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China Has an Android Problem

China's Androids

Chinese authorities believe Google’s Android mobile operating system is too popular in their country and that Google uses its clout to diss Chinese companies. They’d like it if more local companies developed their own operating systems at some point down the road.

At the moment, about 80 percent of Chinese smartphones run the Android OS. According to the China Academy of Telecommunication Research white paper, released as part of a Ministry of Industry and Information Technology effort, China needs an alternative to Android for mobile devices.

From the white paper:

Our country’s mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android. While the Android system is open source, the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google.

According to Yahoo! Finance, the white paper purports that Google has delayed the sharing of codes with Chinese companies and has tailored commercial agreements to “restrain the business development of mobile devices of these companies.”

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Chinese hope to develop their own homegrown operating system but that it would be difficult at this point in the game.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Michael Clendenin, an expert on China’s technology sector at RedTech Advisors, says that—arriving late to the party—a Chinese system would struggle to gain traction.

At this point, it’s unclear what the future holds for Android in China, although some experts say the release of this report might foretell government policy changes on the horizon.

I mean, it’s not like it’s the first time Google has tangled with the Chinese government.

According to the BBC, Google just this week switched off a function that informed users in China if they were searching for “banned or sensitive words.” The move comes after an extended fight with the Chinese government over internet searches.

So, no, it’s not the first time. And may not be the last.

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More Stories By Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the host of NBC Universal’s Live Digital with Shelly Palmer, a weekly half-hour television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.