The Finnish mobile company, Jolla, which is responsible for Sailfish OS has announced the start of a new Sailfish China consortium that aims to build a Sailfish OS-based mobile OS for customers in China. The consortium will develop Sailfish OS solutions for secure smartphones, the automotive industry, TV, IoT and smartwatches; to help with this goal it’ll invest 250 million USD to the Sailfish ecosystem development in China.
Jolla’s Chairman, Antti Saarnio, 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.”
Concerning the interest in the consortium, Shan Li an early Jolla investor stated that several major Chinese companies are interested in joining. Given the restricted nature of Android in China (Play Store isn’t available etc), Jolla-loaded phones could certainly gain traction where it has failed to in countries with unfettered access to the Google Play Store.