If you ever thought to yourself that Google has too much control over your smartphone world wait until you hear what China has to say. A new white paper, authored by the research arm of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, says that Google Inc. controls to much of the country’s smartphone industry and even goes as far as to say that the search giant has actually discriminated against some local firms. Of course it wouldn’t be a report out of a communist country without a little bit of propaganda and the paper also added that the country had the ability to create their own operating system to compete with Android.
The paper which was published on Friday said “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 road map is strictly controlled by Google.”
Google was also accused of using commercial agreements in order to restrain the development of mobile devices. The report say that by delaying the release of certain codes they are hindering Chinese companies from creating their own operating systems. While paper offered no recommendations on how to fix this issue, it did have praise for some Chinese companies including Baidu Inc., Alibaba Group and Huawei Technologies for designing their own mobile systems. This could be seen as a sign that there will soon be some regulations on Android in the near future.
Duncan Clark, chairman of technology consultancy BDA, told Reuters “In China, regulators regulate regularly especially where they can position the regulations as helping out domestic companies. Ironically, Android’s success has underpinned a lot of the growth in China smartphone vendors in recent years.” Clark also pointed to the failure of Chinese handsets because they weren’t as complex and offered little to compete with the refined Android operating system.
There was also an instance last year when a collaboration device between Acer and Alibaba was cancelled because of perceived pressure on the former coming from Google.
What this comes down to in the end is what everything always does, dollar signs. China is now the largest smartphone consumer market coming in at over a quarter of total sales, so it would make sense that they would want to control the OS on their handsets. With Google’s Android on 90% of all those devices they have along way to go before that’s a reality.