Huawei entices UK and Irish businesses with Chinese market access through its mobile ecosystem

Man i front of Huawei sign

Huawei has invited developers from the UK and Ireland to create apps for its mobile ecosystem, with an earmarked £20 million of investment to fund this strategy.

The Chinese telecoms company is looking at getting more UK and Ireland developers to work on its Huawei Mobile Services (HMS), which includes a suite of APIs, tools, and the AppGallery - effectively Huawei's answer to the Google Play Store.

The investment is part of a wider $3 billion global strategy, outlined by CEO Richard Yu in September, as Huawei looks at life beyond Android.

HMS is set to become the third-largest mobile ecosystem in the world, according to the company. It already has four million users in the UK alone, with some 600 million across more than 170 countries.

But, rather than pushing in-house built apps out to the rest of the world, the embattled Chinese tech giant is inviting outsiders in and offering businesses remote access the Chinese market, starting with the UK and Ireland. What's more, British and Irish developers can claim a £20,000 bonus if they build and integrate an app into Huawei's app gallery by 31 January 2020.

Some of the UK and Ireland's biggest banks, high street retailers and media companies were in attendance at the Chinese firm's conference, receiving a pitch about the possibilities of Huawei's app ecosystem and how they could have access to its claimed "state-of-the-art" hardware and AI technology.

Huawei also launched 24 HMS Core Kits, which are developer kits for businesses to build and integrate applications into Huawei's AppGallery. These developer kits are set-up within app categories, such as the Wallet Kit, Drive Kit and Health Kit, which enables developers to create user experiences for specific apps.

Scan, Awareness & ML Kits provide developers with the opportunity to give access to QR and other barcodes around them, provide real-time travel updates and use machine learning to provide visual and language services.

Map & Location Kits offer precise user locations with the speed and accuracy of multiple methods, as well as personalisation for maps and route planning. Push & Analytics Kits help developers analyse their data to better understand user behaviour and gain in-depth insight about their audience, products and content. In-App Purchases & Account Kits ensure healthy revenue growth and allow developers to monetise their apps.

Anson Zhang, the managing director of Huawei UK's Consumer Business Group said the announcement highlighted its ongoing commitment and support for UK and Irish businesses and developers.

"In recent years we have grown significantly and owe our success to the consumers and partners who have chosen and believed in us," Zhang said. "As a sign of that support and commitment to the UK and Irish market, we have announced our £20 million investment plan to recognise and incentivise our partners, so that jointly we can build an outstanding ecosystem together."

He added that Huawei envisions an "all-scenario intelligent consumer experience" for the future of HMS.

Bobby Hellard

Bobby Hellard is ITPro's Reviews Editor and has worked on CloudPro and ChannelPro since 2018. In his time at ITPro, Bobby has covered stories for all the major technology companies, such as Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, and regularly attends industry-leading events such as AWS Re:Invent and Google Cloud Next.

Bobby mainly covers hardware reviews, but you will also recognize him as the face of many of our video reviews of laptops and smartphones.