Alibaba, the Hangzhou-based group of internet businesses (not to be confused with Ali Baba - the finest Kebab establishment in Southend-on-Sea), has pipped Mozilla to the punch by announcing a mobile OS that is cloud-powered.

Soon to be available in Alibaba's native China, Alyun will first see action on the K-Touch Cloud-Smart Phone W700. Mozilla recently launched its Boot to Gecko project which is intended to produce its own cloud-based mobile platform.

Alyun offers a variety of  cloud services such as "email, internet search, weather updates and mapping and GPS navigation tools" and, like Mozilla's idea, supports web-based apps rather than OS specific ones. Users will also have access to 100GB of AliCloud storage, accessible through both PC and Windows.

However, Alibaba states that it will also be "fully compatible with Android-based applications". This will apparently work through an emulator, although the details are sketchy.

What we do know is that Alibaba has big plans for its Alyun OS - it plans to get the platform up and running on other devices including big-screen mobile phones and tablets "in the coming months".