One thing for certain about China is that nothing is certain. Things change in China--sometimes very quickly.
It remains to be seen if this rule applies to Android’s current stronghold on the Chinese smartphone market. However, if a white paper recently posted by the research arm of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology is any indication, it’s clear that China’s government agency harbors deep uneasiness about its nation’s industry becoming too dependent on Android operating system, controlled by Google.
According to a Reuters report, the Chinese ministry’s whitepaper, posted online last Friday (March 1), said, “Our country’s mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android.”
So, what’s the beef?
"While the Android system is open-source, the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google," the white paper said.
The paper further alleged that Google discriminated against some Chinese companies developing their operating systems by delaying the sharing of codes. Google also used commercial agreements to restrain the development of these companies’ mobile devices, it added.
Mobile OS market share in China
Source: China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology
While I remain skeptical of speculation that the Chinese ministry is signaling to “regulate” Android in China, I feel the agency’s concerns about Chinese industries losing control of their own destiny. As a veteran of the Japanese electronics industry in the 1980’s, I find the Chinese government’s rhetoric all too familiar. And their logic is understandable.
Consider Japan’s TRON project--if you can remember it.
The worst case scenario is that someone feels so left out by Google's development that Android is forked. Not that big of a deal. It is just the typical government agency doing what they do best....drawing more attention (and funding) to themselves.
It is very difficult to believe dependency on Android is a bad move. Relying on Google's support to build a device might be.
The computer industry has become more open for years. Embracing open source is widely adopted. What Chinese's firms have to do is to be able to make their own device w/o any help from Google. In addition, they shall focus on developing apps. If they don't like Android, there is Ubuntu (generally speaking, Linux) to choose from. If GUI wasn't ready, put their hand on it to make it attractive. Really! In today's world, if OS is widely available from source code level, why spending extra effort to re-invent an OS? Efficiency is very important.
*Which* GUI? There are a number of them, and which default you get will depend on the distro you run.
I run Ubuntu, which defaults to a new interface they designed called Unity. I wasn't thrilled by it, and because it's Linux, I had alternatives. I prefer XFCe4, but Gnome, KDE, Enlightenment and a number of others exists and can be used.
"While the Android system is open-source, the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google,"
Since Android is opensource, Anyone can create their own roadmap.. like Amazon did. So whats the problem with too much dependency?
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