Yoshida in China: Beijing's misguided Android worry
3/6/2013 2:01 PM EST
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
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.
Source: China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology
Consider Japan’s TRON project--if you can remember it.