Chinese smartphone makers want to challenge the Play Store’s dominance

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It is safe to say that the Google Play Store is the dominant marketplace when it comes to Android apps, but that could soon be challenged according to a new report from Reuters.

The news organisation broke the story earlier this week where four Chinese smartphone makers – Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo – are all working together to create a platform for mobile app developers outside of China to upload their creations simultaneously.

The quartet are doing so under a platform called the Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA), which would serve as an avenue for games, movies, music and of course mobile applications to be shared to markets all over the world.

The ink on this deal between the four companies is still drying, and the full details are not known at this stage, but it appears as if the GDSA is planned for an initial launch in March, with nine countries involved at first.

These include Russia, India, Indonesia and Malaysia, but no word on whether South Africa or any other country in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region has been earmarked.

Reuters explains that the regions have been chosen given the market share that the four Chinese companies have in specific parts of the globe, and given Huawei’s large presence locally, as well as the firm’s big push to bring developers onto its services platform, South Africa would seem a solid choice.

At the time of writing, however, nothing has been mentioned about South Africa, but we have contacted to Huawei South Africa for comment on the situation.

While we wait for that, given the March timeframe for the launch of GDSA, we may be hearing more news about the platform at MWC 2020 in Barcelona, which is happening in the next couple of months.

Whether this new platform can find a footing against the giant that is the Google Play Store, remains to be seen, but we can certainly see why firms like Huawei would want to launch such an offering given its ongoing struggles with the United States and lack of access to Google service son its devices.

Either way this has the potential to be a game changer as far as the mobile app ecosystem and developers goes, so it’s a story we’ll be tracing over the coming weeks and months.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.