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China's mobile giants to take on Google's Play store-sources

12 Comments
By David Kirton

China's Xiaomi, Huawei Technologies, Oppo and Vivo are joining forces to create a platform for developers outside China to upload apps onto all of their app stores simultaneously, in a move analysts say is meant to challenge the dominance of Google’s Play store.

The four companies are ironing out kinks in what is known as the Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA). The platform aims to make it easier for developers of games, music, movies and other apps to market their apps in overseas markets, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The GDSA was initially aiming to launch in March, sources said, although it is not clear how that will be affected by the recent coronavirus outbreak.

A prototype website says the platform will initially cover nine "regions" including India, Indonesia and Russia.

Oppo and Vivo are both owned by Chinese manufacturer BBK Electronics. All four companies declined to comment for this story.

Google, whose services are banned in China, earned about$8.8 billion globally from the Play store in 2019, said Katie Williams, an analyst at Sensor Tower. Google also sells content such as movies, books and apps on the Play store and collects a 30% commission.

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

“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.

“Secondly, it’s to start to build some more negotiation power against Google,” she added.

Together the four companies made up 40.1% of global handset shipments in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the consultancy IDC. While Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi have full access to Google services in international markets, Huawei lost access for new devices last year after the United States barred American suppliers from selling goods and service to it, citing national security.

Chinese vendors are trying to capture a greater share of software and services as hardware sales slow, said Will Wong, a smartphone analyst with IDC.

“App store, pre-loading apps, advertisements and gaming are areas that could generate new revenue” he said.

Huawei is also moving away from Google by developing its own Harmony OS as an alternative.

The GDSA's website includes the logo of Wanka Online, a Hong Kong-listed Android "ecosystem" platform next to a contact for the GDSA’s General Secretariat. Wanka declined to confirm its involvement.

The GDSA might be able to lure some app developers by providing more exposure than the already-crowded Play store, and the new platform could provide better monetary incentives, analysts said.

"By making it simple for developers to increase their reach across multiple app stores, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi stand to attract more developers and, ultimately, more apps," said Williams.

However, managing the alliance may be a challenge Peng said."The execution is difficult as its hard to say which company is pulling more weight and investing more in it. We haven’t seen the alliance model work well in the past."

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

12 Comments
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A country that bans entitely a provider even like Google does not deserve any chance.

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A company that that bans a manufacturer from its services must expect a rival service to be developed.

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Sounds great, the more options, the better for the end consumer. I'm no fan of Huawei, but I admit and respect that they managed to kick the negative notion of a "Chinese product" out of their brand. As for the other brands... I'm not too fond of them, but they'll probably get a recognition boost.

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A company that that bans a manufacturer from its services must expect a rival service to be developed.

Yhis ^ smells a bit like hypocrisy to me. A country bans a whole industry sector must expect reciprocal actions, and I hope USA isn't done yet.

IF, the tit for tat escalate and we do end up with two disparate eco systems, then for me, so be it. I'd much rather a smaller but free industry than a big but risky, communist influenced industry.

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Funny that communist China sprouts propaganda about America decoupling from global institutions when it bans global companies from operating (freely or at all), and its companies are actively setting up communist approved alternative.

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It'll be effectively under censorship by the Chinese government

Those Chinese companies would never allow anything on the platform that goes against the Chinese government

Because if they do, they will be punished by the Chinese government back home

Goodbye Winnie the Pooh

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I predict we're only a few years away from a bifurcation of the internet, where China creates their own internet, separate from the existing one. Then they'll stop their people from using the internet from the rest of the world.

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where China creates their own internet, separate from the existing one. Then they'll stop their people from using the internet from the rest of the world.

The Great Firewall of China

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The Great Firewall of China

No, that's them using the same internet, and trying to wall it off. I'm talking about a bifurcation of the internet, where they are essentially two separate Internets - one that is Chinese, and controlled entirely by them. They don't control the current Internet, they just do their best to ensure their people don't do what they don't want them to do.

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'm talking about a bifurcation of the internet

Russia has started its sovereign internet.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/26/russia-starts-testing-its-own-internal-internet/

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Wow, Russia beating China to the punch.

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China's mobile giants to take on Google's Play store-sources

Using stolen technology (again)?

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