Google Partners with Xiaomi to Bring Its ARCore Technology to China

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Google announced earlier this year that is planning to bring its ARCore technology which will enable augmented reality and virtual reality to smartphones in China. It now looks like the tech giant is further ramping up its efforts to come back to China as it teamed up with Xiaomi – its first partner with whom the tech went live.

Initially, the new technology will be available in some models of the Mix 2S devices from Xiaomi through an app in the Xiaomi App Store. However, Google has bigger plans to make the technology available to more partners in China over a period of time. Google has also said earlier that Samsung and Huawei are two confirmed names that have signed with Google to distribute the app on the Chinese soil.

While many of the core services of Google are blocked in China but the ARCore apps will be able to work in China as the technology enables the apps to work on the devices itself without the need of cloud. This means that the internet censors in China cannot disrupt the apps once they are downloaded on to the phone.

With the Google Play Store restricted in China, the main challenge for the tech giant is not with software but with the distribution. In the place of Google Apps, China has a fragmented landscape of more than a dozen Android app stores by third parties. This clearly explains why Google is striking a deal with the likes of Huawei and Xiaomi. As both these companies operate their own app stores, Google will be able to reach more customers once the apps are preloaded on their devices.

While Google’s ARCore technology strategy for China seems to be very subtle, it is all part of a sustained push that will increase the presence of Google in China. It is worthy to be noted here that there is actually a plenty of speculation in the media about reviving the Google Play Store in the region but this hasn’t stopped Google to ramp up in other areas.

Google has also struck many deals in the recent months including partnership with Ten cent and its willingness to invest in a number of start-ups based in China including XtalPi which focuses on bio-tech, and Chushou – a live streaming service. Google also announced recently about starting an AI lab in Beijing. Together with this, Google also gained a large tech presence in Taiwan through its acquisition of a large chunk of HTC. Google also opened its presence in Shenzhen, the Chinese city dubbed as the Silicon Valley of hardware.