According to a new paper from the research division of the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China is becoming wary of Android market dominance and the influence of Google. The paper suggests Chinese companies have been the victims of “commercial discrimination”.
This isn’t the first time Google and China have been at odds. Through most of 2009 Google and China were involved in an undeclared cyberwar as groups with ties to the Chinese military executed Operation Aurora and gained access to a number of core systems at several large tech companies. Google hit back by making available a totally uncensored version of its search engine and threatened to close its Chinese operations.
With 98 percent of handsets in China running some flavor of Android, the concern is not a total surprise and the paper applauds the efforts of companies inside China to develop their own fork of the Android operating system. While the source code for Android is open, the development pipeline is not, complicating the efforts to develop a Chinese version of the popular handset operating system.
It’s a certainty that the strife between Google and China is still very near the surface as the two combatants continue to warily circle one another. The paper stopped short of recommending any specific regulatory action but the proverbial skunk is definitely on the table as both sides hunker down for a protracted conflict.