, you can easily check if it’s affected by running the SafetyNet Test app from the Play Store. If the app returns a “failed” result, you won’t be able to run Google Pay on it – or Netflix, or any other app that uses SafetyNet to check software integrity for the matter. You can try rebooting or factory resetting your device. If you run the Android-based EMUI 10 beta, you can also try reverting back to EMUI 9.1.
The good news is this shouldn’t be a problem for long. Huawei said EMUI 10 on the P30 Pro has already been certified by Google, so now it’s a matter of waiting for the stable update to begin rolling out.
Luckily for its users, Huawei obtained partial relief from US restrictions, that allow it to work with Google to release software updates for the devices it launched before the ban came into effect.
The issue comes days after the easy-to-use tool for installing Google apps on the Huawei Mate 30 Pro was mysteriously taken offline. Soon after, Mate 30 Pro review units started failing SafetyNet. There’s no indication that the two issues are related.
We also reached out to Google for more information and we will update this story if we hear back.