Google’s Play Store dominance might end as Chinese manufacturers unite powers

Google’s Play Store dominance might end as Chinese manufacturers unite powers
Most Android users assume that Google’s Play Store is an inseparable part of the operating system. And why wouldn’t they? It’s always there unless you’ve bought your phone in China. Soon, that might not be the case.

The truth is, that the Play Store ecosystem is an extra that companies pay for to have on their devices because it’s the gateway to all the apps their users want and need. But as the US ban on Huawei revealed, that privilege can be taken away, leaving manufacturers in a very uncomfortable position.

That’s why the latest revelations by Reuters don’t come as a huge surprise. According to its sources, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo have formed a new organization called the Global Developer Service Alliance. The goal of the GDSA is to develop and support a new platform for the distribution of mobile apps outside of China. In simpler words: to create a Play Store competitor.

Together, the four companies are responsible for more than a third of the global smartphone shipments last year, selling hundreds of millions of devices.

But for that initiative to be successful, the manufacturers have to not only swap one app market for another but also get all the important software developers on board. One way to do that is by offering them better terms.

Google has famously refused to reduce the 30% cut it’s getting from developers. If the new platform comes out with 20% or even 15% cut instead, that would be a huge incentive for companies to port their apps.

The Alliance is currently working towards a March release of its platform, which will initially target some Asian and European markets.

Having four companies cooperate on software while being fierce competitors on the hardware market is a tall order, but if this new app store succeeds, it will have major consequences for the Android ecosystem. By the end of the year, the smartphone software landscape could be very different.

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31 Comments

29. ScottsoNJ56

Posts: 176; Member since: Oct 01, 2017

It might be a problem for Google but I'm sure they have a contingency plan. Just like Huawei is hitting bumps breaking away from Google ( not by choice) I'm sure Google will face some hurdles if all those manufactures break away.

16. Poptart2828

Posts: 527; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

United States created this mess. Now Google will pay the consequences for US incompetence.

12. Gryffin

Posts: 99; Member since: Dec 19, 2018

so in future it would be Samsung, Google, Sony, Nokia, etc vs Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, Oneplus, Xiaomi, etc (chinese OEM's) chinese version of android vs google's version of android. Really interesting times ahead

24. tbreezy

Posts: 287; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

Amazing stuff, Google are going to have a hard time, they can only really rely on Samsung, the others are so small

9. Venom

Posts: 4137; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

In other news, China stifling competition to give preferential treatment to their own OEMs.

10. QuantumRazer

Posts: 243; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

No, Chinese companies are trying to be independent from Google's services so that in case they get banned from US for some random reasons they can adopt to the changes without much damage being done. You have always been supporting US government for restricting Google from having business with Huawei, I don't understand why you're being so critical and pessimistic about this move. This is the outcome you wanted, and now you're getting it. Be happy about it.

13. meanestgenius

Posts: 23173; Member since: May 28, 2014

He’s going to try and spin this in any way possible as a negative. He’s been spewing his rhetoric about Huawei and Chinese OEM’s having cheap, malware ridden junk and that Google doesn’t need them. Now they are becoming independent of Google, and he’s still complaining. It’s the way he is Ana always will be. Competition and choice will always be good for the consumer. He doesn’t understand that.

17. Cicero

Posts: 1167; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Do you think they will further use Android? Or they will develop a new os? They want Android and the apps developed for and their app store. Normal move when you are banned by Google. Do you think Google will sit down and watch? I think soon Google will pass Android and stop developing it. That is the time when battle begin.

21. meanestgenius

Posts: 23173; Member since: May 28, 2014

Smart money says they will use both until their App Store takes off, with the exception of Huawei, since they don’t have access to Googles Android or it’s apps and services. Google won’t “sit down and watch”, and absolutely no one said they would, so I don’t know where you’re getting that from. But Google can’t stop them from leaving its ecosystem if that’s what that want to do. Google knows that, and will most likely lobby hard to get Huawei off of the U.S. entities list.

22. danny_a2005

Posts: 386; Member since: Oct 06, 2011

Coronavirus is taking care

6. dimas

Posts: 3468; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

GDSA: sounds like a command and conquer antagonist to me. Let's say they give devs the 15-20% sweet deal, where are they going to get the extra money for their server expenses? More than frequent ads to users? Getting softer rules with malware-carrier apps? Wallpapers with ads sticking out every 5 minutes? Too good to be true.

15. Poptart2828

Posts: 527; Member since: Jan 23, 2018

I've yet to experience pop up ads on any of my oppo or vivo devices I have used. I've seen these issues on my buddies Samsung note 9 bought from a carrier.

20. meanestgenius

Posts: 23173; Member since: May 28, 2014

Poptart2828, Facts. I’ve had no pop up adds on my Huawei Mate 20 Pro or my Honor View 10.

27. Venom

Posts: 4137; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Anecdotal evidence I'm afraid. Sounds like the adware that sometimes plague the app stores even on the walled garden of the App Store.

28. meanestgenius

Posts: 23173; Member since: May 28, 2014

I noticed you’ve been avoiding my responses to your comments, lol. Post proof that what’s being said is anecdotal evidence. Post proof that Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo devices push ads on them, as opposed to you just attacking Huawei and Chinese smartphone vendors again.

30. Mikele

Posts: 199; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Never mind him, I have Huawei and Xiaomi phones no push ads he's only commenting negatively about Chinese OEMs

32. meanestgenius

Posts: 23173; Member since: May 28, 2014

Absolutely true. There are a few people here that choose to attack the Chinese OEM’s simply because of their country of origin.

18. Cicero

Posts: 1167; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

And don't forget that the people using G Play are not paying for apps like Apple users. Further on regarding the market where this new app store is heading, like India and China, the sales will be so low that the devs will quit supporting the servers.

19. meanestgenius

Posts: 23173; Member since: May 28, 2014

Google made $8.8 billion off of the Google Play Store globally in 2019. That’s billions paid out to developers, so people do indeed pay for their apps on Google Play. This bodes well for the new App Store that the Chinese OEM’s are creating.

5. meanestgenius

Posts: 23173; Member since: May 28, 2014

I don’t think some people fully understand the seriousness of this in regards to it being a problem for Google if it takes off (and I fully believe it will). Between Huawei (and it’s subsidiary Honor), Xiaomi (and it’s subsidiaries Redmi, Poco), Oppo and Vivo (who are owned by BBK, so how long before RealMe and OnePlus possibly get on board with this as well?), this Alliance has China, India, and other parts of Asia on lock. China and India are the two largest smartphone markets. Exciting times are ahead for the smartphone space.

25. tbreezy

Posts: 287; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

Even better mate, OnePlus is a subsidiary of OPPO.

26. meanestgenius

Posts: 23173; Member since: May 28, 2014

That’s correct. I forgot about that.

31. Mikele

Posts: 199; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Honestly an exciting moments awaits smartphone space. I foresaw this more than a year ago but Chinese OEMs plans came a bit late. First was ZTE and now Huawei which company would be next to be axed by the Western political propaganda?

33. meanestgenius

Posts: 23173; Member since: May 28, 2014

So true. Due to western political propaganda, it’s only right that the Chinese OEM’s move to become independent of them. That’s business 101.

4. tbreezy

Posts: 287; Member since: Aug 11, 2019

This is amazing and will greatly challenge Google, who have quite frankly brought this on to themselves.

8. Venom

Posts: 4137; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

Oh yeah because China once again giving unfair advantage to their own OEMs is so amazing. Yeah there's nothing stifling about that at all.

11. QuantumRazer

Posts: 243; Member since: Apr 27, 2019

LMAO Venom, Play Store is way too big to be 'stifled' by a newcomer app store like this. Actually, this might even help Google make Play Store even better by putting them into actual competitions. There exists nothing you should worry about.

14. meanestgenius

Posts: 23173; Member since: May 28, 2014

How is China giving them an unfair advantage if this is the OEM’s doing this on their own to create and App Store outside of China? Did you even read the article and source article, or did you just do your usual and read the title and go on the attack?

3. d1g1te

Posts: 82; Member since: Oct 04, 2016

This is good thing for consumers. I hope they succeed. It's always good to have alternatives and competition.

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 23173; Member since: May 28, 2014

Have I not been saying something similar for a while now? I said that Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo have already been reported to join Huawei in co-developing HarmonyOS. It only makes since that this is now taking place for a new App Store, and from 4 of the top 6 smartphone vendors in the world, at that. This can develop into a real problem for Google, and no one can say otherwise. There is a third player being developed in regards to a operating systems, and this news of the these smartphone powerhouses joining forces to develop a new App Store, which will undoubtedly be used for HarmonyOS, makes this that much more intriguing and exciting. I said if anyone has the resources to make a successful 3rd ecosystem, it’s Huawei, and that ecosystem has gotten a huge boost of support with Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo co-developing an App Store with Huawei. I’m looking forward to this. I wonder how long it will be before Google really pushes for the ban on Huawei to be lifted now....

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