Huawei brings Uber rival Bolt to its AppGallery store

Huawei's app store sorely needed a ride-hailing app -- and it's getting one this week.

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
2 min read

Huawei's AppGallery has over thousands of apps.

Ian Knighton/CNET

For the past year, Huawei has gradually been beefing up the AppGallery, its rival to Apple's App Store and Google Play. This week sees a crucial new addition, according to people familiar with the project, in the form of Bolt, its first ride-hailing app that serves the European market.

Bolt is an Estonia-based ride-hailing company that's quickly gaining traction in European countries, including in London where it's garnering a reputation for being a cheaper alternative to Uber . Its offerings vary from country to country, but include bikes, scooters and on-demand car rides, with food delivery set to be added at a later date.

The addition of Bolt to the AppGallery will be a boon to Huawei, which doesn't currently have Uber on its app store. Ever since the US government trade ban came into force last year preventing Huawei from putting Google services on its phones , including the Google Play store, the company has sought to become increasingly self-sufficient in terms of software. This has meant trying to ensure its app store, which launched back in 2018, offers the most popular apps available on other platforms -- or at least strong alternatives to the main players.

One key example of this is Here WeGo Maps, a well-established rival to both Apple and Google Maps that was originally developed by Nokia for Windows Phone back in 2013. The AppGallery also now offers some key social networking apps, including Viber, Telegram, TikTok, Tinder, Zoom, Badoo. It still doesn't offer Facebook , WhatsApp and Instagram, but there others ways of getting these on your Huawei device.

Huawei is currently the third most popular phone brand in Europe after Samsung and Apple, and in March, the Financial Times identified Bolt as the third fastest-growing company in Europe. Being on Huawei's AppGallery opens up a whole new market for Bolt customers, while for Huawei, having Bolt on board brings an essential service to its store.