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Google clarifies opposition to partnership between Acer and Alibaba

Although the story between Acer and Alibaba has already fueled dozens of articles on the web, the Wall Street Journal received just today a clarification from Google on the subject.

A spokesman said the searcher contested the Acer device because Aliyun is a ?non-compatible? version of Android, meaning that Alibaba allegedly created the software from Android and made changes that were not allowed.

In its statement, Google said that Acer – like other hardware manufacturers that use Android for mobile devices – is "committed to building an Android platform and not producing non-compatible devices."

In response to statements by Mountain View giant John Spelich, Alibaba's vice president for international corporate affairs, said that ?Aliyun OS is not part of the Android ecosystem so it doesn't have to be compatible?.

Spelich added: "Ironic is a company that speaks freely about openness and is defending a closed ecosystem."

Consulted again by WSJ, a Google executive, who was not identified by the report, made a second comment on the issue:

"Compatibility is at the heart of the Android ecosystem and ensures a consistent experience for developers, manufacturers and consumers," said the spokesman. ?Non-compatible versions of Android, like Aliyun, weaken the ecosystem.?

Update: Andy Rubin, executive responsible for Android, issued a note through his Google+ profile:

?We were surprised to read a statement by Zeng Ming, Head of Strategy for Alibaba, who says:? we want to be Android in China ?, when in fact the Aliyun operating system incorporates the Android runtime and apparently was derived from Android.

Based on our analysis of the applications available at http://apps.aliyun.com, the platform tries, but fails to be compatible.

It is easy to be a compatible Android, OHA provides all the tools and details on how to do it. Check out on this blog how we think about compatibility and how it relates to the ecosystem that we work hard to build ?.

Update 2: Andy Rubin made a new comment on Google+:

?Hey John Spelich, we agree that Aliyun OS is not part of the Android ecosystem and you are under no obligation to be compatible.

However, the fact that Aliyun's runtime uses Android's framework and tools. And your app store contains Android apps (including pirated Google apps). So there is really no doubt that Aliyun is based on the Android platform and takes advantage of all the hard work that we did on the platform by OHA.

So, if you want to benefit from the Android ecosystem, you can make the choice to be compatible. It's easy, free, and we'll help you. But if you don't want to be compatible, then don't expect help from OHA members who are all working to support and build a unified Android ecosystem. ?

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