Chinese smartphone maker Huawei is reportedly testing a new messaging service as it expands its software suite to mirror equivalents found on Android.
Recent US sanctions have given Huawei the perfect excuse to build its own alternative, Android-like mobile ecosystem with its own mobile operating system, Harmony OS.
According to reports, Huawei is now taking registrations and soliciting comments on its new messaging service, dubbed Petal Mail.
Alternative to Gmail
Petal Mail is the latest addition to Huawei’s growing selection of software and services. U.S. trade sanctions are preventing the smartphone giant from offering its users a full Android experience. To overcome this limitation, the company is working to replace Android apps with homebrewed equivalents.
The company has reportedly already launched replacements for Google Mobile Services (called Huawei Mobile Services), as well as alternatives to the Play Store (AppGallery) and Google Maps (Petal Maps). Notably, the company also applied for a handful of other trademarks with the Petal prefix.
There aren’t many details available on Petal Mail, although the service is in the early stages of deployment, as screenshots showing a very minimal two-column interface suggest.
Interestingly, Huawei has also released a new virtual currency called Petals. While the company’s intentions behind the new currency are unclear, it is currently valued at CNY 0.01 (~ $ 0.0015).