Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo to Unite in Challenging Google’s Play Store Platform

Four Chinese handset makers that together account for an estimated 40 percent of global mobile device shipments are building a platform meant to rival Google Play.

According to a new report from Reuters, Xiaomi, Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo have announced that they’re linking up to create a platform on which developers around the world will be able to upload their apps to each company’s app store simultaneously. Together the companies will form the Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA).

The platform the four are developing is reportedly not a marketplace in the same sense that Google Play is. Rather, it’s described as an app distribution channel that will enable developers to upload their apps to all the participating phone makers’ existing app stores at once.

A prototype website discovered by Reuters stated that GDSA will focus on nine “regions” including India, Indonesia and Russia. The group’s focus will likely overlap with the markets where its four backers have an established presence: Huawei and Xiaomi are two of Europe’s most popular phone brands, while Vivo and Oppo have leadership positions in Southeast Asia.

With this new alliance, the Chinese phone makers help each other to bring more apps to their stores, essentially providing users with a more worthy alternative in those markets where the Google Play store isn’t available. The terms and conditions page provides a closer look at the purpose of this joint effort:

“The GDSA platform provides unified access to multiple mobile phone manufacturers’ stores. Developers can submit applications (including Android free-to-install applications, games, music, movies, books, magazines, or other digital content or services through the registration platform), which can be synchronized to multiple mobile phone manufacturers’ app stores that have already cooperated.”

The report indicates that the platform was supposed to launch in March, but due to delays caused by the coronavirus, there’s a chance the release was pushed back to a later date.