Huawei is trying to circumvent Google Play using its own app store

Huawei's addition to the United States Entity List, which prevents American companies from providing any technology, products or services to the company, has cost it access to Google's Android operating system and its suite of Android apps, including the Google Play Store.

As a result, the company is already working on its own operating system, referred to as HongMeng OS/Ark OS and the company is also working to provide an alternative app store for owners of its smartphones. The company already has its own app store, by the name of AppGallery, that it has been preloading on its phones with alongside the Play Store, but with its access to the Play Store in question, the Chinese firm is doubling down on its efforts to make AppGallery a viable platform able to stand toe-to-toe with Google's offering.

In this respect, the company has also started emailing developers and asking them to publish their Android apps on AppGallery, as reported by XDA-Developers. The email promises developers full support if they decide to come under the Huawei umbrella, and also boasts that the app store has 270 million active users. It also touts the 350 million phones Huawei has sold in the last two years - half of them in Western markets - as another reason why developers should jump on the AppGallery bandwagon.

Subject: [OFFICIAL] Invitation to join Huawei AppGallery

Cher XXX team,

  • In the last 2 years, Huawei shipped over 350M phones, about half of them in western markets.
  • All Huawei phones have our official AppStore “AppGallery” preloaded globally, with 270 million monthly active users.
  • We realized that your great Android App XXX is not yet published in our AppGallery.
  • In order to guarantee a smooth usage of your App for our users, Huawei is committed to provide you with full support, to help you publish your App into AppGallery.
  • We would therefore like to invite you to join our 560k developers community for free, in our Huawei Developer portal.

Whether Huawei's pleas are answered by app developers remains to be seen. Even if the company is able to convince third-party developers to port their apps to its own store, the lack of popular Google-made apps like Gmail, YouTube and Maps would still stick out like a sore thumb. Most users outside of China depend on these apps and their absence would make Huawei phones far less appealing compared to alternatives made by Samsung or Xiaomi.

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