Google postpones launch of two Android phones in China

Less than a week after Google Inc. had threatened to abandon the Chinese market after it was hit with cyberattacks there, the company has postponed the scheduled launch in China of two Android phones made by Motorola and Samsung in China, according to reports and a Google spokeswoman.

Both phones had been planned for release on Wednesday through China Unicom, according to reports . The Google spokeswoman confirmed that the Wednesday release of the two phones was postponed, but declined to say why.

A source close to Google said that Google officials are in the midst of a series of conversations with Chinese authorities. Due to the uncertainty of the outcome of those talks, Google felt it was best to postpone the launches, the source said. The source added that it would be "irresponsible" for Google to to bring the phones to market because doing so could result in a poor user experience.

Google said on Jan. 12 that it was considering shutting its China offices and taking other steps over theft of its intellectual property by hackers it believed were based in China .

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu today said he was not informed of Google's latest moves and added that China was actually the victim of hacking activities.

On Jan. 12, David Drummond , Google's chief legal officer, said the attacks targeting the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists were launched in December from within China. Drummond said that 20 large companies were targeted as well, and many other companies have been faced with questions of their future in China.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld . Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen , send e-mail to or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed .


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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