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Is China Going to Pull Up the Drawbridge to Android?

In Q3 Android owned 90% of the smartphones in China, which is now the world’s largest smartphone market

The Red Chinese government doesn't much care for the pervasiveness of Android-based smartphones in the country or the dependence of local R&D on Android and, according to a white paper put out by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, "While the Android system is open source, the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google."

In Q3 Android owned 90% of the smartphones in China, which is now the world's largest smartphone market, passing the US last year.

The white paper said Google has discriminated against some Chinese companies developing Android forks by delaying code drops as well as through commercial licensing agreements that restrain these companies from developing mobile devices.

Perhaps the ministry was thinking of that Acer-Alibaba smartphone that was toast after Google - conveniently forgetting that it forked Java to create Android - reportedly leaned on Acer to prevent the release of an incompatible Android platform.

Although China is weak in software and operating systems, the ministry claims the country is capable of creating its own mobile operating system.

Reuters observed that the ministry recommended no specific policies or regulatory actions but the white paper could be a "signal to the industry that regulations against Android are on the horizon."

Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE use Android.

See www.catr.cn/kxyj/qwfb/bps/201303/P020130301397809834073.pdf.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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