Huawei offers developers €23.3m to create apps for Irish-based unit

Move comes as Chinese firm aims to become more self-sufficient after Google ban

Huawei is focusing on bolstering its own mobile services. Photograph:  Adrian Dennis/AFP

Huawei is focusing on bolstering its own mobile services. Photograph: Adrian Dennis/AFP

 

Huawei has announced a new £20 million (€23.3 million) incentive to encourage software developers in Ireland and Britain to create apps and services for its Dublin-headquartered mobile services unit.

The announcement was made at a developer conference hosted by the Chinese company in London. It comes as Huawei looks to make itself more self-sufficient after being hit by US sanctions that have left it unable to use Google’s Android operating system on its latest smartphones.

The move has led the company to focus on bolstering its own mobile services. On Wednesday it launched open-source access kits for developers so they can more easily integrate their apps into the Huawei App Gallery, its equivalent to the Google Play Store.

Spy

It also offered the financial incentive to developers to encourage them to focus on building new apps for the company, which is the second largest mobile maker in the world after Samsung.

The company currently has 600 million mobile active users across more than 170 countries, including 68 million in Europe.

Huawei, which has been in the spotlight of late due to claims that its equipment could be used by the Chinese authorities to spy on other countries and/or companies, last year transferred many of its mobile software services to an Irish subsidiary called Aspiegel.

Huawei mobile services, known as Huawei ID in some markets, allow users to access the company’s specially designed smartphone apps and to store personal information, including payment details, in the cloud.

The services were transferred to the Dublin-headquartered subsidiary from the group’s Shenzhen headquarters at the end of April last, with the unit given responsibility for the business operations and development for all the group’s mobile service outside of mainland China, and with a particular focus on Europe, one of its most important markets.

In 2018, the last year for which figures are available, more than 270 million users downloaded apps from the company’s App Gallery each month.