Android is famous for its fragmentation, but there is another "mini-fragmentation" when it comes to its apps. Region Lock is something that not only plagues smartphones, but even game consoles, and there are also OEM-specific apps that you can not install on competitors' phones. At least not without a room. However, the case of VLC may be the first time that an app actually adds phones from a particular manufacturer to the blacklist. And it's all because Huawei could kill background apps a little too aggressively.
This drastic, surprising and definitely controversial move feels almost like a retaliation from VLC developers VideoLAN. It was flooded with reviews in the Google Play Store where users complain about a broken feature. They complain that VLC in the background stops playing in spite of its settings as soon as the screen saver or the lock screen starts.
It turns out that it only happens on Huawei devices and not because of a bug in VLC. Like some Android phones, Huawei is implementing its own battery optimization system these days, killing unnecessary background processes other than its own. Other OEMs like Samsung also have such a function, but do not favor it.
Frustrated, VLC developers decided to stop Huawei phones from finding the app in the Google Play Store. However, they are not without recourse, because VideoLAN also offers an APK that users can download and manually install on their devices. Of course, that does not come with the same guarantees as Google Play, depending on how much you trust them.
While the actions VideoLAN may have been triggered by the situation, one can not help but believe that it punishes the users for Huawei's actions. These may be benefits in kind based on how users have punished them by giving him low ratings for the same behavior of Huawei. Unfortunately, nobody wins in this type of game because both VLC and users lose, while Huawei is unlikely to be affected.