Acer cancels smartphone launch with Alibaba at last minute

SHANGHAI Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:18pm BST

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A planned launch of a smartphone between Acer Inc and a unit of Alibaba Group, China's biggest e-commerce firm, was canceled on Thursday due to what Alibaba said was pressure from Google Inc on the Taiwanese group.

Acer and Alibaba's cloud computing unit had planned to launch the Acer CloudMobile A800 smartphone, using Alibaba's mobile operating system, Aliyun, in Shanghai on Thursday afternoon.

But when journalists showed up for the event they were not allowed to enter the venue and an Alibaba Cloud Computing official said the launch had been canceled due to internal reasons.

Later, Alibaba's unit released a statement saying Acer had faced pressure from Google and pulled out of the launch event.

"Our partner received notification from Google that if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer," Alibaba Cloud Computing said in a statement.

A Tokyo-based Google spokesman declined comment, while Acer's Shanghai-based spokeswoman Elaine Cao declined comment.

China is set to become the world's largest smartphone market in 2012 with Google's Android mobile operating system having the dominant share of the market.

(Reporting by Melanie Lee and David Lin in Shanghai and Clare Jim in Taipei; Editing by David Holmes)

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