Finnish mobile company Jolla, developer of the open mobile operating system Sailfish OS, has signed an agreement to build a Sailfish-based independent mobile operating system for the territory of China.
The Sailfish OS license granted to the newly formed Sailfish China Consortium gives an exclusive license and rights to further develop a Chinese operating system based on Sailfish OS. The consortium will develop Sailfish OS based solutions for secure smartphones, the automotive industry, TV, IoT and smartwatches. The Sailfish consortium targets to invest 250 million USD to the Sailfish ecosystem development in China.
Shan Li, one of the leading private equity investors in China and an early Jolla investor, will take a leading role in building up the consortium.
Shan Li said: “China needs an own independent mobile operating system. I have been closely following Sailfish OS development, and seen many Chinese projects fail, while Jolla’s Sailfish OS has been steadily progressing. Sailfish OS is the only viable alternative for China. There are already several major Chinese companies interested to join this consortium.”
Antti Saarnio, chairman of Jolla, said: “Since the beginning of Jolla, for five long years we have been aiming to offer Sailfish OS for the China market. At the same time, China has for many years tried to build their own OS based on Android, but without success.
“Building China’s national operating system strategy on code which is controlled by others, is like building your house on sand. It looks promising in the beginning, but in the long term it won’t last. Russia has already successfully implemented their own Sailfish OS version, supported by Jolla.
“Technically the Russian project was implemented in less than 6 months. With this exclusive license to the Chinese consortium, we offer a very fast path to build an independent operating system, which gives China the opportunity to build their mobile technology on solid rock, instead of sand.”