Huawei could be developing a Google Maps replacement

Yolanda Curtis
August 17, 2019

The move is aimed to cope with Washington's crackdown on the company amid the simmering trade war between the U.S. and China.

Huawei is working on a new mapping service known as Map Kit to take on Google Maps.

As the name suggests, this would essentially be Huawei's answer to Google Maps, but at the same time, it sounds pretty obvious that the Chinese company doesn't expect to efficiently replace the world's most popular web mapping service right away. What Huawei is apparently planning with its Map Kit seems to be a way of addressing that - by providing a framework for software developers to tap into Huawei's mapping capabilities to build all manner of products.

Huawei's "Map Kit" service is only now open to developers for building software applications using its platform.

Huawei has purportedly already gotten Yandex - commonly referred to as the "Russian Google" - and parent Booking Holdings on board for Map Kit. It will use the telecom base stations in over 160 countries and regions.

Huawei is betting on Harmony OS for Map Kit to succeed and hopes its in-house operating system will attract a substantial number of developers and resources. However, it seems that the Map Kit isn't developed with consumers in mind.

According to Mr Zhang, the new mapping service will offer real-time traffic conditions and implement navigation systems capable of recognising when cars are changing lanes, as well as offering augmented-reality mapping programmes.

Back in May, Google banned Huawei from using its Android OS, after the Chinese manufacturer ended up on the United States entity list.

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