Earlier this year, Chinese smartphone maker Huawei was one of several brands banned by the U.S. Department of Commerce from doing business with American companies. This effectively stripped Huawei of the ability to include Google apps -- an essential for any Android phone -- on its devices, but the international phone company might have finally found its solution to life after Google.
According to ET Telecom, Huawei is aggressively pursuing top Indian app developers with major monetary incentives in order to build out its own alternative to Google Media Services, or GMS. This would allow Huawei phones to have their own out-of-box versions of Google's suite of services, which include YouTube, Drive, Gmail, Maps and more.
Huawei and Honor India CEO Charles Peng tells ET Telecom that key Huawei Media Services (HMS) apps for things such as "navigation, payments, gaming and messaging" will be ready by the end of December.
"Consumers won't see a difference between GMS and HMS," Peng told ET Telecom. "We are focusing on how to work with developers to offer a good customer experience."
Huawei is promising incentives of up to $17,000 for developers willing to integrate their apps within Huawei Media Services in order to create a suite that looks and feels like what you'd typically get from an Android phone. Fellow Chinese phone maker Oppo is taking a similar route, allocating $143 towards supporting developers in 2020.
It's unclear if or when Huawei will be able to do business in the U.S. in the near future, though Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Bloomberg in November that he's optimistic that the U.S. could reach a new trade deal with China in the near future.
But even amidst a tumultuous 2019, Huawei managed to sell more than 200 million smartphones this year. And now that Huawei appears to have its alternative to Google's app suite in the works, it may continue to give rivals such as Samsung and OnePlus some serious competition internationally.