Huawei may challenge Google Maps’

Huawei may challenge Google Maps’ dominance with its own mapping tech

Huawei is developing a “mapping service,” a report by state-run news outlet China Daily, to challenge Google Maps. Yet not the manner in which you may anticipate. The service is obviously intended for software developers. Which means apps that offer navigation or ride-hailing services could use Huawei’s arranged mapping technology.

A Huawei exec told China Daily that the mapping service, called Map Kit, will offer developers a street navigation system. They can use in their apps as well as a way to show users real-time traffic conditions. The exec also said that Map Kit will support “augmented-reality mapping.” It’s unclear what that means. Perhaps it’s something similar to Google’s as of late propelled AR strolling headings.



Huawei need to invest a heavy amount to compete in maps, which is very difficult. The report offers a few clues as to where Huawei will be getting its mapping data. China Daily reports that Map Kit “will be connected to local mapping services,”.

A source told China Daily that Huawei will partner with Yandex, a Russian internet service giant. They already provides maps and offers a mapping services API. The director-general of a telecom industry association also told China Daily that Huawei has “telecom base stations”. Which can “offer complementing information to satellite positioning data.”

China Daily’s source also says Huawei will partner with Booking Holdings, but since Booking currently relies on Google Maps for its online travel services, I suspect that it will be a Map Kit customer, not a provider of data.

Huawei would need to invest heavily to compete in maps, which have been notoriously difficult. Only Google has been wildly successful, launching Google Maps in 2005 and investing heavily since then, including purchasing Waze for $996 million of every 2013 and truly driving its very own cars up and down streets around the world to help map them.

Apple has offered its own maps since 2012, however it broadly messed up the dispatch and has been playing catch-up ever since. Apple initially attempting to use a pastiche of mapping information from TomTom, OpenStreetMap, and others. But it has been slowly rolling out new maps built from its own mapping data since a year ago. Nokia offering Here maps for a number of years before selling it to a consortium of German car companies.

Huawei’s new service

Huawei’s new service comes in the wake of the US government’s exchange confinements on Huawei, which made  the company to scramble to build out its own hardware and software to reduce reliance on US-made tech. In May, the US government gave Huawei a permit lapsing August 19th that allows US tech companies to continue to work with Huawei. But there’s still uncertainty about whether Huawei will most likely keep on utilizing Android on its smartphones long term.

Huawei says it plans to stick to using Android on its smartphones “for the present”. But it did as of late uncover HarmonyOS, another in-house operating system for its products. Huawei says HarmonyOS will eventually run on smartphones. But its CEO told Pocket-Lint that the company can switch phones that would be built with Android to HarmonyOS.

The report says that Map Kit will be revealing in October. It will cover 150 “countries and regions,” and will be available in 40 languages.

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Huda Zaidi

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