It started out as a small story: Acer (2353) had planned to release a smartphone in China based on the Alibaba Group’s mobile operating system before canceling it at the last minute. Sounds fairly innocuous, right? Well, not so fast. Reuters reports that Alibaba, which is China’s largest e-commerce firm, is now alleging that Acer was pressured by Google (GOOG) to scrap the device or be excommunicated from future Android related development.
“Our partner received notification from Google that if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer,” Alibaba said in a statement.
Android is currently the largest operating system in China, which is set to become the world’s largest smartphone market by the end of the year.
UPDATE: A Google spokesperson released the following statement to BGR, “Compatibility is at the heart of the Android ecosystem and ensures a consistent experience for developers, manufacturers and consumers. Non-compatible versions of Android, like Aliyun, weaken the ecosystem. All members of the Open Handset Alliance have committed to build one Android platform and to not ship non-compatible Android devices. This does not however, keep OHA members from participating in competing ecosystems.”