Chinese smartphone brands have become a gigantic phenomenon in recent years. Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, and Huawei are now some of the biggest smartphone brands in terms of raw shipments and sales, with all four brands accounting for over 40% of all smartphone shipments globally. And their presence in the Asian, European, and South American continents have risen to all-time highs. But these companies are, for the most part, forced to bend the knee to Google whenever possible as the Google Play Store and Google Mobile Services are essential parts of the Android experience. It seems, however, that these brands are now seeking some independence from Google as they are working together on an “app store alliance” of sorts.
Reuters’ report on this matter talks about a “Global Developer Service Alliance” or GDSA, where developers will be able to upload an app simultaneously on these brands’ respective app stores. While the report doesn’t immediately talk about a single Play Store alternative, all 4 app stores having the same content and backend would essentially make them the same app store. These 4 brands already have their own app stores up and running, as devices launched in mainland China don’t have Google Play Services, so this move would simply unify them. This move may have been fueled by Huawei’s US sanctions: the company is banned from doing business with US companies and therefore they can’t use Google services at all, forcing them to seek alternatives.,
As we said before, all of these companies are huge by their own right, so having them join forces could potentially mean trouble for Google’s grip on Android in overseas markets. Oppo and Vivo are both owned by BBK Electronics, which also owns OnePlus and Realme–the report doesn’t say whether these 2 brands would be joining the alliance, with OnePlus strengthening their US carrier presence and Realme putting heat under Xiaomi’s feet in India.
Want more posts like this delivered to your inbox? Enter your email to be subscribed to our newsletter.