Google recently updated its SDK license terms for the first time in a long while. While most changes are minor, one change has been grabbing quite a few headlines – Google's proclamation that those using the SDK are disallowed from taking "any actions that may cause or result in the fragmentation of Android". Here's the full clause in question:
In the last week, many tech-savvy westerners have gotten more familiar than they probably would have ever liked to with a Chinese company by the name of Alibaba. Most of those people still probably aren't aware just quite how huge the Hangzhou-based firm is.
In short, Alibaba is to China what Amazon (including cloud computing and mobile OS aspirations) and eBay (plus PayPal) are to the United States. Alibaba also controls China Yahoo!, which remains one of the country's most popular web portals.
A couple of days ago, we ran a story about a circulating rumor that Google had expressed strong concerns with the launch of an Acer phone powered by Chinese Internet firm Alibaba's Aliyun OS. As the post explained, Alibaba claimed that Google had warned Acer that releasing the CloudMobile A800 could result in the search giant "terminating its Android-related cooperation and other technology licensing with [Acer]." These rather strong words led to speculation over just what the issue could be with Aliyun, and whether Google had issued the warning at all. Google quickly confirmed its stance, indicating that Aliyun was an incompatible version of Android, and one that could "weaken the ecosystem."
Aliyun OS, for those wondering, is a Linux-based operating system built by Alibaba Group, China's largest Internet firm by transactions.
Last night, we reported on some pretty strange rumors concerning an Acer product launch set to take place Thursday in Shanghai. The rumor was that Google had put its foot down over Acer's announcement of an Aliyun-powered smartphone, and threatened to "terminate all android-related cooperation" with the Taiwanese manufacturer should it proceed with the CloudMobile A800's introduction.
In case you missed the story, Aliyun is an OS developed by Alibaba Group, China's largest Internet firm by transactions. The OS, while not explicitly marked as an Android fork, is pretty closely related to the original platform. The OS boasts a reliance on cloud storage, and can even run Android apps using a "virtual machine."
Today, looking to clear the air, Google released a statement on the issue, indicating that yes, the search giant had put its foot down.
Earlier this evening, Nasdaq reported that Taiwanese manufacturer Acer decided to cancel a press conference scheduled for Thursday, which would have seen the announcement of Acer's CloudMobile A800.
The smartphone, which would have been unveiled in Shanghai, was set to run on Aliyun, a mobile OS developed by a Chinese Internet firm called Alibaba Group, the largest internet firm in China by transactions. Acer indicated that the press conference was canceled after Google, according to Nasdaq, "expressed concerns about the smartphone."
An anonymous official at Acer commented that "Acer will continue to communicate with Google and the company still wants to launch the new smartphone based on Alibaba software."