Huawei in link-up with Rupert Murdoch to promote new app service
US publisher Rupert Murdoch’s London newspaper operator has linked up with Huawei to provide news to its app platform.
News UK, which owns The Times and Sunday Times as well as the Sun and radio stations, will provide daily articles, radio shows and other content to mobile customers with the Huawei AppGallery (pictured), the Chinese firm’s alternative to the Google Play Store.
As a US company, Google is banned from supplying products and services to Huawei for any device launched since May 2019, when the US added the firm to its entity list of banned companies.
But though News UK is owned by Murdoch’s News Corporation, a US company, the London-based offshoot is apparently clear of the Huawei ban.
Christina Scott, chief technology officer of News UK, said: “I think this is a really good long-term partnership we can have with Huawei. I feel there’s a lot more innovation we can do and really drive forward amazing customer experiences on that devices.” Scott, a former BBC, BT and Financial Times executives, is also global head of emerging technology at News Corporation.
Huawei has extended the scope of its AppGallery because new devices can no longer use the Google Play Store for new phones under the terms of the ban. Google last weekend finally ruled out any back doors in Android that Huawei or its customers might use to load Gmail, YouTube and other apps that are loaded into Android phones at manufacture.
The Huawei AppGallery is now available in over 170 countries and regions, said the company yesterday, and it claimed “400 million monthly active users”.
Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei’s consumer business group, said the AppGallery would be launched with “privacy, under your control” as a theme. “We place privacy protection and cyber security as the top priorities of all our business operations and strictly implement them in all phases of our products. We also have the strictest privacy and cyber security solutions in Huawei AppGallery.”
Since the ban, Huawei has lined up “more than 3,000 engineers” to develop the ecosystem. “AppGallery deploys the highest level of verification to isolate and protect users’ sensitive data and privacy. Personally-sensitive information – such as biometric data – will never be processed outside the Huawei device, giving the user complete control over their personal data.”
Though Huawei is only just promoting the AppGallery in developed Western markets, the service has been around since 2011 – and there are enough users for Huawei to claim it is “one of the top three global app marketplaces” – though it did not name Google’s Play Store or Apple’s AppStore as the other two.
Yu said: “We will continue expanding our app ecosystem in the Huawei AppGallery with hopes to not only create a secure and reliable platform, but also to provide consumers with more choice. The continued success of this thriving ecosystem will remain one of our highest priorities.”
The company is “actively engaging with developers of popular apps around the world to grow the app ecosystem”, the company added.