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Chinese IT Ministry Looks Askance At Google's Control of Android 118

Posted by timothy
from the derives-from-a-mandate-from-the-masses dept.
itwbennett writes "In what one expert is calling a clear message to China's tech industry that the authorities want to support a homegrown mobile operating system, China's tech regulator warns in a white paper that the country is becoming too dependent on Google's Android OS. 'Our country's mobile operating system research and development is heavily reliant on Android,' reads the white paper from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. 'Although the Android system currently remains open source, the core technologies and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google.'"
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Chinese IT Ministry Looks Askance At Google's Control of Android

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @12:34PM (#43079743)

    Pot, kettle, black.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Can't impose proper surveillance on their people :

  • Fork it (Score:5, Informative)

    by kimvette (919543) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @12:37PM (#43079787) Homepage Journal

    Don't like it? Fork it. It's like the typical copycat bullshit China usually does, only better. Others have already taken the initiative:

    http://news.yahoo.com/three-android-forks-exist-today-135000744.html [yahoo.com]

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      There's no information whatsoever on those forks. What's forky about them? Will they actually be maintained, or are they just customized builds kicked out once for a device? Does that article have any purpose other than to advertise the Nook Color and Kindle and badmouth the Chinese?

    • Re:Fork it (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@co[ ]ll.edu ['rne' in gap]> on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @01:58PM (#43080887) Homepage

      Or even better - PARTICIPATE. The Android Open Source project is there for a reason.

      Manufacturers who want to guide the direction Android goes technologically will work with Google - for example, Sony is a heavy contributor to AOSP. The results of this show with their newer devices, which are far more well integrated than older ones. It's a win-win situation for Sony, Google, and users in general.

      But Chinese manufacturers just want to steal and not do any work. Seriously, they have stealing refined to such an art that IF YOU GIVE IT TO THEM FOR FREE THEY STILL MANAGE TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO STEAL IT! (Note that nearly every Chinese handset is in noncompliance with the GPL under which the kernel is licensed. Not just halfassed pseudo-compliance like HTC and Samsung with source code that obviously doesn't match what shipped, but full on complete noncompliance with zero kernel source whatsoever.)

    • Android is only "open" in name. Google will put the ban hammer on you if you fork it, just like Microsoft did to squelch BeOS.

      http://www.zdnet.com/cn/report-google-stops-acer-from-launching-aliyun-phone-in-china-7000004246/ [zdnet.com]
      http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Google-prevents-Acer-from-distributing-phones-with-Aliyun-OS-1709555.html [h-online.com]

      Also, forking the SDK is now banned. How is Android open again?

      http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/01/04/1339206/the-android-sdk-is-no-longer-free-software [slashdot.org]

      • BeOS was forked to Haiku perfectly fine because it was never owned by Microsoft.

        I don't see Google shutting down Kindle or Nook that use Android, but are not part of the handset alliance.

        Most phone OEMS are members of Google's Android Alliance, as part of that Google works with them for updates, and they promise to keep their Android versions "on the straight and narrow path" for maximum software compatibility. Those are the only times Google throws a fit, when somebody IN the alliance breaks something to g

  • Fork it and do not depend on google.
    • You misread. They can copy the source code for the public parts all they want. They're whining about all the proprietary parts.

      It turns out they have no capability to actually create their own stuff, and they want their secret sauce too.

      • So.. they're whining.

        Ignore them. Thread over. Let them do what they want to do. That's their rights as human beings, bit we're within *our* rights to say frag off and ignore them.

      • It's amusing because Google only 'controls the technology roadmap' because the other candidates seem to draw their software and UI dev teams directly from the same talent pool that produces ghastly shovelware to be preloaded on cheap consumer wintels. It's to the point where 'flagship device' means 'not fucked up by OEMs'...

        It's honestly pretty pathetic. If anything, some of the anonymous Chinese KiRF vendors are better than the big names, since they don't have the time or money to waste on custom skins or

  • Who in their right mind would install a chinese OS on their device, unless it was Open Source. And i'd still be nervous even then.

    • Who in their right mind would install a Google OS on their device, unless it was Open Source. And i'd still be nervous even then.
      • by bhagwad (1426855)

        Well you have to install someone's OS. And right now Google is probably the most trustworthy company on the planet.

        • Re:Chinese OS? (Score:5, Informative)

          by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @01:02PM (#43080129) Homepage Journal

          Well you have to install someone's OS. And right now Google is probably the most trustworthy company on the planet.

          Ding! I can trust Apple, Microsoft, or Google. Google's offering is based on Linux and much of it is Open Source. The parts that aren't Open Source tell you that they're spying on you, and are optional. Does it, in fact, get any better than this?

          • Maybe in an alternative reality. If so, I'd like to visit there. Hopefully, Customs wouldn't eat my wallet and my ass when I came back.

        • Which is not saying much.

          Trust Microsoft as far as you can throw fatass Steve Ballmer.

          Trust Google as far as you can throw Larry Page. Slightly longer but not that much of a difference, really.

    • If you intend to use a Chinese phone you will have to trust the company even. Even if you can inspect the source there is no guarantee the binary came from it and wasn't tampered. Unless of course you intend to build it yourself and flash the phone, but even them there is no guarantee the bootloader wasn't tampered either.

      That is not a problem exclusive with Chinese phones, by the way. I actually am much less worried about anything Chinese companies would put in my phone than about what American companie
    • Most of my kitchen appliances and electronics are Chinese now. Whos what they are doing when i am sleeping? :-)
  • by fermion (181285) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @12:41PM (#43079863) Homepage Journal
    Is it can be forked. But then we have the question of whether Android, the open source part, is really enough to build a phone or if only basic elements are open source, while key elements are closed or so severely controlled that they might as well be closed.

    Of course the Chinese might be able to fork some of it, and the Apache licensee lets them do this without giving back. But then, given that 50% Android phones pay a tribute to MS, the Chinese government might get into trouble for being a pirate nation, unless of course they pay tribute to MS>

    • by technomom (444378)
      If ever there was a country where they could do this and run solely off of Google-like substitutes for everything from search to social to calendaring to instant messaging, it's China. The China intranet is amazing in that they've completely replicated Google and they have a population that can sustain it all in one nation. Check out the Ted Talk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrcaHGqTqHk [youtube.com]
    • by Baloroth (2370816)

      Is it can be forked. But then we have the question of whether Android, the open source part, is really enough to build a phone or if only basic elements are open source, while key elements are closed or so severely controlled that they might as well be closed.

      What question? Tons of devices use just the open source part without Google's proprietary stuff. All you have to add are hardware drivers if you're using non-standard hardware, everything else you need comes open source. Only stuff like Google Play and Google Maps are close course.

    • by mejogid (1575619)

      Patent infringement is not the same as pirating/copyright infringement. Furthermore, the criteria for patent recognition - and indeed whether they recognise patents at all - is entirely up to the state in which said technology is being used: many countries have independent patent offices with their own criteria, which typically require individual filing to be recognised. China is quite at liberty not to recognise MS software patents and thus not pay any royalties; indeed, there are many who think that software patents are unnecessary so long as copyright/reverse engineering is prohibited and would welcome such a stance.

    • by bdwebb (985489)

      But then, given that 50% Android phones pay a tribute to MS, the Chinese government might get into trouble for being a pirate nation, unless of course they pay tribute to MS>

      HAhahahahahahahahaha. The Chinese government might get in trouble for being a pirate nation? All they have to do is claim that they aren't involved in the government funded cloning of the technology as they currently do. In China, claims are enough...it's not like they will allow MS to come and inspect their development or their funding process. They will simply tell MS "Oh, we agree...there are just so many cloners out there that we don't know what to do!" MS will retort "You need to help us shut dow

    • Is it can be forked. But then we have the question of whether Android, the open source part, is really enough to build a phone or if only basic elements are open source, while key elements are closed or so severely controlled that they might as well be closed.

      Is it even a question any more? I thought Cyanogen had answered that particular one years ago. The only thing the opensource Android codebase lacks is device-specific drivers, and that's going to be a perennial problem with Open Source until hardware manufacturers open up their devices. It's still an issue even with Linux - which is why most Linux machines that care about graphic performance install a close-source binary blob driver from the manufacturer.

  • Uh, what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daetrin (576516) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @12:49PM (#43079951)
    There are already a number of Android forks in China, including one by the Chinese search giant Baidu, who has also replaced Google as the default search engine in most of the Android phones there.

    cf. "Android is failing by succeeding in China" [extremetech.com]

    The Google "control" of Android doesn't seem to be doing much to deter Chinese companies.
    • And since it doesn't seem like it's been mentioned yet, Google can't even stop Amazon, another American company that has to follow all the US rules on copyright and patents, from making their own incredibly successful fork of Android and cutting Google out of the revenue stream entirely. Why does China, who generally takes a "look the other way" attitude even when actual copyright and patent issues are involved, feel like they need to be concerned in this case?
  • by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@noSPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @12:49PM (#43079959) Homepage Journal

    Not entirely true. Google initially created Android and released it as open source. But Android today is governed by the Open Handset Alliance. Several companies (including hardware ones) have a say in Android development, not just Google.

    http://www.openhandsetalliance.com/android_overview.html [openhandsetalliance.com]

    • Haha, the same alliance with secret agreements that banned Acer from making Aliyun phones?

      http://www.zdnet.com/cn/report-google-stops-acer-from-launching-aliyun-phone-in-china-7000004246/ [zdnet.com]

      http://marketingland.com/google-acer-android-aliyun-21631 [marketingland.com]

      How "Open" is the Open Handset Alliance? Not so much. Great branding and PR by Google though.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        OHA did the right thing. Essentially, Acer/Aliyun was banned because THEY were anti-openness. Acer/Aliyun wanted to go with a proprietary format where their system could run both Aliyun and Android apps, but Android systems could not run Aliyun apps. It intended to break the ecosystem, not maliciously, but it was still threatened to fragment the community and make global application access less open.

      • Haha, the same alliance with secret agreements

        Ooh! Secret agreements! I love me a good conspiracy.

        that banned Acer from making Aliyun phones?

        Yeah, they threatened to kick out people who worked directly against the purpose of the alliance. How unreasonable of them. Next you'll suggest that democrats who suggest adopting Randian economic practices are getting unjustly booted from the party.

  • Just curious...
  • by blind biker (1066130) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @01:00PM (#43080097) Journal

    If you want to look smart and use a rarely encountered word such as "askance", you should at least remember not to capitalize a preposition.

    I like fine vocabulary just like any other intellectual, but pretense bothers me - a lot.

    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      yes could we not have a Bayesian filter so that these articles written in tabloid-ease "looks askance, frowns upon etc" don't get onto the front page - if your a professional you are supposed to trade up to a "proper" broadsheet paper tacky titles devalue the site.
  • A bullet to the base of the skull won't do it.

    Most likely, China just wants control of the OS used on phones within its Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

  • by ArcadeNut (85398) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @01:08PM (#43080191) Homepage

    Definition of ASKANCE

    1: with a side-glance : obliquely

    2: with disapproval or distrust : scornfully

    Guess that's the word of the day...

  • by benjfowler (239527) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @01:44PM (#43080687)

    Explanation. Microsoft are disloyal, money grubbing sellout who would give those Communists a long, leisurely blowjob if they thought they could make a few bucks out of it. No doubt Microsoft are happy to do anything to keep the Chinese happy.

    Google have higher standards, and to their credit, have told the commies to fuck off in the past.

    This is why the dictators are all whiny and butthurt now. Because Google won't let them have their own way and oppress China and the world.

    • First off, they are NOT chinks. You are disgusting.

      Secondly, you ARE right that they love Bill Gates. But that is because he has shared their source code with them, and is now willing to move a bunch of Western technology to CHina in exchange for his getting money. Pretty Sad. I am just thankful that Gates was not involved in our defense industry.
  • by WindBourne (631190) on Tuesday March 05, 2013 @01:45PM (#43080715) Journal
    That is also why America needs to stop our reliance on China as well. It is high time for us to stop their dumping, subsidies, and money fixing, or using any of their parts/equipment in our gear.
    • by Hillgiant (916436)

      Good luck with that. Do you have any idea how hard it is to buy something as simple as a bolt that isn't made in China?

      • Actually, I DO have an idea. I am working on doing JUST THAT. And it is hard. BUT, I am also finding out that US prices for screws is actually CHEAPER than what I would get from the CHinese. The issue is the retailers are just going along.
    • It is high time for us to stop their dumping, subsidies, and money fixing

      I initially read that as "dumpling subsidies", and was ready to shoot of a fiery reply. I loves me some cheap dumplings.

  • Remember the expression: "Don't bite the hand that feeds you" ? Well it's exactly what China continues to do. China offers hardware and we buy it and continue to do so. On the other hand, we make intellectual products and they copy them so they don't have to buy them from us. I wish we could automate more of our manufacturing so we can reduce on dependance on China and make them realise that it's a two way affair, not one way.

  • The PLA, who have shown soooo much moooore integrity.

    gimmie google any day over that.

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