Android Gets Conditional Love from China

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In amongst all the iPad hoopla many have forgotten the other big tech story of the year so far, namely the various maneuverings between China and Google. The lovers tiff turned ugly has a faint air of reconciliation about it today, as the Chinese Government announced that it won’t block the use of Google’s Android operating system on mobile phones in the country as long as the operating system abides by Chinese law. I did say it was only a ‘faint air’ of reconciliation.

Are things a little rosier between China and Google today? Well, kinda, they should play with Lego until they find a resolution, the same goes for the Northern Assembly talks.

Anyway, Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology spokesperson Zhu Hongren has been quoted as saying, “As long as it complies with Chinese laws and regulations, and as long as it has good cooperation with operators… their use of the system won’t be limited.”

As TechNewsWorld reported, this is the Chinese government’s first statement about Android since the current standoff between Google and the nation’s leadership began roughly two weeks ago. Google of course, delayed the launch of two Android phones that were originally planned to be released in China last week, causing widespread speculation that the effects of its stand against China could extend past its search engine to harm the Android platform. The devices from Motorola and Samsung would likely have relied heavily upon Google services, Chris Hazelton, research director for mobile and wireless with the 451 Group, told TechNewsWorld.

Commenting on the situation, Hazelton said, “Those services are obviously very similar to those Google offers in traditional browsing, so they face the same issues,” Hazelton explained.” He added, “The key is, where is the data and where are the services hosted? Any Baidu service on an Android device will be managed and run by a Chinese company, whereas any Google service will be based in California, outside Chinese purview.”

What that could mean, then, is that “Android will be on devices in China with only limited participation by Google,” he noted – a state of affairs that would presumably not be Google’s first choice.

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