Alibaba today launched YunOS 3.0, the latest version of its customized Android system. The major update is the introduction of a “Life Services Center” (our translation).

The “Center” offers several categories of online and local services, such as movie tickets, lottery tickets, food and restaurants, music, reading, and so on. Users are able to book restaurants or buy movie tickets wherever they are.

YunOS 3.0 has integrated Quixey, the search service Alibaba invested in last year. If a user searches for a restaurant, the Quixey-powered search service will show results on a map, powered by Alibaba’s mapping company AutoNavi, and other related information from third-party apps, such as Dianping (ratings and reviews).

The Life Services Center is a lot like Xiaomi Life in Xiaomi’s MIUI system and CooTek TouchPal. All three aim to have users access services developed in-house or from third parties through a controlled “center”.

It is expected Xiaomi will eventually charge third-party services in Xiaomi Life based on traffic or transactions.

Unlike Xiaomi, who makes Android phones and other devices on its own, Alibaba’s strategy for YunOS is to have third-party device makers adopt it. As of this month, more than 30 phone brands have produced smartphones with YunOS and more than 10 million units have been shipped, according to the company.

Alibaba has developed a partnership with Meizu, a local smartphone brand who accused Xiaomi of stealing its business plan. Some Meizu phones have been loaded with YunOS 3.0. The two companies will announce a strategic partnership tomorrow.

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at

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