Alibaba Group, touted as the largest e-commerce company in China, is placing bets once again on promoting its very own internally developed operating system in an ambitious bid to penetrate the mobile phone market.
Popular for its Tmall and Taobao shopping sites, the firm revealed that it plans to subsidise handset manufacturers to adopt the Alibaba Mobile Operating System (AMOS), said reports. Additionally, Alibaba wants to set up a fund of CNY1 billion (around £105 million) to provide financing to app developers.
For each AMOS handset that will be sold, a developer gets a subsidy of CNY1 every month. This will carry on until the handset is out of use.
Meanwhile, five local handset sellers have already released six smartphones using the AMOS, namely G’FIVE, AMOI, Little Pepper, ZOPO and KONKA.
Wang Jian, Alibaba’s Chief Technology Officer, was quoted as saying that “mobile is a new game where we don’t have the edge yet.”
The move definitely aims to leverage on the growth of the mobile phone market, which accounted for around four per cent of the company’s total ecommerce. This even prompted Alibaba’s Chief Executive Jack Ma to transfer a lot of engineers into the mobile division.
Meanwhile, the group also aims to expand in terms of finance, going from small loans into insurance and personal loans.
“The people we are focusing on are completely below the radar screen for the big banks,” noted Joseph Tsai, Chief Financial Officer at Alibaba.