Huawei Mobile Services (HMS) South Africa has announced the launch of its local Developer Programme, Shining-Star.

The company has also pledged an investment of $1-billion in support of this programme across global markets, including South Africa.

“HMS already has more than 570-million global users, including more than 15-million in Africa, with our business covering more than 170 countries,” says Likun Zhao, vice-president of Huawei Consumer Business Group, Middle East & Africa.

“We provide a trusted, device-centric and inter-connected eco-system that improves the user experience, helping them to discover quality content while ensuring security and privacy.”

The developer programme is the first of its kind in South Africa. Shining-Star will provide an encompassing eco-system that aims to encourage local developer innovation and support, while Huawei’s AppGallery provides a platform for developers to showcase and publish their apps.

The platform offers open e-point access and intelligent global distribution for all apps, ranging from smart home, gaming and music to education and health-related apps.

The Shining-Star Programme has been successfully implemented in other countries such as Malaysia, which has the highest number of Huawei users relative to other smartphone brands in this country.

Shining-Star will focus on assisting local app developers who face challenges that include a lack of funding for app eco-systems, testing and, importantly, monetisation of their apps. South African developers particularly struggle to market their games and find investors.

“We are committed to working on empowering local app developers by offering them some much-needed infrastructure, guidance, skills and support to grow local talent,” explains Zhao. “Our focus is to provide an open platform for developers that they can use to launch and market their apps, as well as give them extensive support in the form of technical development, testing, and legal and marketing tools.”

Huawei HMS Core is a hub with tools such as the Account Kit, which enables users to access developers’ apps using Huawei IDs; Game Service, which enables game development; Location Kit, which provides developers with hybrid locations; Drive Kit, which is a data storage and management solution; as well as Map Kit, which offers customisation of map formats to developers.

In addition to these developer-specific tools, the Huawei HMS Core hub has growth enablers such as the Push Kit and an Analytics Kit, which enable the sending of messages and analysis of user behaviour respectively. An Ad Kit and In-App Purchases Kit are also available, so developers can earn income from their apps.

Key resources such as API reference, development guides and sample code assist are also part of HUAWEI’S development programme.

At present, more than 50 000 apps are connected to HMS Core worldwide.