I lived in China for a year when my husband worked there. If you think life is hectic in a large American metropolis, you ain’t seen nothing yet. China hustles and bustles like no other place on earth.
The latest groundswell for attention comes from Reuters, which found that China’s Technology Ministry thinks Google’s Android has too much control over the country’s smartphone industry.
China is already the world’s largest cellphone and now smartphone market. Apple’s iPhone and iPad account for less than 5-percent of China’s mobile OS market.
Guess who has most of the rest? Google’s Android tops the list at 90-percent. That’s monopoly territory, and that doesn’t bode well for customers, competitors, or the government.
Google’s Android is a bit different than Microsoft’s Windows monopoly, but the effects are similar. Microsoft worked diligently and illegally to crush competitors. Is Google doing the same with Android?
Diligently, yes. Illegally, perhaps, as Android has also crushed China’s home grown efforts in the mobile device industry. Most major device makers in China use Android, which is free, hence the proliferation in the industry.
Are regulations on the horizon? From what I know about how China operates, that may be the case, especially if Google acts as Microsoft did in the U.S. and Europe. There are differences.
Google’s search engine hasn’t done all that well against Chinese competition with market share cut in half in the past couple of years. Google doesn’t make money with Android, instead raking in huge profits with online search advertising.
Regulations in China against Google and Android’s dominance would be a double-edged sword. While it may open the market for competing mobile devices and OSs, China’s mobile technology manufacturers get their revenue and profits by hawking Android devices all over the world.
Money talks. China’s government doesn’t like industry dependence on Microsoft Windows, and now sees yet another U.S. company taking charge of the largest mobile device market in the world.
Google has disrupted the entire mobile device industry by shipping a competent iOS competitor for free. If China acts against Google, what impact will that have on the U.S., which gets most of the country’s products from China?
Regulations, they are a coming.