Chinese tech giants Huawei and OPPO are embarking on an ambitious plan to create an alternative to Google mobile services, seeking cooperation with Indian developers in the hopes of putting an end to Android’s market domination in Asia, and possibly beyond, reported The Economic Times.
The replacement set of services, called Huawei Mobile Services, would allow the company’s smartphones to run their own versions of Google’s suite of services, which includes applications such as Gmail, Drive, YouTube, Maps, and the Google Play Store.
Huawei and the Chinese electronics company OPPO have now joined forces in talks with Indian app developers, launched earlier, as OPPO is said to be allocating $143 million in 2020 to global developers as part of its ColorOS operating system.
Huawei, a Chinese multinational technology company providing telecommunications equipment and selling consumer electronics, previously used Google’s Android on its smartphones. However, it was forced to develop an alternative after the US tech company complied with Washington’s sanctions targeting it in May and became one of the first American companies to cut Huawei off from its services.
Reeling from the blow, which cut the Chinese company off from the world’s most popular mobile OS, the telecommunications giant and smartphone manufacturer reappraised its future plans and mapped out an ambitious project.
Just months after Google’s decision, in August Huawei unveiled its own Harmony mobile OS, which is expected to serve as an alternative to Google’s Android, but currently is only featured on the company’s TV brands.
It also rolled out a new flagship smartphone – the latest Mate 30 Pro - without any proprietary Google apps, vowing to finalise the development of Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) – a replacement for popular Google apps – by the end of the year.
Not satisfied with this success, Huawei launched negotiations with India’s top app developers, offering incentives to build localised mobile services for its smartphones in the country.
In an interview on 24 December with The Economic Times, Charles Peng, chief executive officer of Huawei and Honor India, said the company was in talks with the developers of the top 150 applications in India and is confident of ensuring their availability in its own app store by next year.
“We have our own HMS and are trying to build a mobile ecosystem…Most of the key apps such as navigation, payments, gaming and messaging will be ready by December end,” said Peng.
China is currently the world’s biggest smartphone market, while India is the second, and the fastest growing one.
Should Huawei - the second most popular smartphone producer that controlled about 19 per cent of the global market in the third quarter of 2019, succeed in solidifying its positions in both of these markets, it could spell bad news for Google.
Google-owned Android maintained its position as the leading mobile operating system worldwide in July 2019, controlling the mobile OS market with a 76 per cent share.
Google Android and Apple iOS jointly possess more than 98 per cent of the global market share.
This dominance is something China’s Huawei is determined to challenge.
On 15 May President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring US companies from using telecom equipment from sources the administration deems a national security threat, thus targeting China and its telecom giant Huawei.
The sanctions banned US firms from striking deals with the company without first procuring special licenses.
Washington had long been accusing the tech giant of installing “backdoor” access in its devices at the behest of the Chinese government. Beijing and Huawei have both vehemently denied the allegations.