I have the global version of the M2 and that has the Play Store so why doesn't this? That phone has 4GB RAM, a slower processor, no NFC and is still on Marshmallow so I wish I'd waited for this one. Although this phone will probably be stuck on Android 7.1 forever as ZTE are indeed terrible for updates. Though the deal from the Italy warehouse is probably better at only £3 more as import duties from Hong Kong will be more than that. EDIT: The review posted above makes it sound like the global version does have Play Store.
It seems it's possible to install Google Play and then Google aps see: https://forum.xda-developers.com/nubia-z17/how-to/how-to-unlock-bootloader-flash-twrp-t3636861 and https://www.theandroidsoul.com/download-nougat-gapps-7-0/ But I understand :) this only gives you access to a restricted number of google aps. It never occurred to me that there could be phones without the Google version of Android for phones (which Google own) I saw this as disadvantageous, you would not have access to a lot of common and very cheap/free aps. But actually, if you think that Google is already too intrusive, then it is advantageous! OTOH, you are in the hands of ZTE for updates and security.
ZTE were banned for not keeping to their agreement for 7 years from using US technology eg Qualcomm after being caught selling to N Korea, Iran, etc. Trump was asked to help resolve this situation as ZTE would have gone bust or used CPUs from other manufacturers. Recently in context of Trump being asked to help, a Court order was ruled to prevent any reduction of the 7 year ban by the US Administration. But, here is a news report mentioning progress. ZTE Fined $1 Billion: Deal Reached With U.S. Administration To Lift Ban - Gizmochina gizmochina.com/2018/06/08/zte-fined-1-billion-deal-reached-with-u-s-administration-to-lift-ban/ In summary, there would be a Compliance team checking that ZTE wouldnt be doing anything dodgy through inhouse inspections (from my understanding).
There is an asian version presumably for the Chinese market, this is the 'global version' it would be very annoying if google play didn't work with it agreed. I've tried to chat with them about this but they're probably all sleep :)
Not strictly true, but anyone who is even casually aware of ZTE knows that the Axon 7 and 7 Mini have had updates and Oreo is just around the corner - the Lineage OS version (from https://www.reddit.com/r/Axon7/comments/8ovghe/unofficial_lineageos_151_released/ ) is ready, at least. The Axon Elite, which my sister has, definitely didn't/won't get updates, though. Edit: As the Nubia Z17 has a Global ROM I'd assume you'd be relying on xda for updates - there are Z17 ROMs, not sure about the Lite, but plenty to explore anyway https://forum.xda-developers.com/nubia-z17/development