Google too powerful in China: industry ministry

Google Inc. has too much control over China’s smart phone sector, according to the country’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The American search engine giant, according to a white paper produced by the research arm of the ministry, had discriminated against some Chinese companies creating their own mobile operating systems by not sharing its code, according to a report from newswire service Reuters.

The white paper noted that Google’s Android mobile operating systems is being used in 97.7 per cent of smart phones made in China and that while there are some 300 business in this sector, the country has failed to produce a product that could compete globally.

“Chinese enterprises commonly use Android-based systems in the development and optimizations, and although the Android system is open-source, the core technology and tecyhnology roadmap is under strict control of Google,” the white paper said. “China’s enterprises constantly face Google’s commercial discrimination, including the delay of timing on code sharing due to agreement restrictions.

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The paper from the ministry did not recommend any specific actions or measures.

Duncan Clark, chairman of technology consultancy firm BDA China Ltd. in Beijing, told Reuters that it could be bad news for Google if the white paper led to regulations against the search engine company. In recent years, he said, the success of Google’s Android OS has been fueled the growth of China’s smart phone sector.

Google has had challenges in getting revenues from Android in China. Google does not collect licensing fees and phone makers are not required to bundle Google apps in Android-powered handsets. As much as 80 per cent of Android phones in China use Baidu, the Chinese search engine, instead of Google.

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