Chinese Ecommerce Giant Alibaba Spins Off Aliyun Mobile OS Team, Puts $200M In Their Pockets

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Chinese web and eCommerce giant Alibaba will spin off the team developing Aliyun, its first mobile OS, Reuters is reporting.

This is the OS that Google claims is an inappropriate fork of Android (a fork too far?). Mountain View’s main beef is that Aliyun is incompatible with Android but could easily be compatible, although you’re skating on pretty thin ice when you’re apparently a fully paid up member of the open source club — more on all the various ins and outs here.

News of the spin off came in an internal memo sent yesterday by Alibaba CEO Jack Ma. TechInAsia obtained the memo which follows in full.

Ma’s talk of strengthening Aliyun’s “talent base, technology, and infrastructure” is interesting in light of the Google fracas. Whether it means Aliyun will try to fork even further away from Android, or snuggle closer to ensure compatibility is unclear.

We’ve reached out to Alibaba for an official comment and will update if we hear more.

After two years of hard work mixed with trials, we have seen significant progress in the Aliyun OS business. We have built a strong team and also gained recognition from our business partners. To better safeguard the healthy growth of Aliyun OS business and further implement the [Alibaba] Group’s Aliyun wireless strategy, we need to make adjustments 
in terms of talent, organizational structure and the Group’s resource allocation.

The management is making the following decisions:

1. The Aliyun OS business will spin off from Alibaba Cloud Computing [Alicloud/Aliyun] as an independent operation.

2. Jonathan Lu [Lu Zhaoxi] will be appointed chief data officer and president of the Aliyun OS business; Wang Jian will be appointed chairman and chief technology officer of the Aliyun OS business and will continue to serve concurrently as chief technology officer of Alibaba Group.

3. The company will invest US$200 million into the Aliyun OS business, to strengthen its talent base, technology, and infrastructure.

Fellow Aliren [Alibaba employees], the company has a lot to strive for and a long way to go. Thank you to everyone that has made contributions to the development of Aliyun OS. I believe that the Aliyun OS business will be better than ever with all your support.

Update: Alibaba has confirmed the memo is genuine but is not making an official comment on the move at this time.