Report: Chinese Tech Giants to Take on Google Play Store

Posted on February 6, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Cloud, Google, Mobile with 31 Comments

According to a Reuters report, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi are partnering on a new integrated mobile store for Android that can replace the Google Play Store.

The new platform is called the Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA), and it’s not just for apps: The firms want to provide developers with a single place to market and distribute apps, games, music, and movies to their customers outside of China. It will start in India, Indonesia, and Russia, the report claims, and will expand from there.

None of the companies have confirmed the report, though Huawei was already known to be expanding its own store and mobile OS efforts because of its blacklisting by the U.S. government. Perhaps not surprisingly, its China-based competitors are likewise worried about their ability to use tech based in the U.S. and are rushing to create an alternative. One that, in this case, could actually rival Google Play Store.

And they can literally rival Google: Reuters notes that the four companies together represent over 40 percent of the global smartphone market, with Huawei the clear number two player, behind Samsung and ahead of Apple. Had the U.S. not blacklisted Huawei last year, that firm might have already overtaken Samsung for the top spot by now.

The GDSA could go live as soon as March, the report claims, but it could be delayed somewhat because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Comments (31)

31 responses to “Report: Chinese Tech Giants to Take on Google Play Store”

  1. Pbike908

    No surprise here...It was only a matter of time...The current administrations "policies" only hastened this along...No doubt this has been battered around for years...I can't imagine how much traction this will get outside of China and China's patrons since there is no doubt this platform will be entirely compromised by the Chinese government.

  2. rmlounsbury

    Man, they even rip off the Apple store experience.

  3. Jippa Wip

    I wonder whether the Trump administration anticipated this? Certainly others did, so now it appears the world will have some kind of fragmentation or choice.

    Of course, this is now to the detriment of US companies, mainly Google. I guess they're not very happy about this...

    • lvthunder

      In reply to Jippa Wip:

      Actually it's probably helpful to Google. Now they won't be classified as a monopoly and won't have to fight in court as much.

      As for Trump there are pluses and minuses to any action. Overall I think having a good trade deal with China will help the country as a whole.

  4. bluvg

    Policies that cause/hasten the demise of USA's tech dominance... let no one forget we did it to ourselves. Blame will be placed elsewhere, of course.

    • lvthunder

      In reply to bluvg:

      I think having a good trade deal with China will help protect our tech companies long term. It will also greatly help other sectors of our economy. Remember the government has to look out for everyone not just one sector of the economy.

      • bluvg

        In reply to lvthunder:

        Protect them from what, though? Highly-skilled workers in China (which values education much more than the US) earning much lower wages and therefore much lower production costs? In that type of economic environment, the high-wage country has to offer different products/services, not fall back to protectionism.

        What justifies the US preserving its economic position, other than history (including the dominance of English) and geography/natural resources?

    • cadrethree

      In reply to bluvg:

      America is far from losing it's grip and control of the tech high ground. It's taken for granted that every country have unfettered access to America's rich markets, which might have to change in the future. The blame goes to greedy CEO's who cry poor and can't live selling only their products in America. CEO's that move their manufacturing technology overseas to be produced in a substandard working conditions. Sure they pad their salaries to the tune of hundreds of millions in perks and bonuses. Good for them and bad for us. Now you have American companies changing their products and conforming to China to chase their bottom lines. Last time I checked the Chinese government didn't make the laws the average American should live under, but it's sure trending that way. It's no consolation to trade our safety, sovereignty, labor laws, and culture to chase the almighty dollar that is the Chinese market.

      • bluvg

        In reply to cadrethree:

        "CEO's that move their manufacturing technology overseas"

        Naw, that's just math. When the competitor down the street moves their manufacturing overseas and can pay 10 workers there for the price of 1 here and produce the same product for much less, is it "greed" that motivates the CEO, or is it an existential threat to the company that drives their decision? Wishful thinking about the past isn't going to magically outweigh that kind of workforce cost difference.

        If Americans weren't so bad at math generally, this emotional appeal wouldn't get the traction it does :P

        • cadrethree

          In reply to bluvg:

          Boeing trying to outsource as much work as possible on the 787 was because of an existential threat or greed? Moving established centers in America to other less skilled non union places in America? Not just greed? Is Boeing going out of business? Boeing is at the highest end of skilled labor and technical know how. They aren't the only company that does this. Japanese automakers who employ and operate many factories in North America turn record profits using American labor. Can't turn a profit using American workers? It's just unrestrained CEO greed.

          • bluvg

            In reply to cadrethree:

            Boeing's response may have been spastic, but yes, it was absolutely a reaction to an existential threat. Airbus was eating Boeing's lunch in the mid- and high-end, and Bombardier and Embraer were eating it on the low-end. Yes, they made many mistakes, but they also can't be unresponsive to competition. And now Comac will be on the scene.

            And speaking of the 787, they sent much of the work to Charleston, and hidden camera interviews have workers saying they personally wouldn't ride on one because of the shoddy work. Lots of reasons for that, but... what is the inherent advantage of an American worker over a Chinese worker to justify the many times higher wage? Shipping costs?

            • cadrethree

              In reply to bluvg:

              Boeing moving work out of Seattle to other parts in the US is all about breaking unions. Pay workers less to make the company more. They were foolish to move work from their skilled base in WA, which built their company. It's just about adding zero's to an executive bonuses. Yeah, I think highly of America's role as the bearer of freedom to the world. Her accomplishments speak for themself throughout history. Human life is traditionally a cheap commodity outside the western world. If you can't see that and don't want to save American values, I don't know what to tell you.

              • bluvg

                In reply to cadrethree:

                So when Boeing is getting killed by their competition, they should stick with status quo instead of seeking competitive advantage by reducing production costs? Better to let the company die? They're in the similar mess now with the 737 MAX because they were caught flat-footed by the A320neo launch. There's no single simple answer to their faltering, just as seeing their production changes as an executive money grab is a very narrow, overly simplistic explanation.

                "Yeah, I think highly of America's role as the bearer of freedom to the world."

                The USA has given the rest of the world a big middle finger recently and tossed aside any admirable idealism and past accomplishments in favor of nationalism. Why should the rest of the world care much about American values when those values are "America #1"? We may talk about how we value human life and human rights, but other countries look at how Americans are typically uneducated about the rest of the world, have a much lower regard for caring for family (from their perspective), export what is seen by some as moral decay and decadent behavior, and want nothing to do with it, regardless whatever past accomplishments America has deemed important.

  5. PeterC

    Excellent news. At last some much needed choice to bring some healthy balance and competition. Ace. Looks like BBK are making their moves ahead of further Chinese/Indian/Russian market diversification’s.

  6. melinau

    Hopefully this will be a big success. Then we'll be able to choose whether we hand our personal data to Google or Chinese, or both!

    More seriously This is an unnecessary problem caused by Trump's stupid Trade boycott, and may potentially backfire. If these Chinese companies get it together and they might provide Google (& USA) -free services to users particularly in Developing World.

  7. nicholas_kathrein

    This is interesting and I can see this working for countries that aren't the normal U.S. type countries. In the U.S. type countries Google has already made Google Play services vital to the software stack in Android Studio and Google's API's make programming so much easier that if you're not going the Google route you have to work much harder to get the same results.

  8. codymesh

    I don't for a second underestimate the drive and technological prowess of the Chinese to get something like this done and make it a success. And it's smart for them to start in those places - Russia, Indonesia, etc - places that are specifically underserved by Google, on top of being caught in American political crossfire rubbish

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