Huawei is working on a new mapping service known as Map Kit to take on Google Maps. Map Kit is a service which isn’t aimed for consumers but is instead a way for Huawei’s app developer partners to build mapping experiences for their shared customers. The firm already has Booking Holdings (of Booking.com fame) and Yandex as partners for Map Kit, and there are plans to support more. The firm intends for developers to use Huawei’s Map Kit and build local mapping experiences in places where Huawei is strong and Google is weak, like Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and so on.
China Daily paraphrases Huawei’s Zhang Pingan, president of cloud services at Huawei’s consumer business group as saying:
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,
Huawei has understandably been looking into reducing its dependency on Google software ever since being placed on a list by Trump. The firm is capable of building a mobile operating system powered by Android with EMUI, but all the bits that people love like the Google Play Store, Google Maps, Google Play services are currently out of reach.
While Huawei was quickly given a reprieve, the company has become a bargaining chip in the ever-escalating trade war between the USA and China. Huawei’s Map Kit is one step towards independence. Harmony OS, which was announced last week, is another.
Source: China Daily