Is Android's future in China in jeopardy?

Seth Weintraub at Computer World asks a good question: If Google really leaves China because of Internet search filtering, what will that mean for the future Android? There are billions of eyeballs at stake in China, and Motorola already has a strong presence there and has more Android phones on the way. HTC (not counting the Nexus One and G1, the two Google-branded HTC phones) and Samsung? Them, too.

It's a little early to sound the alarm. But it's easy for us to forget that Android is more than just a U.S. product. And to be successful, it has to be a worldwide competitor. But if finds itself out of one of the world's most populus nations, that's going to be much more challenging.

Phil Nickinson
  • f*ck China
  • My sentiments exactly. I think businesses are making a huge mistake trying to invest in China as it is, Google's pullout is actually a smart move. Chinese market is just a classic gold rush that will yield little to no return. Just frustration and hassle.
  • It's an open source operating system, carriers in China will continue to use and make their own versions of Android (ever hear of OPhone OS?) whether or not Google maintains a presence in China. Must be a slow android news night. That or Phil Nickinson was dying to make a communist Android image.
  • Did everyone forget that the Nexus One and most of the Android phones are made by the Chinese? Yeah Taiwan and not the mainland but do you seriously think that this will stop the Chinese from getting the device? And oh by the way, Android is an open OS so anyone can get it. So are we Americans going to leave a lucrative market when we can compete in it when regardless if we are there or not, they device and OS will be available? Basic economics from college... supply and demand.
  • We don't compete in China for anything. Just look at all the Foakley glasses that come out of China. American commerce is incompatible with China. We just consume from it, trying to make money off them is impossible under our differing systems of commerce. In China it's all about making the cheapest mousetrap, in the US it's who gets the idea for selling the cheapest mousetrap. I think it's a waste of our time, and in all honesty I wish we'd just end trade with China. That's about as likely as pigs flying in a pig-made rocketship pig-engineered to fly at warp 9.
  • you forgot iphone?
  • You forgot the Meizu M8.
  • Very politically incorrect..but very true :)
  • You are not taking into account that companies like Motorola have phones launching in China built on Android 2.0. You NEED a gmail account to make it useful. And if Google search is no longer available in China, would it be available on your phone? I think not. Let us not forget Dell and Lenovo for that matter. What shall these manufacturers do, roll back to Android 1.5 and severely limit their phones capabilities as well as get crushed by their technology and development budgets and then add on lame Bing as the search provider...or worse...Baidu? How can they compete with the iPhone or newer versions of BB once they finally get their crap together? No other phone is so tied to unfettered information via services like email, search and such. This was one of the first thoughts that crossed my mind yesterday, but I didn't post anything about it frankly out of concern for my MOT stock. I wondered how long it would be till others put two and two together. The future of technology is mobile internet. How can half the world's population not count in that equation? The vast majority of people in China access the internet through cell phones, not computers. The implications all around are huge. The fact that China has been using their access to U.S. businesses to attack and hack and suck out their IP is scary beyond words. If they can do it to Google, they can do it to any company and apparently that's what they've been doing. Heads up. Update your Adobe Reader asap.
  • Yes but once again, it is open source, they could just as easily change Android 2.0 to not need a gmail address. It's open source, they can get the source and they can make it their own and cut all ties to Google. They have already proven to be ready to heavily customize android to fit their own needs, do a search for OPhone OS, they already do this type of customizing. Android is going to live on in China as long as people want it.
  • yea google!!!! the only company with the balls to stand up to communism and the loss of human rights and spit it in the face. republican or democrat, you cannot agree with the way china treats its people, and google standing up to them makes me proud to be their customer.