HTC wants to take Android down a peg or two, and thinks a rival mobile operating system aimed at China is the way to do it.
China is seen as one of the biggest potential markets for smart phone manufacturers, so HTC wants to develop new software specifically for Chinese phone fans that ties into Chinese services like the enormously popular Weibo social network.
The Wall Street Journal reports two phones have been developed with the China-specific software, and phones have even been given to Chinese officials.
The Taiwanese company is struggling since the days of emerging as leading light in the early days of Android, with the excellent HTC One failing to turn things round recently. Sales of HTC phones are falling around the world -- but growing in China. HTC's market share in China is twice that of Apple's, and roughly a third of the market leader Samsung.
Earlier this year, the Chinese government announced it wants to reduce the mobile market's dependence on Google and Android. HTC still has a strong bond with Google though, recently releasing a Google Edition of the HTC One running stock Android.
Next up for High Tech Computers -- apart from recruiting Robert Downey Jr -- is the oversized HTC One Max, following the One Mini. A blue version of the regular One is also in the works, to follow the red version.
Should HTC and other manufacturers try to break with Android? Is China the future for phones? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.