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Alibaba to Google's Android: Watch out in China

The company is reportedly seeing strong demand for its Aliyun operating system and is now firmly squared up with Android.

Alibaba, China's top e-commerce company, has Android firmly in its sights.

Speaking to The Wall Street Journal in an interview published yesterday, Alibaba Chief Strategy Officer Zeng Ming said his company hopes to be "as strong as Android in China" with its own mobile operating system, Aliyun. In order to achieve that, however, Zeng needs some help from vendors.

Luckily for Alibaba, Zeng says that the company has added "quite a few [new handset partners]." However, he wouldn't say which companies have signed deals to use Aliyun.

Alibaba launched its Aliyun operating system last summer. The operating system was developed over a period of three years by the company's AliCloud division. The operating system revolves around the idea of leveraging cloud-based solutions, and the operating system comes with Web-based e-mail support. In addition, the operating system synchronizes call data, text messages, and photos in the cloud for access on other devices, like PCs.

Zeng's comments might be far more self-serving than he would have anyone believe. The operating system has so far not made a dent in the worldwide mobile operating system market, which is being dominated by Android's 68.1 percent share and iOS' 16.9 percent market ownership. And Zeng's unwillingness to simply share the names of new handset vendors might be telling.

Still, it's clear that Android is in his company's crosshairs. It should be interesting, though, to see if, over time, it'll actually be able to make good on its promise of actually hurting Android.