Huawei is reportedly developing its own “mapping service” to challenge the dominance of Google Maps’ web mapping tech.
China Daily, a news outlet run by the Chinese state, first broke the news of Huawei’s current project. While Google Maps is intended for public use, Huawei is reportedly designing its mapping tech to service software developers. Navigation or ride-sharing apps can benefit from the upcoming tech instead of building their own.
Huawei’s Map Kit is a street navigation system for app developers. According to a company exec speaking to China Daily, users will also be able to see traffic conditions in real-time through Map Kit. It will reportedly feature “augmented-reality mapping” that is speculated to be similar to Google’s augmented-reality walking directions.
According to the report, the telecommunications company will partner with “local mapping services”. The outlet’s sources claim that the project is also in partnership with Russian internet service giant, Yandex. Huawei reportedly has “telecom base stations” that can “offer complementing information to satellite positioning data.”
Booking Holdings is reportedly one of Map Kit’s customers. As of the moment, the online travel service currently uses Google Maps.
Tech experts aren’t sure how the venture will fare for Huawei. According to The Verge, mapping tech has been a difficult investment for tech companies except for Google. The tech giant launched Google Maps back in 2005 and invested heavily on developing and improving the service.
Apple notably entered the mapping tech game back in 2012 but it failed to overtake or even catch up against Google’s.