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Here is why Google blocked Acer's Aliyun smartphone launch

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Here is why Google blocked Acer's Aliyun smartphone launch
Last week, when Acer was all ready to host an event to introduce a brand new phone based on Alibaba’s Aliyun operating system, Google suddenly interfered with force and gave a big fat “no.” The event was cancelled and the phone never came into existence. Many were quick to ridicule Google’s“don’t be evil” slogan and accuse the company of stopping what seems like a legitimate competitor, but was that really the case?

The problem seems to be in the lack of information about the Aliyun OS. A platform developed by China’s biggest online retailer Alibaba, it is developed off of Linux with the ambition to become China’s Android. That is why the people behind it felt there was no justification for Google forcing Acer to stay away from it.

Google however thought Aliyun is a ripoff.
"While Android remains free for anyone to use as they would like, only Android compatible devices benefit from the full Android ecosystem. By joining the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), each member contributes to and builds one Android platform -- not a bunch of incompatible versions," reads the agreement that phone makers like Acer have signed.

Now, Android itself is based off Linux, but the two have negotiated a peaceful coexistence this year. Aliyun however remains a bit of a mystery with the source code not easily available for the general public.

Alibaba vice president of international corporate affairs John Spelich accused Google of “having no idea” and “just speculating.”

All of this definitely started to get weird and to avoid all that negative press Google’s Android head Andy Rubin explained the situation in a Google+ post:
“We agree that the Aliyun OS is not part of the Android ecosystem and you're under no requirement to be compatible. However, the fact is, Aliyun uses the Android runtime, framework and tools. And your app store contains Android apps (including pirated Google apps). So there's really no disputing that Aliyun is based on the Android platform and takes advantage of all the hard work that's gone into that platform by the OHA."

That seems to be indeed true - the Aliyun app catalog has some APK that seem to have been taken directly from Google Play and other third-party app stores, and it even has some Google apps like Google Drive, Sky Map and Translate, which Google has hardly allowed them to use.

It seems Google had a solid motivation to block Aliyun after all with all this evidence, don’t you think?

source: Andy Rubin

17 Comments
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posted on 17 Sep 2012, 03:51 34

1. darktranquillity (Posts: 284; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)


reasonable.

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 04:15 9

2. Pings (Posts: 301; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


I would say so too but, I wouldn't choose it over Android. It looks like a cheap rip off of MIUI to me. I wouldn't even choose Aliyun over MIUI. I don't care if they would come out with an Aliyun phone. More power to them.

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 06:04 3

9. aaronkatrini (Posts: 239; Member since: 06 Jun 2012)


yeah, but on china could be huge, ... i mean HUGE hit!

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 07:40 1

12. rf1975 (Posts: 249; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


No. It is not. The reasons is Google has already learnt the lesson about forked Android amazon kindle fire. Forked Android soon will become a threat to Google's Android business or so called ecosystem (whatever it is). That why Google is so upset. Do not thing there are much benefit for developer or end user in Google's blockade.

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 04:20 14

3. easymomo (Posts: 91; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


If you use this chinese software, don't be surprised if all your personal information and data is stolen and stored in China

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 04:42 7

5. adelta90 (Posts: 63; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)


yep, agreed. Good thing google decided to take steps

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 04:48 7

7. AndroidShiz (Posts: 145; Member since: 08 Nov 2011)


Also stay away from Huawei. Known stealers of information in countries like India, etc.

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 07:32 3

11. rf1975 (Posts: 249; Member since: 01 Aug 2011)


I do not know where are you living. But most of your personal information is with Google if you use Android otherwise with Apple if you use iOS.
As you you know Google mean making money from all kind of data. Do you think they bother about privacy. Do you remember they have been handed over a hefty fine for cheating safari.

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 09:13 3

14. easymomo (Posts: 91; Member since: 04 Jul 2012)


Never heared that Google was involved in Industrial espionage, economic espionage or corporate espionage like some chinese corporates...
Sure Google uses your personal information and you get FREE service in exchange.
I won't let a closed chinese software get access to my credit cards accounts...

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 10:17 3

15. adelta90 (Posts: 63; Member since: 14 Sep 2012)


See, android is open source (or so i believe)
If Google could use our personal data for profit as you have suggested, someone would easily have found it out
However, Aliyun is closed source, God knows what goes on in it, so hence, the paranoia

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 04:38 2

4. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


China is one massive piece of market and having a chunk of their smartphone population running on Aliyun would not benefit Google in anyway.

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 04:43 1

6. yasoof (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Sep 2012)


no
this is a clear anti competitive behavior from google

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 05:09 7

8. e.wvu (unregistered)


How? It's Acer who's trying to put Android's software on their device and call it their OS.

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 06:40 1

10. cso26 (Posts: 10; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)


and here comes the alien...

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 08:44 5

13. tedkord (Posts: 5273; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


Yes, it's so anticompetitive to require your partners to abide by the terms of their contractual agreements. Simply abysmal behavior.

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 11:32

16. MartyK (Posts: 726; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)


These three statement says it all:

1.While Android remains free for anyone to use as they would like.
2.By joining the Open Handset Alliance (OHA).
3.Each member contributes to and builds one Android platform.

Enough said; especially #2!!

posted on 17 Sep 2012, 16:18

17. MorePhonesThanNeeded (Posts: 645; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


Want to bet that Alibaba is funded by the Chinese government? Look, it's no secret that Big red loves to censor it's own people and control aspects of their lives. Controlling your cell phone is just another part of that. Acer wants to make money, but I'm sure Acer is a Chinese outfit if I'm correct. Good move on Google's part to call up the agreement that all Android developers have to abide by, Acer can pull out and go with Aliyun. I'm sorry but I cannot side with any government that allow theft so blatantly and is so patriotic that they care less about anything that isn't built at home. Big corporations make deals and they get cheap labor and the government is fine with that. Evil corps this side of the pond take advantage of that. Google is all software and basically sits on the sidelines as they have no hardware that has to be built, but I don't think they are all clear as everyone has some stake in cheap labor somewhere on this planet.

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