China claims Google has too much control over the smartphone industry

March 5, 2013
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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.

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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.

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