I’ve said this, in various circles and in different conversations, after the entire U.S-China/Google-HUAWEI drama began: there might come a time when HUAWEI might no longer need Google.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think we’re getting closer and closer to that happening. If not this year, probably in 2022. The Chinese company is slowly but surely paving the way for its independence, but more importantly, survival.
In May 2019, the Chinese company was added to the dreaded Entity List, and former President Trump banned the company through an executive order.
Some would argue that the problems started way back in 2012 when the U.S. banned companies from using HUAWEI networking hardware and equipment. According to others, the mobile side of the business might have gotten involved with the occasion of the 2018 CES in Las Vegas.
Remember when we all expected Richard Yu to go on stage and announce the Mate 10 Pro’s availability in the U.S. Well, AT&T pulled out at the last minute, so HUAWEI turned to Verizon just to get the same treatment. Congressional pressure was cited as a possible, but unofficial, reason for the move.
Whether the new Administration will overturn the ban is yet unknown, but, just in case it does, it might be too late. HUAWEI might no longer need Google (among other key technologies like software, hardware, patents, etc.), and the U.S. would likely be the one ending up with the shorter end of the stick.
The HUAWEI Ecosystem
What happens when a rich and intelligent tech company faces roadblocks? It turns all of its focus and efforts towards surpassing them while getting better and better while at it. I believe that to be the case with HUAWEI too.
Sure, there were some dents in finances and the company’s image (not as big as one might have expected), but the Chinese tech giant got to work (and spending).
The first step to building its own (alternative) ecosystem was laying down the foundation. No longer having access to Google Mobile Services (GMS), HUAWEI placed HMS at the core of its EMUI (Android-based) operating system.
Then it went in big with investments to the core components and added titles to a store (AppGallery), which was most beneficial for Chinese users who didn’t have access to Google to begin with. The recent numbers the company shared, specifically on the ecosystem’s growth, are nothing but accolades.
The Google replacements
With access lost to Google and its services, the company started building its own alternatives. No GMS? Here’s HMS. No Google search? Enter Petal search (which was repurposed to a full-fledged search engine from the initial search engine for apps only). No Google Maps? We’ve got Petal Maps. See a (Petal) pattern here?
HUAWEI is basically building its own ecosystem as an alternative to Google, which is created and controlled by the company itself.