28 February 2020
One of the best things about the Android operating system is that it gives the freedom to install apps from any source including third-party app stores. Despite this flexibility, the Google Play Store holds a dominant position and is undoubtedly the biggest app store on the planet. This is exactly what top Chinese tech companies are hoping to change as per a new Reuters report.
The report cites industry sources to mention that Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo have come together to build a platform called Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA). This platform is aimed at helping app developers publish their apps and games on respective app stores of these brands at the same time. It will also support uploading music and movies.
All of these four brands are tech giants in China and even if we talk about global smartphone shipments, they held a 40% market share in the previous quarter. Vivo and Oppo brands are owned by BBK which also owns the OnePlus brand. It is safe to say that the audience reach of these brands is more than enough to attract developers to build content for the platform.
It is reported that GDSA was initially set to go live in March but due to the Coronavirus outbreak, details about updated release plans are unknown. A prototype website for the platform mentions that the platform will be made available in nine countries including India, Russia, and Indonesia. These regions are part of the initial rollout with plans to cover other regions later.
Huawei is one brand that will particularly get benefitted if GDSA becomes a reality. It has already lost access to the Google Play Store in global markets because of the trade ban imposed by the U.S. government. This is the reason it has been releasing new smartphones without Google apps and services. It is also working on its own version of mobile services and its own app store called AppGallery with investment running into billions of dollars.
The report clearly points at GDSA as a Play Store rival but an official Xiaomi statement given to Android Authority denies such claims. It said that the motive behind the platform is only to make it easier for developers to share their apps on the individual app stores of all the founding members.
Here is the official statement,
"The Global Developer Service Alliance solely serves to facilitate the uploading of apps by developers to respective app stores of Xiaomi, OPPO and Vivo simultaneously. There’s no competing interest between this service and Google Play Store."