China’s Xiaomi, Huawei, OPPO and Vivo are teaming up to create a platform where developers outside China can upload their apps (Apps) to the app stores of the four handset makers at the same time, Reuters reported. Some analysts say the move is designed to challenge the dominance of the Google Play App Store. The platform, called the Global Developer Services Alliance (GDSA), aims to make it easier for developers of games, music, movies and other apps to market their apps overseas, according to people familiar with the matter.
People familiar with the matter said the platform was originally scheduled to launch in March, and it was unclear whether it would delay the release because of the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak. The platform will initially cover nine “regions” including India, Indonesia and Russia.
All four companies declined to comment.
Google earned about $8.8 billion from the Global Play Store in 2019, according to Katie Williams, an analyst at Research Firm, a research firm.
“By forming alliances, members will take advantage of each other in different regions,” said Nicole Peng, an analyst at Canalys, another research firm. Xiaomi, for example, has a strong user base in India, with vivo and OPPO performing strongly in Southeast Asia, while Huawei has a strong base in Europe. Second, the alliance will also help them gain a voice and gain an edge in negotiations with Google. “
In the fourth quarter of 2019, these four companies together accounted for 40.1% of global mobile phone shipments, according to IDC.
As hardware sales slow, Chinese handset makers are trying to grab a bigger share of software and services, said Will Wong, a smartphone analyst at IDC. “App Stores, pre-installed apps, advertising, and games are all areas where new revenue is likely to generate new revenue,” he said. “
In addition, Huawei has developed its own mobile operating system, Harmony OS, as a replacement for Android.
Analysts say GDSA may be able to attract app developers by offering higher exposure (the Google Play store is already crowded). In addition, the new platform may provide better monetary incentives.
“By making it easy for developers to cover multiple app stores, Huawei, OPPO, Vivo and Xiaomi will attract more developers and ultimately more apps,” Williams said. “
But Nicole Peng also points out that managing the alliance can be a challenge. “It can be difficult to execute because it’s hard to say which company has more influence and more investment,” she said. In the past, we haven’t seen this alliance model work very well. “