Friday, 07 February 2020 11:25

Chinese smartphone makers aim to launch own play store

Chinese smartphone makers aim to launch own play store Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Chinese smartphone makers Huawei, OPPO, vivo and Xiaomi plan to jointly launch a platform, known as the Global Developer Service Alliance, where developers can upload apps for all four brands.

Reuters reported that the launch of the platform, scheduled for March but which may be delayed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, appeared to be geared at challenging the reach of Google's Play Store.

The four brands together made up 40% of global shipments in the fourth quarter of 2019, going by IDC figures.

OPPO and vivo are both owned by BBK Electronics, which also owns the OnePlus brand. Apart from Huawei, the other three brands have access to Google's Play Store. Huawei was banned from using Google's proprietary software in May last year.

According to the GDSA website, it is aimed at "providing one-stop services including content distribution, development support, marketing operation, brand promotion and traffic monetisation to global developers".

Initially, the service will cover countries such as India, Indonesia, Russia and Malaysia. Xiaomi has a sizeable market share in India, while vivo and OPPO sell well in southeast Asia.

Huawei's strongest market outside China is in Europe.

After the US blacklised Huawei in 2019, the company developed its own mobile operating system known as Harmony OS and also a Linux distribution based on the CentOS distribution. It is yet to launch any mobiles running Harmony OS.

One of Huawei's 2019 released, the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, had no Google proprietary apps, and used the open source version of Android. It has not sold well, according to some reports.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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