Information about Alibaba’s Aliyun Operating System was scarce until recently, when the company announced to Wall Street Journal that it is keen on becoming the Android of China. The company was later embroiled in an issue between Acer and Google, when the former company scheduled a launch for an Aliyun OS-based smartphone, only to cancel the launch because Google reportedly threatened that it will terminate its partnership with Acer. In an official statement on Google+, Andy Rubin, who heads Android explained that the company did not want Android fragmentation, and further alleged that the Aliyun app store “contains Android apps (including pirated Google apps).”
The existence of these apps have been confirmed by Arstechnica, which published a screenshot of the Aliyun app store. Among the apps that appear when one searches for Google on the app store are Google Translate, Google Plus Search, Google Sky Map, Google Drive, Google Books, Google Maps, Google News, Voice Search, Google Earth, and Google Finance. According to Arstechnica, Google’s tone reveals that these apps were not authorized by the Mountain View company.
Apart from the Google apps, however, several popular Android games such as Eternity Warriors 2, Granny Smith, and several versions of Angry Birds may also be found on the Aliyun app store.
Keith Shepherd of Imangi Studios , the developer that created Temple Run, pointed out in an interview with Arstechnica that the Temple Flee app on the Aliyun app store “looks pirated.” Meanwhile, the Android Police blog noted that the app Granny Smith, which was developed by Mediocre, is listed under the name leiguang888 on the app store. Another sign of the supposed piracy is the Nduoa watermark that appears on some of the app screenshots. Nduoa is an app library in China that is targeted at local users. Nduoa is home to thousands of free apps, some of which are paid apps on Google Play.
Alibaba is still silent on the matter of these reportedly pirated Android apps.