If you purchase a smartphone from China, you may have the Problem, that you can´t find the Google Play Store or any google services on your device. This is due to the chinese law, where the usage of google services is strictly limited and partially forbidden. Fortunately as long as you live outside of china, this restriction won´t influence you.
It may very well be, that your import shop of choice will preinstall it for you, but if this is not the case, or if you plan to reset your phone, here is a guide on how to install it manually.
1. Download the Google Play Store APK
For downloading the Google Play Store APK you have two options:
1. Many chinese smartphones, e.g. Huawei smartphones, have an own replacement store for the Google Play Store. Most of the time those stores offer you the opportunity to search and install the Play Store and other services in the most easiest way possible. If you are one of the lucky few, you don´t need to take any further action after going this way.
2. If the above option is not available for you, you have to download the latest APK file from a trustworthy website. Otherwise you may download an infected app, which you definitely don´t want to. Here you can get the latest APK from the XDA Developers Forum or APK Mirror. After the download, transfer it to your device. Best would be to place it in a folder, which you can easily find. If you used the very same smartphone to download the APK, you can just skip this, since your file will usually be in your devices´ download folder
2. Enable unknown sources:
In order to install an APK file manually, you have to enable the option to install apps from unknown sources.
- Go to your device settings
- more/expanded settings
- Check the box for unknown sources
3. Install the APK:
Use your device´s file manager to navigate to the folder which contains the Google Play APK. If you downloaded it through your phone, it usually should be inside of your download folder.
After finding it, simply click on it and proceed by pressing the install button to install the package.
Now you can try to start the Google Play Store app. Normally it should work now.
Disable unknown sources:
This step is optional. You can still leave it enabled, but for an unexperienced user ist may be a safe option too disable the installation from unknown sources. Your System basically only allowes installations from the Google Play Store. For everything else, you have to enable this setting again.
It may happen, that if you download a big app, the download will stop after reaching 100%. In this case it usually helps to disable the automatic app updates of the Google Play Store or alternatively by limiting it´s permissions.
To disable the automatic app updates, you have to open up the Play Store and open up the menu on the top left of your screen. Once you´ve done this, just navigate to the settings and click on “Automatic App-Updates” and choose the option that doesn´t allow updates at all.
As the name suggests this setting will disable automatic app updates, which means you have to do it manually all the time, but at least your downloads through the Store will work all the time. Alternatively you can enable it again, once you downloaded your apps.