With the ongoing US-China trade war, one Chinese technology giant Huawei has found itself in a tricky spot. The US trade restrictions have forced Huawei to build its own operating system sooner than expected and will also have to change it supply chain strategy to end reliance on US-based components and technology.
While the US government has granted Huawei an interim relief, by granting the Chinese smartphone maker a temporary license, which will allow US tech companies to continue to work with Huawei, however, that license expires on August 19. What this means is that Huawei has to build everything that its customers expect such as its own OS, Cloud sharing platforms, or even maps.
While the company has officially announced its own OS – Harmony OS, new media reports have suggested that the telecom major is now planning to come up with its maps service called Map Kit.
Maps Kit service is now yet available for public use and it is in testing phase and Huawei is encouraging developers to come up with applications based on its mapping capabilities. The service is expected to be launched in October.
Huawei has also partnered with US-based travel aggregator Booking.com for Maps Kit.
‘Huawei Map Kit will be available in 40 languages. It will offer real-time traffic conditions and a highly-sophisticated navigation system which can recognize a car changing lanes. It will also support augmented-reality mapping,’ Zhang Pingan, Huawei consumer business group's president of cloud services told China Daily.
While China is itself is a challenging territory and we have seen, Apple fail at its Maps service, Google is the only company that launched Maps in 2005 after it acquired Waze for a billion dollars in 2013 to improve its network. The reason being China requires foreign companies to obtain specific access from the administrative department for surveying and mapping under the State Council, which is incredibly difficult for a foreign company.
But, Huawei being a Chinese might have a home advantage, but globally it will also face challenge in showcasing thousands of miles in 150 countries and 40 different languages.