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Google is playing the pettiest of all games against Huawei on Xiaomi Mi 10 series boxes; other Android OEMs likely to follow suit

Xiaomi claims that Google is behind its Mi 10 box branding. (Image source: Weibo)
Xiaomi claims that Google is behind its Mi 10 box branding. (Image source: Weibo)
Xiaomi has included a special message for its major competitor Huawei on the boxes of European versions of the Mi 10 series. In case you needed reminding, the Mi 10 series provides "easy access to the Google apps that you use most often." Xiaomi claims that its hands are tied though, pointing the figure elsewhere.
Alex Alderson,

Huawei does not hold back when it ridicules its competitors. CEO Richard Yu took Samsung apart in his assessment of the Galaxy Fold, for example, stating that Huawei settled on a superior design with the Mate X, instead. 

It is hard to escape the fact that Huawei and Honor smartphones currently offer an inferior selection of apps than its Android competitors do though, and Google is capitalising on that. A few days ago it emerged that Xiaomi was including "with easy access to the Google apps you use most" on European Mi 10 boxes. Pictures of these boxes circulated online and prompted people to suggest that Xiaomi was insulting Huawei.

On the face of it that would make sense, as Xiaomi is the first Google-certified OEM to display such terms on its boxes. However, Xiaomi has now responded with the following statement, as translated by XDA Developers from Chinese:

We have noticed that there is a discussion on the latest copy of the packaging of Xiaomi mobile phone overseas market. In order to avoid misunderstanding, the explanation is as follows:

This copy is from the promotion requirements of the partners in the latest cooperation agreement, similar to the “power by android” displayed on the Android phone and the “intel inside” on the computer.

Because the previous version of the agreement between Xiaomi and its partners has expired, Xiaomi becomes the first batch of contracted manufacturers of the new version of the cooperation agreement, and is also the first manufacturer to release new products after it becomes effective.

We hope that global mobile phone manufacturers can cooperate smoothly with all partners to create a richer ecosystem.

As XDA Developers explains, it is likely that the release of the Mi 10 series coincided with Xiaomi having signed a new Mobile Application Distribution Agreement (MADA) that contained a new marketing clause. So, do not be surprised if more Android OEMs follow suit in the coming months as their existing MADAs expire.

In short, it seems that Xiaomi is the first example of Google leveraging its Android OEMs to do battle with Huawei. The reasons behind such phrasing could be innocuous, of course. However, with Huawei ramping up its App Gallery efforts, it seems like Google is making a play to remind people of the importance of its apps and services before they think of switching to Huawei or Honor.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 04 > Google is playing the pettiest of all games against Huawei on Xiaomi Mi 10 series boxes; other Android OEMs likely to follow suit
Alex Alderson, 2020-04- 7 (Update: 2020-04- 7)
Alex Alderson
Alex Alderson - News Editor - @aldersonaj
Prior to writing and translating for Notebookcheck, I worked for various companies including Apple and Neowin. I have a BA in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds, which I have since converted to a Law Degree. Happy to chat on Twitter or Notebookchat.