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Huawei Tests Its Own ‘AppSearch’ to Help Users Avoid Turning to Google Play Store – Report

© AP Photo / Mark SchiefelbeinAttendees walk past a display for 5G services from Chinese technology firm Huawei at the PT Expo in Beijing, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019
Attendees walk past a display for 5G services from Chinese technology firm Huawei at the PT Expo in Beijing, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 - Sputnik International
Earlier this year, Huawei confirmed that its latest Mate 30 Pro smartphone will come without Google Media Services (GMS), including Google Play Store, as its GMS license was dropped following the US Department of Commerce’s decision in 2019 to blacklist the Chinese tech giant.

Huawei is developing its own “AppSearch” that aims to help users download a variety of apps without using Google Play, the mobile software news website XDA Developers reports.

According to XDA Developers, the app is now being tested in Germany and the APK files are already available on the German website for the Huawei AppGallery.

An Android Package Kit (APK) is the package file format that is used by the Android operating system for distribution and installation of mobile apps.

“The landing page for AppSearch states that the app is intended to help users install their favourite apps on Huawei smartphones equipped with Huawei Mobile Services”, XDA Developers said, adding that the app is used for Huawei’s Mate 30 and P40 series, as well as Mate Xs.

The news outlet added that the app “provides an easy way for users to find popular apps like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Telegram, and much more, [including Spotify] all in one place”.

The list can be sorted by popularity, alphabetically, or by categories, XDA Developers goes on, recalling that the app “doesn’t actually provide direct downloads to any applications”.

“In fact, the disclaimer in the app states that ‘[AppSearch] assists users to find popular Apps by consolidating multiple downloading sources. All the content accessible through [AppSearch] is provided by third parties. The content is the sole responsibility of the entity that makes it available’”, according to the website.  

US Clampdown on Huawei

The development of a new app comes amid the ongoing crackdown on Huawei by the US which kicked off in May 2019, when the US Department of Commerce placed the Chinese tech giant on the Entity List. The Department prohibited internet providers from using Huawei products and US tech companies from selling technologies (hardware and software) to Huawei without obtaining a special license first.

The blacklisting, in particular, stipulates that Huawei cannot distribute its new mobile devices with Google Mobile Services (GMS).

The US claims that Huawei is collaborating with the Chinese government to allow it to spy on those who use the tech giant's equipment. Beijing and Huawei vehemently deny the claims, with the latter pledging to tackle the US move in court.

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