China releases its first open-source computer operating system

HONG KONG: China has released its first homegrown open-source desktop operating system, named OpenKylin, state media said, as the country steps up efforts to cut reliance on US technology.

Released on Wednesday, and based on the existing open-source Linux operating system, China’s version was built by a community of about 4,000 developers, and is used in its space programme and industries such as finance and energy, they added.

China’s massive market for operating systems was worth 15.5 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) last year, state media said, citing an industry report.

Developing an operating system independent of U.S. technology has been an important goal for China’s tech industry in recent years, with many companies and organisations having contributed to the development of the OpenKylin system.

It’s most notable backer is the China Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team under the purview of the industry and information technology ministry.

More than a dozen Chinese companies are trying to develop operating systems that could replace Microsoft’s Windows and Apple’s MacOS operating systems.

One such company, UnionTech Software Technology Co Ltd, has been developing what it calls the “Unity operating system”.


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