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HTC trialling mobile OS specifically for Chinese consumers

HTC is readying the launch of a mobile operating system specifically targeted at Chinese mobile phone users with an expected release before the end of the year.

The Wall Street Journal quotes people familiar with the matter as stating that the finished article will be heavily based on Chinese apps such as microblogging service Weibo. The OS is being trialled on smartphones in the country as we speak and prototypes have been sent to the country’s government to be given the once over.

It’s so far not clear what form the OS will take with rumours stating that it will be built on top of Android meaning they will have to adhere to guidelines set out by Google.

HTC, a Taiwanese company, has struggled to make inroads into the country and, although they have a number of Chinese speaking staff members, they’re a newcomer to the market and need something more to rely on than just handsets.

The project, according to the insiders quoted by the WSJ, is also a veiled attempt to construct better business and political ties in the country and comes after a report by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which stated the country was “too dependant” on Android. To this end HTC chairwoman Cher Wang is reportedly already in talks with Chinese government delegates to try and create the “local software ecosystem” favoured by the Chinese government.

Competition in the Chinese smartphone market is rife with Apple set to shake things up through a deal with China Mobile that will see it able to distribute the upcoming iPhone 5C to the network’s customers.

The undoubted leader of the market right now is South Korean manufacturer Samsung with a 25 per cent share of the country’s mobile phone market with a number of devices that run on the Google Android OS.

Image Credit: Flickr (John.Karakatsanis)