Android largely unharmed in Google-China row

An Android phone delayed in China is now set to ship as device makers there keep using Android

A mobile phone with Google's Android operating system that was delayed in China will now ship next week, in the latest sign that Android has gone largely unscathed by a row between Google and the Chinese government.

A subsidiary of mobile carrier China Unicom has started letting users reserve the Motorola XT701 and estimates the phone will ship around March 13, according to its Web site. The pre-sale appeared to have started Thursday or later.

The price of the Motorola XT701 was listed as 4,299 yuan (US$630) on the China Unicom site. The 3G phone has a 3.7 inch touchscreen.

The Motorola phone was one of two Android phones delayed in China after Google said in January that it planned to stop censoring results on its China-based search engine. Google's announcement raised fears of a possible government backlash and harm to the use of Android in China. is currently still censoring search results, but lifting its filters would defy Chinese regulations.

Google did postpone availability of Google apps on Android phones from Chinese carriers. That is certainly a blow for the company, said Zhang Jun, an analyst at research company Wedge MKI.

"Mobile is a really promising market," he said. After Google's announcement, Motorola formed a search deal with Google's Chinese rival,

But interest in Android itself, an open-source OS, has stayed high among companies in China. Lenovo, China's top PC maker, and Dopod, which distributes HTC phones in China, both say their plans to use Android on upcoming phones have been unaffected.

The top executive at China Unicom this week called Android a mainstream OS and said the carrier, which is state-owned, will use it on phones. And a government-linked computer maker, Lemote Technology, is optimizing Android to run on a laptop with a Loongson microprocessor, part of a state-backed line of chips.

China's IT ministry has said it will not restrict the use of Android as long as the OS conforms with Chinese regulations.

Still, "right now people probably expect too much in China for Android," Zhang said. Windows Mobile is dominant in the country and some local phone makers simply use their own Linux-based OSes, he said. Chinese phone makers usually target low- or middle-end buyers, and Android so far is suited to high-end chipsets, he said.

That could change. One reason is that MediaTek, a Taiwanese company that supplies low-price chipsets to much of the Chinese market, is working on a package that pairs its hardware with Android.

A Motorola representative said the Android phone now on pre-sale was its only handset affected by Google's move.

The other Android phone delayed after Google's announcement was from Samsung. When asked if its phone had gone on sale or if any others were also affected, Samsung said it was still providing Android smartphones for Chinese customers.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags GoogleChinaAndroid

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Owen Fletcher

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Sansai 6-Outlet Power Board + 4-Port USB Charging Station

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?