Google has banned Huawei, the world’s second-biggest smartphone maker, from a number of updates to the Android operating system, which means new Huawei models will lose access to several Google apps.

The ban represents a major setback for the Chinese phone giant. But it said it would continue to release security updates and after-sales services for all its current Huawei and Honor phones and tablets.

"We will continue to build a safe and sustainable software ecosystem, in order to provide the best experience for all users globally," a company statement said.

The Google announcement follows an order from the US government to add Huawei to the so-called “Entity List”, those organisations US companies are barred from trading with without a government licence.

Google said it was "complying with the order and reviewing the implications".

Huawei is now restricted to using a version of Google’s Android operating system that’s available via an open-source licence – the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

As The Verge reports, this will cut Huawei off from critical Google apps and services that buyers of Android phones expect. It also means Huawei will only be able to provide security updates for Android once they are made available on AOSP.

Meanwhile, CNBC has revealed the fact that Google tracks an extensive history of what its Gmail users buy that stretches back years, and can be found here.

These are not only purchases made through Google, but through third parties, too. It harvests the information through Gmail, which it trawls for receipts.

While Google says it does not use the information to sell ads, it is, even so, no easy task to delete it, CNBC says.

“To help you easily view and keep track of your purchases, bookings and subscriptions in one place, we’ve created a private destination that can only be seen by you,” a Google spokesperson told CNBC.

“You can delete this information at any time.”

Not so, says CNBC. In fact, there’s no way to remove this history without deleting the emails that carry the receipts used to compile it.

Google says only the Gmail user can see the purchase page. And, if it isn't used to sell ads, this raises the question, CNBC says, why is Google going to all this trouble to compile a trove of data going back years, when no users seem to know it’s there?

Sourced from the Verge, CNBC; additional content by WARC staff