By Paul Chung
Image credits: @HofmanPhotos.
The neverending Google versus Chinese government saga continues this week following a government-commissioned report that highlights Android’s formidable rise in China over the last five years.
Introduced to the Chinese market in 2008, Android has since managed to capture 72.4% of the smartphone market as of Q3 of 2012. The end of Android dominance is nowhere in sight either. Android-based mobile phones account for 90% of all new smartphone purchases today in China.
For now, the China Academy for Telecommunication Research report shifts the Google vs. Chinese government rhetoric from that of search engine censorship to mobile device systems.
“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,” says the report.
In addition to calling for reducing the nation’s reliance on Android smartphones, the report blames Google for styming the research and development efforts of Chinese-based tech firms through delays in sharing codes and restrictive commercial agreements. Baidu, Alibaba, and Huawei are in the midst of developing their own operating systems.
The Chinese smartphone market is increasingly crowded and competition among firms is quite stiff. China recently surpassed the United States to have the world’s largest number of active Android and iOS devices (but definitely way more Android devices).
In his new book due for release in April, Google chairman Eric Schmidt calls China an “IT menace” for cyber espionage and hacking. The latest ministry reports indicates that, if anything, the feelings are mutual.