Huawei pledges $1.5 billion to buildout developer program


In May, the Trump administration deemed Huawei a threat to national security and mandated that U.S. firms no longer trade with the Chinese telecommunications company. As a result, Google announced it would no longer give the firm developer access to its Android mobile operating system. In response, the conglomerate revealed it would be releasing its new mobile devices running its HarmonyOS.

However, market analysts have noted Huawei might struggle to get consumers to adopt its new platform. In particular, commentators said the firm would need big-name application developers to join its ecosystem to remain competitive. Now, the firm has revealed it will spend $1.5 billion building out its developer ecosystem.

Huawei’s Developer Initiative

On Wednesday, Huawei kicked off its 2019 Connect event in Shanghai. To kick things off, Chairman Ken Hu announced his firm would be injecting $1.5 billion into its developer program. The initiative, which the company started in 2015, now hosts more than 1.3 million developers and 14,000 independent software vendors.

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Hu explained the corporation is spending more money on the program because it wants to raise its developer count to five million. The executive further noted the initiative is designed to create new apps, hardware, and artificial intelligence-enabled solutions. Ultimately, Huawei wants to build out new technologies to expand its footprint in the $2 trillion computing sector.

Do or Die

While chairman Hu framed Huawei’s new commitment to its developer program as a growth initiative, the truth is somewhat grimmer. Since losing access to its American suppliers, the Sino conglomerate has been in something of a tailspin. Indeed, in June, the firm’s founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei predicted his corporation would lose $30 billion over the next two years because of the U.S. sanctions.

Since then, the telecommunications company has reportedly laid off hundreds of workers. Moreover, the American government has used its influence to lock the firm out of 5G development projects in several international markets. Plus, despite the best efforts of the corporation’s foreign clients, Washington has seemingly dug in on its anti-Huawei stance.

The firm’s situation has become so dire that Zhengfei commented last month his company is in a “live or die” moment. In his reckoning, the corporation needs to immediately trim down its workforce and release some innovative new products. Failing that, the 32-year-old multinational company will fall into a period of inexorable decline.

As such, it’s fair to say Huawei’s future is heavily dependent upon the success of its developer program.