back to article Google ices Android launches in China

Google has hit China where it hurts - icing the launch of two Android phones in the world's biggest and fastest growing mobile market. The search giant said in a statement to Dow Jones that it had originally planned to launch a brace of Android-based devices - one from Samsung, one from Motorola - tomorrow, but had now …


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  1. Ru
    Jobs Horns

    Bloody hell...

    Google being less evil than Apple?

    I never thought I'd see the day.

    Now, who's gonna be first with the shareholder lawsuit, to ensure than moral and political objections remain secondary to shareholder value?

  2. John Hughes

    Do no evil

    "A device that tracks movements and search requests would be a boon for authoritarian governments."

    But totally safe in the hands of a private company, of course.

    1. Doc Savage

      a title

      Personally, I'd rather that information be with a private company than a government who wants to control everything I see, say and do. And if I do see, say and do something they don't like, will have me disappeared.

      And of course, you can always use MS Maps if you don't trust Google. And if MS is still a concern, well then I suggest you get a compass and a paper map. You DO have that choice.

  3. lukewarmdog


    Whilst I'm all for people sticking it to the Chinese in an effort to improve human rights and stuff, I really didn't expect Google to be the one to do it.

    What is really going on?

    1. mantle

      It's all about positioning ..

      My guess is that Google doesn't really have a big market share in China and probably lag significantly behind the local search engine (behind Yahoo!). By taking stand on Human Right issue they have nothing to loose and instead they get instant credibility with the West. Now they have created an image that says "Google is less greedy and socially responsible .. " trust me they will milk this image all the way to the bank.

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      The World's Most Valuable Priceless Commodity ....... True and Better Intelligence*

      "What is really going on?" ... lukewarmdog Posted Tuesday 19th January 2010 14:51 GMT

      Eastern Socialism is getting wise to Western Capitalism, lukewarmdog, and the Fractional Reserve Ponzi Honey Trap that is Eased Quantitatively to render Foreign Treasures and Slaves purchased for Nothing but Slips of Paper which Promise to Pay the Bearer on Demand ...... more slips of similar Paper.

      *"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act" . .... George Orwell

  4. sandman

    Do Less Evil

    Most private companies (barring some defence contractors) are unlikely to imprison, kill, torture or deport you for dissent so you could argue that tracking is less evil if done by a private company. Unless of course they have an agreement with a government to supply the information or the information is obtained from them by interception, hacking or subterfuge.

    1. Joe 3

      Don't be so sure!

      Check out Coca Cola's reputation...

  5. Gerard Krupa


    Since when did Google speak on behalf of its manufacturing partners especially Samsung based in Korea, a country that has extremely close trade relations with China? Exactly how open is 'open source' Android for manufacturers if Google can dictate to them where their devices are sold?

    1. Patrick O'Reilly

      Android Open : Google Not

      Andorid itself is open source, however the key pulling apps, Gmail, Gtalk, Maps, etc are proprietary Google code hence the manufacturers can go ahead with a vanilla OS but the user experience would be compromised.

      1. Gerard Krupa

        Re: Android Open : Google Not

        From what I've seen on the Market Help message boards those proprietary Google apps, particularly Maps and the Market, don't get included in Chinese releases of HTC devices and the experience is already compromised. I wouldn't be surprised if they made the same restrictions on Samsung and Motorola. An aside to note here: I see their principles don't include ceasing to sell the Nexus One, a device made by a Chinese company within the Republic of China (unless Taiwain has changed hands in the last 20 minutes).

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          ROC (Taiwan) and PRC (mainland China)...

          ...are not the same.

          PRC is the Peoples Republic of China, and is mainland China.

          ROC is the Republic of China, which is the remnants of pre-communist China, which is pretty much just Taiwan.

          Definitely different, although PRC would love to take charge in Taiwan, as it's been a thorn in their side for 50 years.

          Gawd. What do they teach in History now!

          1. heyrick Silver badge


            And if things say PROC on them, which bit does that think it is?

            [end, sadly, no ENDPROC...]

          2. Gerard Krupa

            Re: ROC (Taiwan) and PRC (mainland China)...

            Thanks for the update, I stand corrected (and only very slightly patronised by that final remark given my last school history lesson was some 19 years ago).

            1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

              19 years ago, eh?

              My last history lesson was 34 years ago, and I am not in a history related profession!

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Let me get this straight...

    ... A device made from commodity components, in China, using an OS that is to all intents and purposes open software, will not be sold in China?

    Like it's not going to be cloned and sold by some enterprising factory owner with a tacit nod of approval from the Chinese Government, who probably could not care a jot as to whether they offend Google (again).

    Google are BIG, but probably not big enough to stop this happening. How much more leverage can they apply to China, especially when they do not even have the majority of the search engine market there!

    But this is what you get from off-shoring all your manufacturing to a country that plays fast-and-loose with patent and copyright.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      patents and copyright

      Of course every country has the absolute right to implement within its own borders whatever kind of patent and copyright regime it prefers.

      Now, which country bullies other countries into implementing perpetual copyright extensions and an insane patent regime, complete with software patents? It's not China ...

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Lip service

        Yes, I follow that line of argument, not being in favor of parts of the patent system myself, but that does not mean that the entire system is without merit. I would not want to see a world without either patent or a copyright legislation, although I would want ones that work and are used for what they were intended for.

        China does not really care whether they honor any other countries IP legislation, and once they get the ability to build these shiny objects, the only thing the US and Europe can do is to ban the import of the clones. That does not hurt the Chinese internal markets, nor does it make a ban on selling the official objects in China any more meaningful.

        I was arguing more for maintaining the manufacturing base in countries other than China.

  7. SimpleUser

    This is gonna be very intersting

    to watch for more updates. Let's (just) assume GOOGLE did this in fact as an act of telling (China)

    'That's as far as it goes', Human right stuff etc etc, they will bring their competitors into a role of either following or be seen as a (potential) taget for blame (from every human right watch organization), this move could be a very well thought out, clever marketing move . . .

    Like - I'm the good one who cares, what about you (compettors)... ?

    And, GOOGLE has so many legal issues at hand right now that a little deviation towards

    human rights might just come handy in future talks about those legal battles coming up right now (eg with France, Germany, the EU).

    Comments ?

  8. JaitcH

    Visiting China?

    You should know that the thousands of cameras littering BeiJing have facial recognition software behind them.

    And if a smartly dressed youthful male (usually) asks for your visa or Resident Card in impeccable English and swipes it on his handheld radio terminal you have met the security police. Full visa information will be displayed.

    For Chinese residents the implications can be worse as their full data can be displayed - in small chunks - including whether they have permission to live in the city. The info also includes bank account and credit card info, telephone and e-mail info as well as much more.

    A friends brother, in ChengDu, SiChuan, showed me his 'wonderful' new toy - only thing was it only works, at present, in the larger Chinese cities.

    How come Blair and Brown didn't order up their toys for Plod?

  9. heyrick Silver badge

    Google hits China?

    "Google has hit China where it hurts - icing the launch of two Android phones in the world's biggest and fastest growing mobile market."

    Am I missing something? Can't China develop a mobile itself? Hasn't Google just shot itself in the foot? If it's the biggest and fastest-growing market, I'm sure others are ready to take Google's place...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      re: Google hits China?

      Good points! For over two centuries, Western countries have been desperate to tap into China as it's seen as such an untapped market, but China has always restricted this access.

  10. Jerome 0

    Business sense?

    I wonder how the companies who used the (open source) Android OS for their handsets will react to Google effectively scuppering their product launch? That's got to give them pause for thought when they start to design their next handset, and consider whether to go with Android, WM or an in-house solution.

  11. S 15

    Who's icing who?

    Mmm.. not too sure, this article puts a different spin on it.

    i.e. its China Unicom that iced the launch, not Google, which makes more sense.

    Is anyone aware if Google *really* has the power to prevent OEMs from releasing handsets in this way? It would seem to be completely illogical not to mention commercial suicide as mentioned in previous posts.

  12. 0laf Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Less evil? Meh!

    Google's back pedalling from Chins strikes me as less to do with the authoritarian requirements of the Government and more to do with the State sponsored hacking against Google as a major corporation.

    Google is pissed that they accommodated the Chinese Gov and yet they still get hacked for more information.

  13. ForthIsNotDead


    "Google's back pedalling from Chins strikes me as less to do with the authoritarian requirements of the Government and more to do with the State sponsored hacking against Google as a major corporation."

    Nah. I don't buy it. They've done the math. They've realised they have a small online market share, and consequently, who in China will be interested in a GPhone?

    *THAT'S* why they have iced the launched. All this shite about "Ohhh China is so nasty, we're not sure if we want to do business with them anymore...." BULLSHIT! They were happy enough in 2006 when it looked like a good idea. No they've realised it was a crap idea, and China is a much harder market to break, so they're looking for an exit.

    It's spin. Don't fall for it. Shites they are.

    (And having spent 3 months in China recently, I was *amazed* at how 'free' the people there are. I was in Langfang, and it was lovely. The people were happy, smiling, had money in their pockets, and getting on with life. Don't believe all the Western propaganda about how evil China is. For sure, you would not want to get on the bad side of the law, but I was out in the parks watching Chinese life go by, and they were a damn site happier than us in the UK, I can tell you...)

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