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Alibaba pushes on with mobile OS plans despite Android setback

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Chinese web giant Alibaba is pushing ahead with plans to get its mobile operating system Aliyun onto more handsets in the country despite a recent clash with Google which saw Acer forced to pull a new handset based on the OS.

Alibaba has high hopes for Aliyun, which it recently spun out of its burgeoning AliCloud business pledging a $200m investment in talent base, technology and infrastructure.

However those plans took a knock recently when Acer was forced to cancel the launch of its A800 smartphone after pressure from Google.

The Chocolate Factory complained that Aliyun was actually an incompatible version of Android and that Acer, and all members of the Open Handset Alliance, are therefore banned from supporting it.

The problem for Aliyun is that Open Handset Alliance members account for most of the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturers, so its options are pretty limited.

Undeterred, the firm is now going after smaller players in the smartphone space, an industry source told Souhu IT (via Marbridge Consulting).

The unnamed VP of a grey market handset maker in Shenzhen was apparently contacted by Aliyun after a deal with rival Qihoo 360 broke down.

A second source from a different Shenzhen-based handset maker told the site that Aliyun is trying to sweeten the deal with resources from other Alibaba subsidiaries, such as financing and marketing support, as well as sales through its e-commerce platforms such as the hugely popular Taobao.

An Alibaba spokeswoman didn’t explicitly deny the reports.

“As part of Aliyun's existing plan to build up its ecosystem, we are in talks with a number of handset makers interested in adopting the Aliyun OS; we are not prepared to comment further at this time,” she told The Reg. ®

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