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2021 Apps Up | Huawei's Catherine Chen: Shining stars will never go out as long as we move forward shoulder to shoulder

Jun 10, 2021

[Beijing, China, June 10, 2021] Today, the Second Huawei HMS App Innovation Contest – 2021 Apps Up – got underway in Beijing. Top developers from around the world came together to integrate the open capabilities of HMS Core, deliver new app experiences, and build a fully connected, intelligent world. Other guests present at the event included senior technical experts, executives of investment institutions, CEOs and founders of Internet companies, veteran technical media staff, and representatives from social service organizations. These specialists formed a review panel that provided valuable recommendations and support for the participating developers.

Huawei Senior Vice President and Member of the Board Catherine Chen remotely joined the event and witnessed the opening alongside the distinguished guests on site. She delivered an opening speech titled Shining stars will never go out as long as we move forward shoulder to shoulder, in which she highlighted the significance of the event. She also shared a typical case study to encourage more developers to pursue their dreams, and spoke about the HUAWEI Women Developers program. With this program in place, an increasing number of women in tech have the opportunity to head onto the stage and demonstrate their capabilities.

Catherine Chen

Catherine delivering the speech remotely

HMS is unlocking the tremendous potential of mobile Internet

Today, 5G technologies are developing rapidly, and the stay-at-home economy and a constant Internet connection are both becoming more mainstream. Alongside these macro trends, mobile devices and apps have become vital parts of our daily lives. According to App Annie's The State of Mobile 2021 report, the use of mobile devices skyrocketed in 2020. In addition, the same year saw consumer spending hit a new milestone, reaching 143 billion US dollars. The report also found that consumers spent 3.5 trillion hours using apps on Android devices alone in 2020, while mobile app downloads grew by 7% to a record 218 billion.

Catherine noted that, "I have said on multiple occasions that we are entering an intelligent world. But the truth is that we are already living in a time that is brimming with apps. Apps have made life and work easier than ever before, and this is thanks to the hard work and contributions of tens of thousands of developers."

How can Huawei simplify the work of developers? How can Huawei help excellent developers stand out? How can Huawei allow more developers to innovate and create value for society without restraint? Huawei often asks itself these questions as a platform and hopes to provide the answers through its HMS ecosystem and this Apps Up event.

"The HMS ecosystem goes beyond Huawei's own products and services, and we are opening more than just API interfaces. We hope to become a center of excellence that connects consumers, developers, and third-party service providers, bringing a more diverse range of premium experiences to consumers. Today, our AppGallery is available in more than 170 countries and regions. Through this extensive network, we want every innovative app and service to be able to reach out and benefit device users in every corner of the world," stressed Catherine.

With support from developers and partners worldwide, the HMS ecosystem is making great strides globally. Backed by Huawei's openness and pursuit of shared success, this ecosystem has become the world's third-largest mobile app ecosystem. By the end of December 2021, over 4 million developers had registered on HMS and over 134,000 apps were connected to HMS Core.

Igniting sparks to light the way for novel apps

By integrating the open capabilities of HMS, more and more outstanding developers are creating novel apps that deliver premium experiences and take us closer to an intelligent life across all scenarios.

In her speech, Catherine shared a story about a developer: An app named OCR Scan recently became all the rage on Huawei's AppGallery. The developer originally only created this app for his girlfriend, who is obsessed with reading. Through repeated fine-tuning, and coupled with the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) capabilities provided by Huawei's platform, this app has constantly improved and is now extremely popular. To date, it has been downloaded 14 million times.

The app was also warmly welcomed by visually impaired groups. As this app can identify words from an image, a simple photo of a page is enough for users to hear the words out loud. This app was chosen for an Honorable Mention during last year's Huawei HMS App Innovation Contest for its innovation capabilities and user recognition. This story is a good example of how developers benefit from the HMS ecosystem.

As a suite of open software and hardware capabilities from HMS, HMS Core is the foundation of the HMS ecosystem. HMS Core provides a whole set of basic services for app development, through which developers can rapidly, efficiently, and easily build apps at lower costs.

As the HMS ecosystem perfects itself, stories like that of the OCR Scan will become commonplace. Huawei will continue opening its core technical capabilities, which have built up over many years, to more developers. Hopefully, this will help them innovate and create even more value for users and society at large.

Empowering women in tech through incentive programs

At this year's contest, we put together a handsome incentive package, including 1 million US dollars in prize money, hoping to engage more excellent developers worldwide. We also added new award categories: Best HMS Core Innovation Award, All-Scenario Coverage Award, and Tech Women's Award. The new Tech Women's Award is intended to support and encourage more exceptional women in the tech world to stand out.

"We have created women empowerment programs because we hope that an increasing number of women working in tech can be placed in the spotlight and demonstrate their capabilities," said Catherine. "I also hope that their remarkable achievements will inspire more women to pursue their dreams."

Huawei is committed to empowering women through digital skill training programs. These programs have the potential to address digital gender equality worldwide, because they can be rolled out in any country, regardless of its level of development, and for people of any age group. To date, we have launched digital skill training programs for women across numerous countries, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Ireland, Kenya, and South Africa. Currently, over 30% of the trainees participating in Huawei's other ICT training programs, such as Seeds for the Future, are women. Huawei also officially launched its HUAWEI Women Developers program (Apply) on March 8.

In addition to the company's ability to drive change in the industry ecosystem and business models, Huawei's HMS ecosystem offers a clear path to digital inclusion as new technologies continue to emerge. The HMS ecosystem offers a complete technical solution that includes open capabilities, integrated development environments, and tools. This "one-point access, global reach" model simplifies the work of developers. Through this platform, developers can unleash their full potential and create more innovative apps and experiences for users in an intelligent world that is powered by 5G and AI. As developers use tech to change people's lives for the better, they add value to society and accelerate the speed of technological breakthroughs, contributing to an all-scenario, intelligent ecosystem.

During the opening ceremony, Chen used the metaphor of "a tree" and "roots" to describe the close relationship between the success of the HMS ecosystem and developers. "A towering tree must be supported by its roots," she continued. "A flourishing HMS ecosystem relies not only on advances in technology, but more on close collaboration between Huawei and developers. I believe that more and more people will be brought together through the HMS platform. Each shining star will help ignite the HMS ecosystem and bring more exciting and creative ideas into the world."