Google mobile apps: Banned in China?

Chinese media report that the government has banned mobile manufacturers from installing Google applications on the mobile devices.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) on Friday denied that it had banned Chinese mobile manufacturers from installing Google's applications on the mobile devices.

"We never delivered an order to ban the usage of Google logo and applications on mobile terminal products. The news online was against the truth," the ministry said in a statement on its official website.

The announcement came after reports by a number of major news websites in China, including, citing a note on the official website of a Shenzhen-based mobile service provider Shenzhen Guozhengtong Management Consulting Co.

"Notice from the China Testing Alliance (CTA) shows that the MIIT has delivered new announcement on the usage of Google (product). Since May 3, 2012, all the mobile terminal products are not allowed to have Google logo and related applications, or it will not be subjected to administrative approvals," said the note.

The launch of new mobile devices need go through three administrative approvals in China, including one from the CTA. The Shenzhen-based firm is an agency that provides consulting services to the mobile manufacturers, according to a Hexun report.

Some Chinese media, including Caijing Magazine, said that their reporters have confirmed the hearsay with some of these mobile devices developers.

An application developer named A Zhong in Chongqing told the magazine that one of his business partners has received the notice. They are now considering the use of MapABC instead of Google Map in the application, which has brought about extra workload.

Shenzhen Guozhengtong's official website became unavailable since the afternoon on Friday. The website said in an announcement condemning itself as posting fake news and claiming to shut down the website to make improvements, in a screenshot captured by a Chinese blogger before it closed down.

According to iiMedia Research, in the fourth quarter of 2011, the Android operating system occupied 47.3 percent of the Chinese smart phone market while the Symbian and iOS platforms account for 32.3 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively.

Internet giant Google, which closed its business in China in 2010 after rows over censorship and hacking, has shifted its search engine operations to Hong Kong.


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