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Huawei to Launch Alternative to Google Mobile in India Amid Tensions With U.S.

By Ding Yi / Dec 27, 2019 03:56 AM / Business & Tech

Photo: Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

As if Huawei’s self-developed Harmony operating system were not enough, the Chinese tech giant is about to launch its own version of Google Mobile Services (GMS) in India amid the company’s continuing tensions with the U.S.

Charles Peng, Huawei’s consumer head in India, was quoted by India’s Economic Times Dec. 24 as saying that “we have our own HMS (Huawei Mobile Services) and are trying to build a mobile ecosystem. Most of the key apps such as navigation, payments, gaming and messaging will be ready soon.”

GMS is a collection of Google apps that often come preinstalled on Android devices. In May, Google banned Huawei smartphones from Android updates and allowed them to use only the open-source version of the operating system.

That was in response to the Trump administration’s move to put the Chinese company on a trade blacklist. The ban was lifted in June during a G-20 summit when Trump said U.S. companies could sell their equipment to Huawei again. But the uncertainties remain over Huawei phones’ use of GMS.

Huawei is encouraging Indian developers to contribute to the integration of apps with HMS in India under a $1 billion global fund established this year to develop a home-grown alternative to GMS, Peng told the Economic Times.

Huawei is also sweet-talking Chinese and Indian developers to help expand HMS to other regions like Europe, with every country expected to see top 100-150 apps preinstalled on HMS-powered smartphones, Peng said. “Consumers won’t see a difference between GMS and HMS.”

Contact reporter Ding Yi (yiding@caixin.com)

Related: Huawei to Equip More of Its Devices With Its Harmony OS in 2020


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