A white paper (PDF) by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s China Academy of Telecommunication Research has warned of excessive dependence on the Android mobile operating system, and accused its developer Google of discriminating against Chinese companies. While Google’s share of the search market in China has dropped to 15%, Android now powers over 80% of all mobile devices sold in China. From Reuters:
“Our country’s mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android,” the paper, posted online on Friday but carried by local media on Tuesday, said.
“While the Android system is open source, the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google.”
[…] Analysts said the white paper, which lauded Chinese companies such as Baidu Inc, Alibaba Group and Huawei Technologies for creating their own systems, could be a signal to the industry that regulations against Android are on the horizon.
“In China, regulators regulate regularly especially where they can position the regulations as helping out domestic companies,” Duncan Clark, chairman of technology consultancy BDA, said in an email to Reuters.
At The Wall Street Journal, Paul Mozur examined the complaints’ possible roots:
The stronger language used in the most recent report could indicate that the research institute believes that Google had violated one of the conditions laid out by China’s Ministry of Commerce when it approved Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. in May. As part of the approval, the ministry said Google couldn’t use its Android operating system to discriminate against manufacturers.
[…] In September Google forced the delay of a planned release of an Acer Inc. 2353.TW +4.06% smartphone that was set to run Aliyun, an operating system developed by Alibaba. Google said the operating system was a “non-compatible” version of Android, meaning that Alibaba allegedly created its operating system by taking Google’s Android software and making changes to it.
[…] Alibaba denied Google’s claims. “Aliyun OS is not a part of the Android ecosystem so of course Aliyun OS is not and does not have to be compatible with Android,” it said in a statement.