What you need to know
- Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are partnering to form the Global Developer Service Alliance.
- The GDSA would allow developers outside of China to upload an app once and have it added to all four manufacturer's app stores simultaneously.
- This move will challenge Google's Play Store dominance while also helping the four Chinese companies expand more into software and services as hardware sales decline.
On February 6, 2020, an exclusive report from Reuters revealed that Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are working on a new app store alliance. The Global Developer Service Alliance or GDSA, for short, would allow developers outside of China to upload an app once and have it show up across all four manufacturer's app stores simultaneously.
The GDSA would help the Chinese mobile tech giants challenge Google's Play Store dominance while also giving developers an easier way to expose their app to billions of users. Combined Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo were responsible for shipping nearly 40% of all smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The news also comes as hardware sales continue to decline year over year, and handset makers are looking to generate more revenue by expanding into software and services. Google, for example, collects 30% from sales on the Play Store to generate profits.
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.
While the GDSA would primarily benefit Huawei after losing access to Google services last year, Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo also stand to gain in the countries they are popular. Nicole Peng, VP of Mobility at Canalys, also says it will provide the four companies with "more negotiating power against Google."
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.
At the time of writing, all four Chinese companies declined to provide a statement to Reuters about the new alliance. Google also did not respond to a request to comment on the matter.
However, a prototype of the website revealed the GDSA will cover nine countries initially, including India, Indonesia, and Russia. The launch was expected to happen in March, but it is uncertain whether or not it could be delayed due to the recent coronavirus outbreak.
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