China's Xiaomi, Huawei Technologies, Oppo and Vivo are joining forces to create a platform for developers outside China to upload apps onto all of their app stores simultaneously, in a move analysts say is meant to challenge the dominance of Google's Play store.
The four companies are ironing out kinks in what is known as the Global Developer Service Alliance (GDSA). The platform aims to make it easier for developers of games, music, movies and other apps to market their apps in overseas markets, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The GDSA was initially aiming to launch in March, sources said, although it is not clear how that will be affected by the recent coronavirus outbreak. A prototype website says the platform will initially cover nine "regions" including India, Indonesia and Russia.
Oppo and Vivo are both owned by Chinese manufacturer BBK Electronics. Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi confirmed they jointly developed the GDSA as a way to upload apps to their stores simultaneously.
A Xiaomi spokesman said the alliance was not intended to challenge Google and denied Huawei's involvement with it, but Oppo and Vivo made no mention of Huawei in their statements. Huawei declined to comment.
Google, whose services are banned in China, earned about $8.8 billion globally from the Play store in 2019, said Katie Williams, an analyst at Sensor Tower. Google also sells content such as movies, books and apps on the Play store and collects a 30% commission.