The greatest truism in the mobile world these days is that Android is growing, however its exponential expansion isn’t being welcomed with open arms by all. A new research paper from the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (translated by Reuters) has concluded that the country’s “mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android.” While acknowledging the operating system’s open source roots, the white paper goes on to say that “the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google” and alleges discrimination by the Mountain View company against Chinese firms seeking to develop their own software — alternately by delaying the sharing of code or through commercial agreements.
Google is already well practiced at tackling concerns of anti-competitive behavior, having had to fight off attention from the United States’ FTC and the European Competition Commission in relation to its search operations. This latest report out of China hasn’t escalated to such levels, as there are no sanctions or measures being advised in its conclusions, but the company will do well to take heed of China’s worries. Companies like Baidu and Huawei are said to have been feted in the research paper for their attempts to develop their own operating systems, and China’s regulators could well seek to assist their growth in the future by stymying the progression of Android. In the world’s biggest smartphone market, that could be a very big deal indeed.
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