China’s smartphone makers are “heavily dependent” on Google Inc.’s Android mobile operating system, hampering the development of the domestic industry, according a white paper from a government research institute.
Android’s core technology is strictly controlled by Google, and Chinese businesses face commercial discrimination, including delays in sharing code, according to a document dated in February from the China Academy of Telecommunication Research, under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
New market entrants will encounter substantial obstacles, the institute said. China has more than 300 local Android-handset manufacturers, accounting for 97.7 percent of domestically produced smartphones, the report said.
Google offers its mobile operating system for free in order to promote the use of its software and build platform for mobile advertising. This lets device manufacturers “customize and offer new user experiences,” said Christopher Katsaros, a spokesman for Google.
“Android is an open-source mobile platform freely available to everyone,” Katsaros said.
Worldwide, Android dominates the smartphone market with about 70 percent of shipments, followed by Apple Inc.’s iOS and BlackBerry’s operating system.