The Chinese government is hoping to end China's reliance on Android-based smartphones, with the release of the homegrown China Operating System, or COS, a new OS co-developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shanghai-based Liantong Network Communications Technology.
According to the Chinese Academy of Sciences website, COS is “completely independently developed, from the basic coding to the user interface" and is capable of running Java applications, HTML 5 web applications and games.
Chen Feili, deputy general manager of Liantong Network Communications Technology, told C114, a Chinese communications news website, that Chinese telecom giants China Mobile and China Telecom have been testing phones based on COS over the past three months. Chen also stated that he has high ambitions for COS, saying the “ultimate goal” is to make it the main operating system in China. According to market researcher International Data Corporation, China’s smartphone market is currently dominated by Android with nearly 90 percent of phones in 2013 running on the Google system.
COS is not the first China-developed OS. In 2009, the Chinese government released OPhone or OMS (Open Mobile System), its own Linux-based, open mobile ecosystem. However, the platform seems to have been discontinued in 2010.