Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo reportedly to join forces against Google Play Store

Last year Huawei had the unpleasant experience of launching a flagship phone, the Mate 30 Pro, with no support from Google’s Mobile Services. It ran Android, which is open source. But no Google apps worked, nor did apps like Uber, which rely on Google apps (Maps, in Uber’s case). Instead of the Google Play Store, Huawei offered its own AppGallery. Devoid of most of the apps you know and love, it was a sordid software affair.

“This will be an important step for Chinese brands as they look to reduce dependence on Google and more so US companies in light of the US-China trade war and fear of cutting access to leading technologies,” said Counterpoint Research analyst Neil Shah.

President Donald Trump blacklisted Huawei last May with an executive order for allegedly having links to the Chinese government. The ban bars Huawei from using US technology, including Qualcomm chips (though most of Huawei’s processors are made in-house) and Google software.

“These cash-rich companies have significant power to attract developers to their platform and build a parallel ecosystem,” Shah said, pointing to Huawei’s burgeoning HarmonyOS operating system.

Though their presence is limited in the US, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo accounted for 40% of all global phone sales in 2019, according to Counterpoint research.

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