China: Google 'controls too much' of the smartphone industry

Posted By Kristen Butler,  |  March 5, 2013 at 11:51 AM
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Chinese officials report that Android's popularity has caused the country to become "too dependent" on the operating system. Although other companies have tried to build on top of Android, the ministry complained that the operating system's "core technology and technology road map is strictly controlled by Google."

Just last month, China surpassed the U.S. as the world's largest smartphone market, and Android is running on over two-thirds of all smartphones in China. Gartner data show Android leaping from .05 percent market share in 2008 to controlling 72.4 percent of the Chinese smartphone market.

The report claims that Google has deliberately impeded the progress of some Chinese and foreign companies by delaying code sharing, and accuses Google of using commercial agreements to curb the development of mobile devices at these companies. In one example, Acer was going to use Alibaba’s Aliyun OS on a Chinese smartphone planned for last year, but cancelled after Google intervened. Google argued that Acer was building a “non-compatible” Android device, having previously committed to building compatible devices.

After Google's long censorship battle in China, Baidu became the primary search platform in the country. Although the report didn't recommend any particular regulations against Google or Android, the ministry held up Baidu's own Android alternative as a step in the right direction.

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