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Alibaba accuses Google of using Android to block Acer phone using competing OS

News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday September 13, 2012.

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Chinese conglomerate Alibaba Group says Google is to blame for the cancelation of the Acer CloudMobile A800 smartphone. Hours before Acer was to announce its new phone running Alibaba's Aliyun operating system, Acer abruptly canceled the launch event without explanation. Alibaba then issued a statement claiming that Acer postponed the CloudMobile A800 launch because of pressure from Google. The company accused Google of threatening to cancel Acer's Android license if it proceeded with the launch of the phone. Ed note: There's technically no such thing as an Android license because Android is an open source platform. Alibaba is referring to use of non-open source apps that typically ship with Android products, including all Google Mobile products and the Google Play Store.

Alibaba issued the following statement on its Alizila website:
"[Google's actions are] clearly unfair to consumers and we are concerned about the impact on customer access to competitive products...We believe that by introducing the Aliyun OS we are giving consumers and hardware makers more options which is the foundation of a healthy and strong market. We think that it should be left to the market to decide."

The accusation is bizarre because it suggests that Google would be anti-competitive because one of the lesser-known Android manufacturers decided to use another operating system. Several companies who build Android phones have released non-Android devices without issue, and some manufacturers like Amazon have avoided Google products in favor of their own. Why would Google pick a fight in China because of competition? It's possible that Google accused Acer or Alibaba of violating its intellectual property or the phone was in some way violating Acer's Android licensing requirements. Acer, Alibaba, and Google spokespeople all declined comment requests from ComputerWorld and Reuters.

source: Alibaba, via: ComputerWorld

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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