Reports coming out of China today suggest that search giant Baidu is working on its own mobile operating system based on none other than Google’s Android.

Baidu, China’s largest search company is reportedly currently putting together the mobile OS, codenamed Qiushi acording to TechNode.

According to local report, Baidu is stealthily developing its own Mobile OS(codenamed Qiushi which means fruits in autumn) which is based around Android and will be released by year-end. Baidu dismissed the rumor by referring Qiushi to an under-developing mobile ad product.

Unsurprisingly, Baidu denied that they are building an operating system atop Google’s own, but such a move would indeed make sense for the company.

According to the TechNode article, Baidu wouldn’t be the first to use Android as the starting point for an operating system designed for new hardware. DianxinOS and MIUI are already hard at work, the report says.

Google’s Android’s biggest strength, and also its biggest weakness, is its open source status. Any carrier, manufacturer or hacker can get their hands on Android and make it into their own at will. It’s this freedom that has seen Android’s popularity balloon over the last two years, making Google a real player in the mobile market.

It is this open source mentality that has led to the fragmentation that is currently so troublesome to the platform.

With so many devices, and so many different specifications, it is hard for application developers to write apps while planning for all eventualities and hardware – a problem that Apple’s iOS developers do not experience. The best way to end fragmentation, if not end then minimize it, is to put a minimum hardware requirement on which an OS would run, in this case its Android. We don’t believe that Android iterations like Ice Cream Sandwich would solve the problem on day one, hardware fragmentation would still remain there, thanks to eager manufacturers minting money out of Android due to its superb “openness”.

Google can, however, point to the shear number of handsets as a sign that it’s decision to offer Android as an open source platform was the correct course of action.

Time will tell if, in the long run, whether open will be a boon or a hindrance for Android.

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