Honor, Huawei’s sub-brand, is in discussions with 150 of India’s top apps to bring them to its own platform

As the end of the calendar year approaches, the US-China trade war which started in 2018 shows no signs of slowing. The telecoms industries of both countries are being widely shook up as a result, with Huawei particularly affected by the uncertainty of its products’ ongoing access to Google Media Services (GMS).

Now, Huawei has announced its intent to build a new mobile ecosystem to rival Google’s by working with Indian developers for new solutions. This new service – Huawei Media Services (HMS) – will support smart phones that do not have access to GMS, providing them with similar functionality. 

"Consumers won’t see a difference between GMS and HMS. We are focusing on how to work with developers to offer a good customer experience. It is a challenge that we are trying to address," said Charles Peng, CEO of Huawei and Honor India, Consumer Business Group.

Huawei, via its sub-brand Honor, is currently in talks with around 150 apps to secure them for its HMS. The company currently has around a million registered developers globally for HMS and is offering a $17,000 incentive for the integration of apps in India.

"We have our own HMS and are trying to build a mobile ecosystem. Most of the key apps such as navigation, payments, gaming and messaging will be ready by December," said Peng. "Huawei HQ is in touch with China developers and the India developer base will help us in India, as well as in regions like Europe. In every country, we will focus on bringing top 100-150 apps to customers through HMS."

Despite a slip in smartphone sales in India since the ban was announced in May, Huawei are still leveraging their significant market share and resources to secure new app partnerships.

"If they [developers, content and service providers] work with us closely, the cost to get new customers will low. Huawei is among the top three handset makers with a huge market share," said Peng.

However, as always, the reality is much less simple. As Navkender Singh, research director at IDC India explains: “It is going to be very tough for Huawei/Honor to sell the phone based on their own suite. They would need to double down on efforts for India."


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