Alibaba, Baidu planning mobile OSs: rumors

Dylan Bushell-Embling
06 Jul 2011
Daily News

The mobile OS ecosystem could become more crowded if rumors that two Chinese web titans are planning their own operating systems ring true.

Alibaba declined to comment claiming the e-commerce giant is developing a cloud-based mobile OS.

An source told the Wall Street Journal that Alibaba aims to launch the operating system in the third quarter.

It will reportedly allow users to download applications to a remote server rather than to the phone, and provide other cloud-based services.

While the OS will initially target the vast Chinese market, the source said there was nothing stopping Baidu from rolling it out internationally eventually.

The development comes amid persistent rumors that search engine Baidu plans to develop a search-centric mobile OS, codenamed Qiushi.

The latest rumors suggest that the mobile OS is based on Android and will be released by year-end, Business Insiderreported citing Chinese tech site TechWeb.

Like Alibaba, Baidu is refusing to comment on any OS ambitions. The company is referring to Qiushi as a mobile ad project.

A few homegrown Android-based mobile OS builds are already in use in China, including MIUI. Baidu and Alibaba arguably both have the clout and the funds to develop any OS products into serious contenders in China, if not worldwide.

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