January 22, 2010

Android mobiles held back amid Google China row

Google's censorship row with China has resulted in the postponed launch of two Android mobile phones in the country, which was due to happen on Wednesday (20 January).

Last week, Google said it had been subject to a cyber attack – believed to have originated in China – that targeted the webmail accounts of human rights activists. Consequently, it signalled its intention to end the self-imposed censorship of its search results in the country.

"Foreign firms in China should respect China's laws and regulations and respect China's public customs and traditions, and assume the corresponding social responsibilities, and of course Google is no exception," insisted Ma Zhaoxu from China's foreign ministry.

The Motorola and Samsung handsets were due to become available on the China Unicom network, the country’s second-biggest mobile operator. It's believed Motorola had produced 20,000 XT701 handsets for China Unicom, while Samsung had made 10,000 of its GT-i6500U handsets.

News of the postponed Android devices has led to speculation about the fate of Google's Nexus One smartphone in China, while the search giant is also reported to be reviewing other services like music search and the Chinese version of Google Maps.

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