From September 10 to 12, 2020, Huawei Consumer Business Group (BG) held the annual Huawei Developer Conference. Themed HDC.Together, the event saw multiple announcements being made, including the launch of new products, as well as updates on the Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) ecosystem.
Huawei’s developer community and app ecosystem
The HMS ecosystem has grown to now counting some 1.8 million developers worldwide, doubling that of last year’s Huawei Developer Conference. This figure makes the HMS ecosystem the third largest mobile ecosystem in the world, Zhang Ping’an, president of consumer cloud service at the Huawei Consumer Business Group, said during his keynote speech.
Within a year, the number of apps integrated with HMS Core, the hub for HMS, jumped 123% to reach 96,000. On the HMS App Gallery, Huawei’s equivalent of the Google Play Store on Android, the number of overseas apps rose 10-fold to 73,000.
The HMS App Gallery now counts 700 million users worldwide, and 490 million monthly active users. Within the first eight months of 2020, the app store saw 261 billion app downloads.
New features and services for developers
The HDC.Together event also saw the introduction of five basic service engines for developers, including payment, search, map, browser and ads.
The HMS payment engine provides developers with global and localized mobile payment capabilities. Meanwhile, the HMS search engine covers over 20 vertical industries including app, sports, finance and more, and supports more than 50 languages. And the HMS map engine offers more than 180 million pieces of point of interest (POI) information and comes with capabilities such as route planning, drag-and-drop 3D scene layout, full-scene spatial computing capabilities and precise augmented reality (AR) walking navigation.
Moving forward, Huawei said it will continue to expand its developer services offering. It added it is currently working on building three “ecosystem cooperation labs” in Russia, Poland and Germany. These locations will be providing enablement, testing, and certification services, the company said. Five global developer service centers will also be established in Romania, Malaysia, Egypt, Mexico, and Russia.
Southeast Asian push
Huawei has been working towards expanding its footprint across Southeast Asia.
In the Philippines, Huawei partnered with Kumu, a livestreaming app, to launch a mother’s day-themed campaign in May. The two-week campaign saw the livestream videos broadcasted reach more than a million users, and generate a 220% increase in Kumu’s premium users as well as a 40x growth in in-app purchases.
In Thailand, Huawei onboarded the likes of Wongnai, one of the leading lifestyle apps focusing on the food and beverage industry, and LINE MAN, an on-demand delivery service app covering taxi-hailing, messenger, parcel delivery and more, onto its ecosystem earlier this year.
And in Malaysia, multi-channel media group Star Media Group (SMG) added all of its six apps, namely The Star, Star ePaper, Star Property, Kuali, 988, and Dimsum Entertainment, onto AppGallery in October 2019.
But Huawei has much bigger global ambitions as it intends to act as a bridge between China and the rest of the world. The company said that since last year, it has helped over 700 partners enter the Chinese market.
Launch of HMS Core 5.0
The HDC.Together event also saw the launch of the HMS Core 5.0, which comes with open capabilities in seven main areas including App Services, Graphics, Media, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Smart Device, Security and Systems.
In AI, HMS Core 5.0 comes with the ML Kit, which provides text, speech, language, images, as well as face and body detection service to help developers build AI apps easily and efficiently. In Graphics, the Computer Graphics Kit offers open capabilities centered around GPU technology to support game developers with a high-performance rendering framework and a series of rendering plug-ins to improve game screen rendering efficiency.
During the Huawei Seamless AI Life New Products Global Launch event on September 10, Huawei Consumer BG officially launched six new products, including two new earphones products, two smartwatches, and two PCs.
In the earphones product line, Huawei introduced the Huawei FreeBuds Pro and the Huawei FreeLace Pro, new pro-variants of its highly acclaimed audio products featuring improved active noise cancellation, new designs and user-centric features.
Huawei also unveiled the two new additions to its Huawei Watch family: the Huawei Watch GT 2 Pro and the Huawei Watch Fit. The two new smartwatches are the latest entries to Huawei’s wearable product line-up with new fitness data tracking features and workout modes.
Finally, Huawei introduced the Huawei MateBook X and the Huawei MateBook 14, two new lightweight notebooks with compact form factors and advanced features and capabilities including Multi-screen Collaboration, Wi-Fi 6 support, multi-touch, as well as a 2K/3K Infinite FullView Display.
Featured image: Wang Yanmin, President of Global Partnerships and Eco-Development at Huawei Consumer Business Group, Huawei Developer Conference 2020 (Together) keynote speech, September 2020, via Huawei.