China unveils first domestic open-source operating system

Lazy eyes listen


In the midst of Beijing’s technical standoff with Washington, China has launched its first domestic open-source desktop operating system, which has been hailed as a software development breakthrough.

Kylinsoft, a subsidiary of the state-owned China Electronics Corporation, introduced OpenKylin 1.0, a Linux-based operating system, on Wednesday. According to OpenKylin’s official website, it was established by a community of over 4,000 developers and is currently utilised by approximately 850,000 users.

According to CGTN, China’s first homegrown operating system can be installed on PCs, servers, and cellphones and might potentially enable Beijing’s deep space exploration programme.

While Western-designed Windows (74%) and MacOS (15%) presently dominate the global desktop OS market, these two systems are closed-source, which means that most third parties cannot examine the programming code. OpenKylin allows users to see the coding and customise the software to their specific needs.

Speaking at the launch event, Ni Guangnan, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, praised the new operating system, adding that OpenKylin is a watershed moment in the development of local software while emphasising the need to “gradually wean ourselves off dependence on foreign technologies.”

OpenKylin was released in the midst of an increasingly tense technological standoff between China and the United States.

The Wall Street Journal claimed on Tuesday that US President Joe Biden’s administration is planning to restrict Chinese corporations’ access to American cloud computing services.

In October of last year, Washington imposed broad restrictions on the unlicensed export of advanced chips and chip-making technology to China, as well as limiting the ability of US nationals to provide support for the “development or production” of chips at certain Chinese manufacturing facilities.

In March, then-Chinese Premier Li Keqiang emphasised the significance of increasing the country’s technical self-sufficiency, while stressing that Beijing has successfully resisted external attempts to stifle China’s development.