Home Technology Huawei’s search engine, Petal Search, has launched in South Africa

Huawei’s search engine, Petal Search, has launched in South Africa

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Huawei's search engine, Petal Search, has launched in South Africa 3

These days there is no need to learn anything. After all, why spend time memorising certain details or trying to understand something when you can simply Google the answers in less time than it would take you to remember it? Google may be the biggest and most popular search engine, but it’s not the only one as a new search engine on the market is aiming to wrestle away some of Google’s dominance.

Huawei, whose recent troubles with the US and ban from Google services, has been working on homegrown solutions to try and recreate the same user experience without needing to rely on US tech giants.  

Its new search engine, titled Petal Search, was initially launched in some markets with the Mate 40 series in October and is now also officially launching in South Africa. Much like other search engines, it provides users with the ability to search for random information around the internet, though is trying to stand out with the ability to support visual searchers to directly identify information from a picture in a user’s phone.

Huawei's search engine, Petal Search, has launched in South Africa 4

Google and other search engines do offer this functionality, but normally via a different URL, whereas this search engine will have it built-in directly. Petal will also currently support over 50 languages and voice search in English, Spanish, French and Arabic, with the company planning to roll out wider language support in the near future.

Huawei is partnering with many local companies like ABSA, Standard Bank, Discovery, DSTV Now, Showmax, Woolworths, Zando and Supersport (with more likely to come on board) in prioritising local recommendations and trying to drive more engaged commerce through specific searches, which will hopefully allow it to get more companies on board if it proves successful in its approach.

And for those concerned about security and privacy, the search engine has been certified by ePrivacyseal and is compliant with various national data security laws, including the stringent EU regulations. While this search engine will be the default search engine on Huawei devices (currently it is only the default search engine for Mate 40 devices) it will be interesting to see if it gets used outside of that tech system or if users will still simply just navigate to a Google website to find what they are looking for.

“Let me Petal it” currently doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, but these are early days.

Last Updated: November 26, 2020

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