Huawei AppStore and video service to be expanded beyond China in early 2018
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In mid-2014 all of Google’s web-based and Android-based services were banned from the Chinese market — including the Google Play Store. Even before this point, the Google's app store hadn't been particularly popular within China, and the market has long been dominated by locally made app stores with four of the most prominent coming from familiar names Baidu, Tencent, Xiaomi, and Huawei.
The later of those, Huawei, has announced that they will be bringing their Huawei App Store to Europe during the first few months of 2018. They have so far formed partnerships with just 15 app and game developers, although it is unclear if any of the applications from the Chinese store will come over, or if it is solely reliant on developers from non-Chinese regions to populate the store (more likely).
Huawei is also bringing their Huawei Video Service to Europe, although the service will be populated by local content providers rather than delivering any content that Huawei already licenses from China. This service is reportedly going to be ad-free.
There is a big question that comes out of this announcement ... why? While Huawei has faced difficulties getting exposure in the North American market, they are the third largest smartphone manufacturer internationally, with active user bases in Asia, Europe, and Oceania. The problem is that most of the countries within these markets are happy with the Google Play Store and the most substantial competitor so far (Amazon App Store) has gained a relatively small portion of the market. Similarly, manufacturer specific app stores from players such as Samsung have also historically done poorly. Huawei will have to find a way for their services to add real value before they can have any significant impact on the app store market.
The Huawei App Store (including its app recommendation feature), and the Huawei Video Service will start coming pre-installed on Huawei and Honor phones sold in Europe from early 2018. Hopefully, they will include the ability to uninstall for those who want non-Pixel or non-Android-One devices but still like their phones to have as little pre-installed software as possible.
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