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Moto 360 headed to China without Google Play

by Jacob Kleinman | September 8, 2015September 8, 2015 9:20 am PDT

Last week we learned that Google and Android Wear could be launching to China later this year. Now it turns out one Google-powered smartwatch could land in the country even sooner than expected, though without most of the software we take for granted.

The Verge reports that the Moto 360 will be sold in China without Google Play, Google Now and a handful of other Google services. In their place, Chinese companies have been lined up to offer their own alternatives. One firm, Mobvoi, will provide voice recognition and search.

The Chinese Moto 360 won’t even respond to the regular “Ok Google” command. Instead the device will answer when you say “Ni hao Android,” which means “hello Android.” That’s not a huge difference, but it does show how Google is bending its own rules to make China happy.

There’s still no word on when Google will make a full return to China, but this could be a small first step. It’s possible the company might still include some of its own software and design into the device, though for now it looks like Chinese smartwatches will offer a pretty Google-free experience.

The Verge

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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