China claims Google has too much control over the smartphone industry

by: Brendan LynchMarch 5, 2013

china android

According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Google’s smartphone dominance is getting out of control. The ministry went on to say in a white paper that the “country’s mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android.”

While Google’s dominance is evident in nearly every other country in the world, claiming that a country is reliant on the company’s technology could actually be a cause for concern.

The ministry criticizes the open-source label as it does not apply to Google’s services or technology, which are obviously controlled directly by Google. Perhaps the biggest concern is the fact that Google’s success has undermined the success of smaller Chinese smartphone companies. For example, the ministry refers to the joint venture between Acer and Alibaba Group that was ultimately cancelled due to supposed pressure from Google.


These issues are by far more relevant in China than they are in any other country in the world. This is because China accounts for 26.5 percent of all smartphones, making them the world’s biggest smartphone market. However, Google hasn’t been going full speed ahead in the country as of late. Google has actually dialed back its business in China due to censorship issues and hacking episodes that supposedly originated in the country.

As a result, Google’s search market share in China has fallen by almost half. Keep in mind that this is only the Google search market share and not the Android market share. This seems to suggest that Chinese users are more willing to switch search providers rather than switch smartphone operating systems. While those numbers are significant, the ministry is still correct in that Android is vastly more popular than any other operating system.

  • Eszol

    So much talking about monopolising the market when they, themselves is monopolizing world market and population

    • João Pedro Santos

      Exactly my thoughts!

    • Mike Reid

      China takes from open source.

      China does not give back.

      And I’ll use the collective “China” as long as they continue to let themselves be governed without elections.

    • On a Clear Day

      Does China’s reaction on this subject surprise ANYone? China is a totalitarian state where you or I or your brother, friend, mother or whomever if we were so terribly foolish to voice – as did one poor fellow whom merely suggested in a blog that China should be more democratic – we could all of us be thrown in a Chinese prison – as was he – for 10 or was it 12 years. That’ll teach him.

      China has no respect, nor concern, to even the slightest degree with human rights or freedom and unless deal with them, view them from that standpoint you will be opening yourself to woe. You cannot trust a person or a nation, who if you say something, do something that they just don’t like is willing to destroy your life.

      We should deal with China, exactly the way you or I would deal with someone in our personal lives, whom we discovered was plotting to have us kidnapped and “put away” so we could not continue to voice our criticism of them, and if you don’t know how you would, should deal with such a monstrosity of an individual, then you really have a problem with discerning the difference between right and wrong and how to act toward someone who is completely and totally untrustworthy and dangerous to the highest degree to your freedom and your life.

  • WWE7Nations

    Hahaha Eszol Thats True.

  • “LOL” – Google

  • Criticizing the open source label of the OS because Google control Google’s apps seems a bit…special…to me. You could say that about any app developer on any platform, ever. It has absolutely nothing to do with Android. And the whole Acer/Alibaba spin off OS was still technically Android (which Google don’t allow…) so that was hardly going to change anything.

  • parkin

    well, that’s good.
    I prefer Google gain control of smartphone rather than China!

  • carlisimo

    Do Android phones there even get Google’s app suite?

  • Alu Zeros

    Screw China, and their commy turd fergusons that run it. Google = Open = Freedom. Stop hating Freedom China.

  • V-Phuc

    Perhaps China would be happier if they were the ones inventing Google… Chin-oogle (Sorry I can’t even pronounce it myself!)!!! LOL.

  • Google sucks for China anyway. Baidu Maps(!) and Search are *far* superior. (including near perfect walking, driving navigation into the smallest alley, public transportation, etc.) Google cannot even handle characters properly sometimes. That’s the main reason, why nobody complains.

    @Alu Placing the words Google and Freedom in one sentence makes no sense without a negation. Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Facebook are all monopolists in their respective business and the exact of opposite of freedom. They are collecting you data to sell it or provide it to governmental so called “security agencies”.

  • Conner Rhoads

    You know, this kind of makes me laugh on so many levels.

    China has EXPLODED with Google to the point that Google is not only the Primary OS for Mobile, but it’s practically become the primary OS for everything in China (Phones, Tablets, Computers, Media Devices like BluRay players).

    Google has always had a precarious relationship with China because they don’t like be censored and they don’t like China’s attempt to radically control it. There’s been more then enough incidents where the CEO of Google has lambasted Chinese officials over various incidents.

    China DOES like their open source though and frankly thats why there has been so much adaptation to Android.

    Heck, China has tried to outright pirate Android and use it as a template for their own national version of the OS.

    Blarg, there’s so many stupid thoughts going threw my head with this article.

  • I have 2 points

    1. I am impressed with the posts here because I a sense people realise that communism and certain forms of socialism (eg. USSR) does not equal freedom. That gives me hope that America will not ultimately capitulate to the pressure to socialise or commnise.

    2. I believe that what China is mostly afraid of is the collopse of their control. See communism and socialism require lots of control in order to work because someone has to make sure that supply=demand. Whereas in a capitalistic economy, profit=demand and people are therefore free to chase profits wherever they want to. So “freedom” does not equal China at all. Now, in the US, we embrace technology and assume that things like the internet are pushing freedoms, when in fact the book “Technopoly” paints a mighty different, and fascinating image. (Author=Neil Postman)

    Even so, China fears that the freedoms that technology brings will mean a collapse of their culture of control. You know, many many nations that reflect a majority of a particular religious ideaology also fear that technological freedoms will undermine their culture (Indonesia, India, Turkey, Saudi Arabia). I am sympathetic since I like culture and I am disappointed that cultures are being overrun by the Western techno culture just as small mon-and-pop store are being overrun by Walmart. But I still sometimes shop at Walmart and it doesn’t keep my up at night worrying. (I wonder how China feels about Walmart?)

    • one more thing

      Watching China and Walmart face off reminds me of those old b/w godzilla movies where some guy in a dragon costume is fighting a “giant” robot. I mean, watching big communism fight big capitalism is a mildly interesting watch….until it gets old knowing that while they try to look big and act as if they really are huge creatures walking throught miniature cities, they are just people like you and me…in costume, pretending.

      If I contemplate China verses Google, I see a different fight. I see Google resisting certain things about China (censorship and govnt sponsored hacking), yet NOT resisting other things like big government control and blatant human rights violations. Google itself appears perplexed. Does the core of Google represent capitalistic freedoms or socialistic/communistic control?

      (My own personal opinion is that a new generation of Chinese is growing and will soon emerge on the world stage…who will eventually throw off the forced controls of communism and turn that society into free market capitalism. Just look at Gorbachev in the USSR. It is coming also to China but expect the old guard to fight it tooth and nail. In that time, Google will be forced to choose sides, and it is my belief that they will support freedom.)