Huawei appears to be busy working on a service that could rival one of Google's own.
Reports have revealed that Huawei is also developing an in-house mapping service similar to Google Maps and is set to unveil in October this year.
Maintaining Popularity Of Huawei Smartphones Amid US Ban
The announcement comes as Huawei is working hard to cope with the U.S. ban on the use of Google Maps in its overseas smartphones.
The Chinese tech company earlier unveiled its operating system that can potentially replace Google's Android. The OS called HarmonyOS can be used in virtually everything from in-vehicle systems to smartphones.
Launching its mapping service could be a crucial move to maintain the popularity of Huawei's smartphones overseas given the ubiquity of apps that rely on mapping services.
According to Zhang Pingan, president of cloud services at Huawei's consumer business group, more than half of mobile applications are location-based services that rely on mapping capabilities.
It remains to be seen if Huawei's new service could match those of the dominant players in the field. Google and Apple remain the big players in mapping services, regularly updating their maps and driving fleets of cars worldwide to capture street view imagery.
Huawei Map Kit
China Daily reported that the new mapping service called Map Kit includes support for real-time traffic reports and augmented reality features. It will be connected to local mapping services that cover 150 countries and regions and will be available in 40 languages.
Apps that offer cab-hailing services, step-by-step directions, and similar tools can take advantage of this mapping service, albeit the service is primarily aimed for software developers rather than for end users.
Huawei Map Kit is reportedly designed to encourage software developers to develop applications based on its mapping capabilities.
Citing a source familiar to the matter, the report said that U.S. travel aggregator website Booking Holdings is one of the software companies that has already partnered with Huawei on the mapping service.