Alibaba has launched an app store for users of its Aliyun smartphone to browse and install Android apps. The Aliyun platform is not based on Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) mobile OS, though it is also Linux-based, and it can run Android games using a ‘virtual machine’ that’s built into the software. And so it has the advantages of being able to use both its own web apps as well as the huge catalog of stuff that’s on Android. (If only RIM had got a similar system working on its Playbook so quickly, then it might’ve actually sold a decent amount of them).
And so the Aliyun app store has Android apps such as the group messaging service Weixin, as well as hugely popular games like Plants vs Zombies. Aliyun phone users can also login to the site and use it to manage their apps from any computer. The regular Aliyun web apps, meanwhile, are downloadable from the phone, as they have been since the platform’s launch.
The Aliyun phone launched last summer and represented a huge move by the e-commerce giant into the mobile space. Although there have been reports of sluggish sales, the company insists it’s happy with how the platform is progressing, and new phone models – plus a tablet – are due very soon.
Take a look at the Aliyun app store, from which anyone could actually download the ‘.apk’ files and use them on their Android phones.
[Hat-tip to 36kr for spotting this - article in Chinese]