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Photo: AP
Photo: AP

Huawei wants Google apps in its own store to mitigate US trade ban

  • Google submits its apps to Apple’s App Store so that they can be accessed on iPhones, iPads as well
  • Google had removed Huawei from its Android Partner Program after US enforced a trade ban

Chinese smartphone maker and telecom giant Huawei has a plan to mitigate the impact of the US trade ban on its phones. In an interview with CNBC, Huawei’s rotating chairman Eric Xu said the company hopes “Google services can be available" in its own app store known as the AppGallery.

The idea isn’t as far-fetched as it might sound. While Google services, including apps such as Google Maps, Google Play store, etc. are part of Android phones with Google certification, the company submits these apps to Apple’s App Store so that they can be accessed on iPhones and iPads as well. Huawei seeks Google doing the same for its AppGallery.

Google has reportedly applied to the US government to allow it to continue doing business with Huawei, showing that the Android maker still wants to work with the Chinese giant.

Google had removed Huawei from its Android Partner Program after US President Donald Trump enforced a trade ban on the company, which meant that Google services would not be available on Huawei’s phones. This is technically a big blow to Huawei, since Android phones depend heavily on Google’s applications.

Consequently, Huawei announced its own app store for users to download apps. In fact, the company recently claimed that the AppGallery is the third largest app store in the world, after Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store.

Google Play Store is in many ways the backbone of any Android smartphone as it enables downloading millions of apps. If Huawei has to mitigate the impact of the US trade ban, it will not only require Google to make its apps available on the AppGallery, but will also need to match the collection of apps the other two stores provide.

While the US trade ban is expected to seriously impact Huawei’s business, the company announced strong financial results for 2019. It reported a global rise in revenue by 19.2% year-on-year, including all businesses. The company’s consumer business, of which smartphones make a big part, grew by 34% year-on-year.

A January report by Counterpoint Research suggested that the Chinese company had shipped 238 million units in the 2019 calendar year, surpassing Apple to become the second largest smartphone maker in the world. Samsung and Apple shipped 296.5 million and 196.2 million units, respectively.

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