The Jakarta Post
Chinese tech giant Huawei is touring globally to get local app developers on board its very own app store, AppGallery, launched as an alternative to Google Play and Apple App Store. It aims to have 73 Indonesian apps by next month.
The company had used US$1 billion for its “shining-star program”, a developer engagement program, to support the development of apps for Huawei’s marketplace, Huawei Consumer Business Group CEO Richard Yu said.
“We build strong relationships with local app developers to bring the best of local apps for local consumers, for every country,” Yu said during Huawei’s consumer business product and strategy virtual launch aired on Feb. 25 in Jakarta.
Huawei Consumer Business Group Indonesia country head Fisher Jiang said in a statement that that there were sizable Indonesian apps on its platform, ranging from banking to e-commerce, with more to come.
Users can find local bank apps such as Permata Bank, BCA Mobile, Link Aja to homegrown e-commerce platforms such as Bli Bli, Tokopedia, Bukalapak, among others.
“As of last January, there were already more than 40 apps. The apps that we have chosen are apps that are in line with Huawei's customer profile, which is mid [to] high customers,” Huawei Indonesia Consumer Business Group deputy country head Lo Khing Seng told reporters at the virtual launch on Feb. 25.
Huawei plans on nearly doubling that number by aiming to have 73 top local apps that are most used by Huawei customers to be integrated with its AppGallery by March 2020, before the launch of its flagship phone, Huawei P40, Khing Seng said.
To attract local app developers, Khing Seng noted that the company would offer cooperation to develop the products’ strategic operation and other barter incentives, which he did not elaborate on.
“Huawei is specifically developing the AppGallery because we have to provide an ecosystem for our latest Huawei mobile phones, which up until now the United States still [registers] on its Entity List, hence Google cannot work directly with Huawei,” the deputy country head said.
China’s Huawei Technologies was added to the Entity List in May 2019, which resulted in American companies being banned from selling their technology products to Huawei.
The maneuver was made as the US Department of Commerce believes that “Huawei is engaged in activities that are contrary to US national security or foreign policy interest.”
The ban was effectively implemented in August last year, therefore when the company launched its Mate 30 and Mate 30 Pro models in September 2019, the mobile devices no longer carried popular Google apps.
Against the backdrop of global challenges, Huawei implemented measures to develop its own version of Google Play.
Last year, the company invested US$16 billion in its research and development (R&D). In the previous year, Huawei was among the top five companies with the most financial investment in its R&D program, surpassing Apple and Intel, according to the 2018 European Union Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard.
Huawei’s AppGallery is available in more than 170 countries and has more than 400 million monthly active users, sitting among the top three app stores worldwide, Huawei claims. (ydp)