China approved Google’s acquisition of Motorola today, which is expected to close within a week, but according to reports from Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and the Associated Press (via The Verge), Google agreed to keep Android free and open sourced for the next five years as part of the deal. Currently, Google allows anyone to download Android’s source code, and then folks can do just about anything they want with it. With today’s acquisition approval from China, this plan does not look to be changing any time soon.
While it may seem odd for the Chinese government to ask for such a promise, it most likely wanted to make sure Google does not give Motorola special treatment over other OEMs.
If there was ever a sense of worry, it is time to feel at ease.