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Rumor: AliCloud to Cooperate with Knock-off Handset Makers

Souhu IT, 9/25/12

Alibaba Group subsidiary Alibaba Cloud Computing ("AliCloud") has partnered with small and medium-sized handset brands in Shenzhen, according to an industry source. After Chinese telecom equipment and terminal manufacturer Huawei ceased cooperating with online security software developer Qihoo 360 (NYSE: QIHU), Qihoo 360 sent specialists to Shenzhen in August in order to continue development of its enterprise-branded handset.

According to the VP of an unnamed "shanzhai" grey market handset manufacturer that switched from producing feature phones to smartphones in May, his company was approached by Qihoo 360 in early August but Qihoo 360's demands were too excessive. He added that in prior cooperation with Qihoo 360 to release co-branded handsets, sales volumes were not high and the Qihoo 360 brand did not significantly boost sales. While the company hesitated, it was contacted by AliCloud in early September, and the two companies quickly formed a partnership.

The marketing representative for another unnamed Shenzhen handset manufacturer revealed that AliCloud can provide financing and marketing support, such as providing thousands of e-books for pre-installation, sales through e-commerce channels such as Taobao and Juhuasuan, and resources from other Alibaba subsidiaries. The source added that the first AliCloud products would reach the market in November, and that unlike in the case of its partnership with Acer, AliCloud is not concerned about interference from Google.

Acer canceled the release of its AliCloud enterprise-branded handset after receiving complaints from Google.

Editor's Note: For more background on this topic, please see "Acer Delays Official Launch of Aliyun Smartphone" MD 9/13/12 issue.

Keywords: handset smartphone shanzhai wireless Qihoo 360 AliCloud Alibaba Group QIHU enterprise-branded handset handset vendor black market


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