The company has been banned from using any of Google’s suite of apps like PlayStore, Gmail, YouTube among others.
Despite the setback, Huawei has been steadfast in coming up with alternatives to Google’s services. And now it has partnered with Dutch location technology provider TomTom to use its maps, navigation, and traffic information.
According to TomTom’s top honchos, the deal had been struck a while back but it hasn’t publicly talked about it until now. Although the company is yet to reveal more details about this arrangement.
This partnership comes at a time, when the Dutch location technology firm has seemingly decided to shift its focus away from hardware and would rather work on licensing or selling its software services.
It’s no surprise that Huawei has taken this step. After the US had blacklisted Huawei over security concerns, the Chinese tech Goliath had to take the matter into its own hands.
As of now, Huawei is leveraging TomTom’s services but there is no assurance that it will continue to do so in the long run. Seemingly, the European Union is reviewing proposals that would effectively lead to a de-facto ban on Huawei equipment for next-generation mobile networks.
Britain has already started pulling out Huawei equipment from its core 4G network. This move came after a report highlighted the US was trying to persuade its allies to stop using Huawei hardware, citing security concerns.
TomTom as a Dutch company might get roped into all of this commotion which means there is still ambiguity about whether Huawei will get access to TomTom’s services in the future.
I think it’s time Huawei starts spending some extra cash and sets up its own maps and navigation ecosystem. Currently, in China, people are dependent on apps like Baidu Maps and Gaode Maps which are the two of the most popular local map apps in China.
While they are good, they can only be used in China.
Clearly, Huawei needs to invest in more sustainable options as Google alternatives which are closer to its homeland and not easily influenced by ‘outsiders’.