Taiwanese tech firm HTC is reportedly in talks with the Chinese government to build a mobile operating system custom made for the Chinese market.
The Wall Street Journal claims that sources within HTC have revealed that the company is working on an operating system that will cater to Chinese specific websites like Weibo.
This move would be in accordance with the Chinese government’s wider policy to become less reliant on Western companies, with the dominant operating system’s today coming from Google and Apple, both US firms. The Wall Street Journal also reported that it is not yet clear whether HTC’s new OS will be based on Google’s open source Android operating system, with a source claiming ‘Plans have changed over the past year over whether it would be an entirely different operating system or a user interface built on top of Android’.
However, it appears that this project is well underway, with smartphones running the OS currently in testing while others have been handed over to Chinese government officials for review.
After reporting poor profits earlier this year, HTC has been busy rebranding itself, splashing out on a high-profile advertising campaign starring Robert Downey Junior. Gaining a wide user base as an OS provider in China, a huge, fast growing market, could be just what the Taiwanese firm needs to get back on course.