AliOS (formerly Yun OS and Aliyun OS) is a Linux distribution developed by Alibaba Cloud, a subsidiary of Chinese company Alibaba Group. It is designed for smart devices such as smart TVs and it has been used as a mobile operating system. It is an operating system based on the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

OS familyAndroid
Working stateCurrent
Source modelSource-available
Initial release28 July 2011 (2011-07-28)
Latest release5.0 / 10 December 2015
Official (Chinese)


AliOS took three years for Alibaba Cloud, involving 1,600 engineers, to develop it from the code-base of the Android Open Source Project. The company is challenging the dominant Android in China and is also looking to expand into Western markets.[1] It was first used in the K-Touch W700 in 2011.[2]

As of May 2012, 1 million AliOS-powered smartphones have been sold.[3] It is expected to become the second biggest operating system in China by shipments at the end of 2016, with 14% of the market.[4]

AliOS 5 Atom was released on 10 December 2015.[5]

On October 20, 2017, Alibaba Cloud announced a new name and focus for the operating system in Alibaba's 2017 Computing Conference in Hangzhou. At the same time Alibaba introduced an open-source edition of AliOS, named as AliOS Things. This edition focuses on IoT and would allow developers to download the source code for free.[6][7]


AliOS revolves around the idea of bringing cloud functionality to smart devices. According to the company, AliOS will feature cloud-based e-mail, Web search, weather updates, and GPS navigation tools. In addition, the AliOS services will synchronize and store call data, text messages, and photos in the cloud for access across other devices, including personal computers. Alibaba says it will offer customers 100 GB of storage at launch. AliOS would allow users to access applications from the Web, rather than download apps to their devices.[8]

Relations with AndroidEdit

According to Google, AliOS is a forked but incompatible version of its open-source Android operating system. The company therefore attempted to prevent Acer Inc. from shipping an AliOS-powered phone, arguing that Acer, a member of the Open Handset Alliance, had agreed not to produce phones running incompatible Android versions.[9][10] Andy Rubin, who at the time was in charge of the Android division at Google, stated that while AliOS is not part of the Android ecosystem, it uses runtimes, framework and various tools from Android.[11]

Alibaba disputes the claim that AliOS is a version of Android by stating the following:[11][12]

"Aliyun OS [now AliOS] incorporates its own virtual machine, which is different from Android's Dalvik virtual machine. AliOS' runtime environment, which is the core of the OS, consists of both its own Java virtual machine, which is different from Android’s Dalvik virtual machine, and its own cloud app engine, which supports HTML5 web applications. AliOS uses some of the Android application framework and tools (open source) merely as a patch to allow AliOS users to enjoy third-party apps in addition to the cloud-based AliOS apps in our ecosystem."

However, as of September 2012, the AliOS app store contains some pirated Android applications, including many from Google.[11][13]

Application blockageEdit

In 2015 November, following Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television's policy, dozens of third-party applications installed by users on their own Yun OS set-top boxes are automatically removed and blocked from re-installation.[14]


  1. ^ Osawa, Juro (2012-09-09). "Chinese Software to Challenge Android -". Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  2. ^ "Alibaba announces 'cloud-powered' Aliyun OS, K-Touch W700 phone". Engadget. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  3. ^ "Alibaba Cloud Computing and Haier GroupLaunch AliOS OS-Powered Smartphone : Global Growth Investors". General Atlantic. Archived from the original on 2012-09-16. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  4. ^ Perez, Bien (27 November 2016). "Alibaba's AliOS overtakes Apple's iOS as China's second-largest smartphone operating system". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  5. ^ "阿里AliOS 5发布:稳居国内手机操作系统前三". Retrieved 2015-12-15.
  6. ^ "Alibaba Cloud aims to connect 10 billion devices by 2023 · TechNode". TechNode. 2018-03-28. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  7. ^ "alibaba/AliOS-Things". GitHub. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
  8. ^ Reisinger, Don (2011-07-28). "Alibaba OS-powered handset launching this month | The Digital Home". CNET News. Retrieved 2011-09-07.
  9. ^ Andy Rubin. "We were surprised to read Alibaba Group's chief strategy…". Google+. Archived from the original on 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  10. ^ Brodkin, Jon. "Google blocked Acer's rival phone to prevent Android "fragmentation"". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  11. ^ a b c Jon Brodkin (2012-09-17). "Pirated Android apps featured prominently on Aliyun app store". Retrieved 2014-03-17.
  12. ^ Moyer, Edward (2012-09-15). "Alibaba: Google just plain wrong about our OS". CNET News. Retrieved 2012-11-17.
  13. ^ "Aliyun App Store Confirmed To Be Distributing Pirated Android Apps, Many From Another Pirate Site". Retrieved 2014-03-18.
  14. ^ "广电总局再发大招 七成电视盒子被"阉割"_国内国际_新闻首页_成都全搜索". Retrieved 2017-05-09.