According to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, China is too dependent on Google and its mobile OS Android. The ministry released a white paper yesterday to voice its concerns. To support its argument, statistics say that Android was on 90% of all smartphones in China Q3 2012, and was on 70.1% of all its smartphones in Q4 2012. iOS only accounted for 21% of China’s market share in Q4.
The white paper stated, “Our country’s mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android.” The paper went on to say that Google was discriminating against varoius Chinese companies, including the Alibaba Group, Baidu Inc., and Huawei Technologies, because it would restrict core technologies and its technology road maps from them. This would make it increasingly difficult for those companies to build on top of Android.
While the ministry did not state what regulations, or policies they would implement to deal with their dependency on Android, it’s expected to go in place sometime in the near future. China is also expected to be pushing out its own alternative to Android, Baidu. It believes that Baidu would help lessen its dependency on Android, however the ministry still has not stated whether or not pushing Baidu is the direction it will go in.
If China does start pushing another operating system, even if it’s not Baidu, this will be an issue for Google’s Android market share. The IDC states that nearly 300 million smartphones will ship in China alone, and China is expected to have the fastest growing adaption of smartphones for the next 4 years. 2/3 of all shipped smartphones in China are expected to be Android-based devices.