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Huawei’s grand strategy in the face of uncertainty

Isabella Smith



Huawei begins to move tab. The Chinese company today announced its alliance with Cecotec, the Spanish manufacturer of devices for the home and recognized for some products such as the Conga. It is a pact that will cover different aspects, from integration with its applications to selling Cecotec products directly in Huawei stores .

The alliance with Cecotec can be understood as the beginning of a new Huawei strategy. A future more focused on the home ecosystem ( 1 + 8 + N ), where mobile phones have less weight and efforts will be focused on working together with other brands. A change that is forced by its situation with the United States, but that will continue regardless of the outcome of the elections.

“We have never been a piece of the trade war, it is not our intention either. If they want to include Huawei as a piece, it is their issue. No matter the result, it does not affect us, we will continue on our way”, assured Pablo Wang, Director of Consumption of Huawei Spain until these days.

The collaboration with Cecotec is part of Huawei’s initiative to offer services to companies . The first agreement between the two companies is that Cecotec will publish its applications in AppGallery , Huawei’s alternative app store to Google Play and that it is gradually expanding its catalog thanks to the specific agreements that Huawei has managed to reach with local players, from TomTom Go, Wizibank or the eCooltra app, among some of the examples that have recently been added.

Cecotec explains that “20% of our products (about a thousand) are already connected” and they want to take their applications to the AppGallery store. In addition to the software, Cecotec products will be found in Huawei stores. According to the company, Huawei will sell a series of products in its stores, such as Conga robots .

Specifically, five models of the Valencia manufacturer will be sold: the Conga 4490 and Conga 1790 Titanium robot vacuum cleaner , the Rockstar 900 Ultimate vertical vacuum cleaner , the Mambo Cecotec 10070 kitchen robot and the Pure Aroma 150 Yang humidifier .

Finding third-party products will not be strange in Huawei’s stores, as the company has announced that before the end of the year it will announce new agreements with other partners . In the same way that companies like Apple and Google collaborate with brands that use their software, Huawei also wants to become a company that protects the rest and offers them visibility.

“Works with Huawei HiLink”: integration into the Huawei ecosystem
Huawei’s future ecosystem seems to revolve around “Works with Huawei HiLink”. It is a kind of alternative to HomeKit , an integration with connected home devices and where third-party brands can allow their devices to be controlled from Huawei’s connected ecosystem.

In the case of Cecotec, its first application is already available and more are expected to come in the coming months. In these applications, Cecotec will integrate the Huawei Mobile Services , to allow, for example, to control their devices from Celia’s voice assistant or to be able to be programmed through HiLink , Huawei AI Life’s cloud management application .

The idea is that any manufacturer that decides to work with Huawei can do so. Huawei explains that they will bet on the HiLink ecosystem. The new products that they sell in their stores can either work with their own applications or have everything synchronized in the Huawei ecosystem.

One of the examples that Huawei explains is Lebooo’s connected toothbrush , currently only available in China. This connected device can work with its own app, but it also adds the “Works with Huawei HiLink” tag, which means that it can be controlled from the Huawei app.

Among the devices that can currently be compatible with the Huawei HiLink protocol there is a long list : router, air conditioner, air purifier, air detector, lamp, curtain, plug, extension cord, soy milk machine, clothes dryer , scale, fan, kitchen fan, bread maker, oven, steamer, washing machine, bathroom heater or robot vacuum cleaner.

Huawei explains that they are working so that “practically all banks and savings banks” integrate HMS in their native apps and are in AppGallery. Ensuring that 95% of the top 150 apps in Spain are already in AppGallery.

At the moment, they do not plan to bring Huawei Pay to Spain today. Regarding another of the functionalities that are reserved for Google, such as the backup of WhatsApp Drive, they explain that in Huawei Cloud you can already make a backup of the application data. Although it does not give more details on whether the conversations can be saved in the same way.

Cecotec is the first Spanish brand with which they announce an alliance to integrate their devices into the Huawei ecosystem, but it is by no means the only one. As Huawei showed during HDC 2020 , among the brands that work with HiLink we find TCL, Haier, Siemens or Bosch .

Faced with the possibility to once again partner with Google, from Huawei explain that ” we do not work with hypotheses science fiction. Huawei has decided to confront a status quo and that is what we will do. We will continue our way and we do not close the door. The Huawei’s strategic decision is to develop our own hardware and software ecosystem from top to bottom . “

Huawei focuses on the pandemic and not on the commercial blockade to explain why “everything has been more difficult than in other years.” In the case of Spain, Huawei explains that our country is “one of the countries where more devices are being sold at European level”, with between 4 and 5 million units sold since the arrival of Huawei Mobile Services.

The company has announced that they will open three new stores in Spain (Gran Vía 2 in Barcelona, ​​Fnac in Bilbao and at street level in A Coruña), in which it is a new retail strategy in our country. Physical stores to accommodate not only its products, but also those of allied brands of its ecosystem such as Cecotec.

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