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Google Android push gains march in Taiwan with new project

The Taiwanese government announced support for a new project based on Google's Android mobile operating system, one of a number of moves by Taipei this year to support Android.

Contract electronics manufacturer Cheng Uei Precision Industry and Taiwan's largest telecommunications company, Chunghwa Telecom, plan to develop a suite of applications and services integrating NFC (Near Field Communication) wireless technology, applications and services for mobile phones that use the Android OS. All applications and services developed in the project will be based on Android code, according to a government statement describing the project.

The project, called the Android mobile device and Application Service Platform, was submitted for government review earlier this year. The Thursday announcement means funding for the project has been approved by the government, but an official figure was not released.

Officials in charge of the project could not immediately be reached for comment.

Cheng Uei teamed up with Chunghwa Telecom due to its strength in testing and verification, the statement says.

NFC technology allows devices to communicate over small distances of around 10 centimeters, including with smart card readers and other devices. The technology is used in products such as contactless payment cards, transportation cards for subways and buses and more.

Taiwanese companies, industry groups and government agencies have worked to promote Android over the past year in a range of devices, including mini-laptops, navigation devices, mobile Internet devices (MIDs) and more. The publicly funded Institute for Information Industry maintains an office for Android development.

Google created Android to make Internet services such as social networking sites, e-mail, online maps and particularly Google services more easily accessible on smartphones.

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