China unveils homegrown mobile OS

Dylan Bushell-Embling
21 Jan 2014

Chinese researchers have developed a own homegrown smartphone OS, with the aim of making it the most widely used mobile OS in China.

China's Academy of Sciences and Liantong Network Communications Technology last week unveiled the China Operating System (COS), the New York Timesreported.

Although the developers claim that the OS has been built from the ground up in China, Ars Technicapoints out that the system might instead be based on Android, as it shares similarities with HTC's Sense Android interface.

The Academy of Sciences is billing COS as a more secure alternative to existing open-source operating systems, and as more suited to the Chinese market.

China Mobile and China Telecom have reportedly already started testing phones based on COS, and discussions are underway with various manufacturers.

China's state-run People's Daily reports [Chinese text] that the Academy of Sciences has ambitions for COS that extend beyond smartphones. The company aims to use the OS in a wide range of devices, including PCs, set-top boxes and smart appliances.

COS' developers have revealed that the ultimate goal for the OS is to make it China's main operating system, but this could be difficult considering that Android currently dominates China's smartphone market with a nearly 90% market share.

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology last year published a white paper arguing that the nation's mobile market is “too dependent” on Android for operating system R&D, and that Android discriminates against Chinese developers.

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