Huawei teams up with Tencent Video to upgrade content for smartphone users

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A shopper tests a Huawei phone in Shanghai on March 22, 2019. (Image credit: TechNode/Cassidy McDonald)

Besides developing a proprietary OS system, on Monday Huawei announced efforts to upgrade its content by striking a partnership with popular streaming platform Tencent Video.

The cooperation was unveiled at the China Internet Audiovisual Conference on Monday, NetEase reported (in Chinese). The partnership between Huawei Video and Tencent Video will allow users on either platform to perform cross-platform logins using the same account. In addition, the partnership will allow for improved technology sharing and operations cooperation between the two companies.

The smartphone maker’s video platform could get a big boost: in Tencent’s Q1 earnings report, the company said its number of subscribers had jumped more than 40% year on year to 89 million. That fell short of the reported 96.8 million first-quarter subscribers of rival site iQiyi, which belongs to Baidu. However, research firm Aurora Mobile still ranked Tencent’s platform ahead in terms of “value of app traffic,” which includes monetization potential.

In return, Tencent vice president Sun Zhonghua said at the Monday conference, the content and gaming giant will gain increased access to Huawei’s extensive body of users.

As part of the partnership, Huawei users will be able to access Tencent Video from within the Huawei Video app, including various HD and high-quality offerings. Users will also be able to purchase a Tencent Video membership from within the smartphone app, while existing Huawei subscribers will automatically get access to premium content.

On the technical side, Huawei will open up additional channels to access Tencent Video from various features, including its browser, smart assistant, and search engine. The telecom company will also provide support to enhance viewers’ audiovisual experience such as artificial intelligence (AI) enhancement technology and access to an intelligent cloud services ecosystem, TechNode Chinese reported.

Due to potential security concerns, the influential smartphone maker has faced barriers entering international markets in recent months, and was recently blacklisted by the US government. The announcement of a new domestic partnership, along with the decision to develop a standalone OS system, could potentially help the company navigate a long and painful road towards technical independence.