Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce company, is mounting a challenge to several leading technology companies with the launch of its own mobile operating system.
Beijing Tianyu Communications Equipment, a Chinese handset maker, will launch the first smartphone running on Aliyun, the new operating system, by the end of July, and release a tablet computer featuring Alibaba’s system by the end of the year, Wang Jiang, president of Alibaba Cloud Computing, told reporters.
That will put the group, which has competed with foreign rivals such as Ebay, in competition with a whole new league of foreign and domestic companies.
China is the world’s largest mobile handset market by users, but the vast majority of its more than 800m mobile subscribers have yet to start using smartphones, the devices that allow a wide range of data services for work and entertainment.
The country has become an important market for handset makers and content providers for all the main mobile operating systems including Apple iOS, Google’s Android, Nokia’s Symbian and Microsoft’s Windows Phone.
So far, Alibaba Group’s business is focused on e-commerce – Alibaba.com, its listed flagship, runs online storefronts and other services for Chinese and foreign suppliers in the wholesale trade.
A number of unlisted units run Taobao, its domestic consumer e-commerce business, and online search operations.
By offering e-commerce and e-payment applications, the new operating system could help Alibaba Group ensure its consumers stick to Taobao when they use the mobile internet. But Alibaba executives made clear that the group’s ambitions go far beyond that.
Aliyun features services such as cloud-based e-mail, internet search, weather, mapping and GPS navigation, the company said. It argues that servicing many apps from the cloud instead of requiring users to download applications to their phones will create an experience superior to existing operating systems.
Alibaba said China-based developers offered lower developing costs and would make smartphones more affordable in China.
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2011-07-29 12:40 编辑：essaywriter