Alibaba's Aliyun OS hopes to be 'Android of China'

Alibaba's Aliyun OS hopes to be 'Android of China'

Summary: Chinese Web giant says its Linux-based mobile operating system provides a choice for local phonemakers over Google's Android as it offers a better user experience with no challenges to functionalities such as maps and e-mail.

TOPICS: Mobile OS, Android, China

Alibaba is pushing its Linux-based mobile operating system (OS), Aliyun, to become the "Android of China" and provide another choice for smartphone makers.

A report from Sohu IT on Monday cited Alibaba Group's chief strategy officer Zeng Ming as saying the Aliyun OS is gaining traction among mobile phonemakers. "We want to be the Android of China and we have quite a lot of new partners in line," he said.

According to Zeng, the total number of smartphone vendors adopting Aliyun will increase to five from the current two, namely K-Touch and Haier, by the end of the year. However, he declined to reveal the names of other vendors.

"If I were a mobile phone vendor and my only choice is Android, I will be quite scared. Any company will want to have at least two suppliers," Zeng said.

The original Android OS from Google faces several challenges in China as Google Search, Google Maps, and Gmail functionalities are limited in the country, he said. That is why Android is not able to provide a good user experience while Aliyun can, he added.

However, Sohu IT noted several handset makers believe it will be difficult to completely replace Android. This is due to the mobile OS's ecosystem of phonemakers and app developers, it said.

Topics: Mobile OS, Android, China

Liau Yun Qing

About Liau Yun Qing

The only journalist in the team without a Western name, Yun Qing hails from the mountainy Malaysian state, Sabah. She currently covers the hardware and networking beats, as well as everything else that falls into her lap, at ZDNet Asia. Her RSS feed includes tech news sites and most of the Cheezburger network. She is also a cheapskate masquerading as a group-buying addict.

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  • Better security for mobile Alipay?

    That's always a good thing, even if it's only marginally better. I'm not too comfortable purchasing things from Taobao or whatever else that uses my alipay account when going mobile.
  • Can any company in China make money from intellectual property?

    My prediction is that they will produce a nice product. If they do, it will then immediately be copied and cloned by a dozen Chinese wannabes. "He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword." Perhaps if enough Chinese business ventures fail due to copying and cloning, their government will finally take the issue seriously.
    • Re: Can any company in China make money from intellectual property?

      No company anywhere in the world can make money from "intellectual property". They have to make it from selling actual products that people want to buy.
    • ld017

      tell that to the IP trolling firms that make hundreds of millions each year just by buying, selling, collecting royalties on, and suing for IP
      • Re: tell that to the IP trolling firms ...

        You mean like Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures? Seems like the return to investors from that aren’t quite shaping up to what they were promised to be.
  • well,

    I wish to hear the great Steve's opinion of this new OS.
  • The Only OS That Can Compete With Linux... Linux.
  • I'm curious

    How much of Android's functionality is limited by the strong arm of Chinese government censorship? All three of the cited areas seem to be ones that the government might find potentially threatening. We know, for instance, that internet search results are highly filtered. And I can see how private e-mail accounts and maps might seem threatening to an authoritarian government leery of the potential impact of mass political movements/rallies. And if this is the case, one wonders whether any potential OS manufacturer can do much better than Google (absent close ties to the government an built-in controls allowing such services to be instantly switched off en-masse by government regulators)
    • Yeah

      The government will most likely force alibaba to put is features that filter, spy and report on the user.
    • I talk to my boss in China using gmail all the time

      it's not restricted at all as far as I know
  • android in China

    has equivalents of all the Google services from Baidu. Color me a pessimist, but I'm willing to bet Alibaba's OS is pretty lame. a new, unproven OS with no apps from an online market company vs a proven, well developed, world adopted OS with a huge app library from a software company- which sounds better?

    who knows though. and choice is always a good thing, so good for you Alibaba.