- Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are reportedly building a platform for app developers to upload apps onto all of their app stores at once, a move analysts say aims to challenge Google’s Play Store.
- Reuters, citing sources, said that the alliance, known as the Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA), is aiming to launch in March.
- The project will cover nine regions including India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Russia – although the GDSA website makes no reference to Huawei.
- A Xiaomi spokesman told Reuters that the tie-up isn’t meant to challenge Google, and also denied Huawei’s participation.
- A Huawei spokesman declined Business Insider’s request for comment., while a Xiaomi spokeswoman denied there was a “competing interest” between the GDSA and Google’s Play Store.
- Business Insider has also approached Oppo, Vivo, and Google for comment.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The so-called ‘Tech Cold War’ between the US and China is showing no signs of defrosting.
According to Reuters, Huawei. Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo are building a platform for developers to upload apps onto all of their app stores at once, in a move analysts say is an attempt to challenge Google’s Play Store.
The platform is known as the Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA). The GDSA’a website says that it will serve nine “countries and regions” including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Russia – though the site makes no reference to Huawei.
Business Insider reported in January that Huawei is offering big funds to lure developers in a bid to build its own app ecosystem. When the Trump administration in May put Huawei on a trade blacklist, it led to a surprise announcement from Google that it would cut off Huawei from its Android mobile operating system.
Speculating about the China tie-up to Reuters, Nicole Peng, the VP of Mobility at Canalys, told the news outlet that the firms “will be looking to leverage the others’ advantages in different regions, with Xiaomi’s strong user base in India, Vivo and Oppo in Southeast Asia, and Huawei in Europe,” adding that the GDSA has been formed “to start to build some more negotiation power against Google.”
A Huawei spokesman declined Business Insider’s request for comment, while A Xiaomi spokeswoman denied Busines Insider denied there was a “competing interest” between the GDSA and the Google Play Store.
The Google Play Store generated $US7.7 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2019, according to US market intelligence firm SensorTower. Among revenue generated by proprietary app stores, it was second only to Apple’s app store, which generated $US14.2 billion.
Crucially, however, the Google Play Store isn’t encumbered by Apple’s App Store, as the App Store is only available on iOS devices. As a result, the Play Store accounts for more than 90% of apps downloaded on Android devices.
Yet according to US market research firm Counterpoint, Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo, and Oppo together accounted for 43% of global smartphone shipments in the third quarter of 2019, indicating their capacity to potentially challenge the Play Store.
Huawei’s own proprietary operating system, HarmonyOS, was first unveiled in August 2019, and could end up wholly replacing Android on its mobile devices should the Chinese firm remain blacklisted in the US.
Yet although the operating system was originally slated for release in early 2020, it’s become clear that this original timeframe was wildly overambitious. Just two months after the project was announced, a senior executive at the company admitted it could take years to build.
Business Insider approached Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Google for comment.
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