Huawei signs TomTom to develop its Google Maps replacement

Huawei has reportedly signed the Dutch map-maker and navigation services provider to develop alternative solutions to Google Maps

Huawei recently announced that it had on-boarded several top app developers to create the company's alternative apps to Google's Mobile Services (GMS) which comprises of popular Google apps such as YouTube, Gmail, and Google Maps.

The Chinese tech giant has even announced lucrative incentives to app developers to work on its Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) platform which is seen as the company's alternative to GMS. Now, it looks like Huawei has signed another major developer to work on the maps and navigation aspects of HMS.

TomTom signs deal with Huawei

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According to a Reuters report citing a source, Huawei closed a deal with Dutch navigation and digital mapping company TomTom on January 17 for the use of its maps and navigation services in smartphone apps.

TomTom spokesman Remco Meestra said the deal had been closed some time ago but had not been made public by the company, but he declined to provide further details.

The deal is an important development for Huawei and a major boost for its ambitious HMS apps suite which should start rolling out very soon on Huawei phones.

Huawei was forced to develop its own mobile operating akin to Google's Android OS and also develop alternative apps to popular Google apps such as YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps and even Google's app download platform Google Play Store.

But why?

Huawei is currently facing a sales ban in the US following allegations by the US government that the company was involved in spying and is a threat to its national security. The Trump administration has also blacklisted Huawei meaning that the company won't be able to procure technology from US tech companies including Google, which supplies the Android Mobile operating system to most of the smartphone companies in the world including Huawei.

The US forbade Google and several other US tech companies from selling their software and services to Huawei, forcing Huawei to develop its own smartphone operating system and come up with alternative apps that are similar to Google's. The company has successfully developed the Hongmeng OS aka Harmony OS and has reportedly also managed to get a lot of developers to work on HMS, but the stigma of the ban and fear of a difficult future and survival still hangs over Huawei's head.

This article was first published on January 18, 2020
Related topics : Huawei