China’s biggest phone companies are joining forces against Google’s app store

The Huawei Mate 30 Pro phone launched without access to Google apps (DPA)

Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi are some of China’s biggest tech companies and are all known for making increasingly good gadgets.

But as Huawei discovered last year, they are still beholden to the might of US software companies – specifically Google.

The above brands all create phones running Android, Google’s open-source operating system. But following trade blocks from the United States, Huawei was forced to remove all Google’s apps as well as access to its app store from its new phones. The result was a great piece of hardware that almost nobody outside of China would have any use for.

So in a bid to redress the balance, the above companies have announced they will work together to make it possible for developers to upload their creations to each of their individual app stores simultaneously.

The partnership will be known as the Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA) and the cross-functionality will initially cover nine ‘regions’ including the likes of India, Indonesia and Russia.

‘By forming this alliance each company 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,’ said Nicole Peng, the VP of Mobility at Canalys.

China’s phone companies are finding alternatives to Google apps (Chesnot/Getty Images)

‘Secondly, it’s to start to build some more negotiation power against Google,’ she told the Reuters news agency.

According to data from the consultancy IDC, the four companies combined made up 40.1% of global smartphone shipments in the fourth quarter of 2019.


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