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China Is Building a National Operating System to Cut Out Microsoft and Google

OWoN: China strikes back big time.

With all the snooping it was only a matter of time. More isolation for US made products.

Vice - Motherboard
By Joseph Cox
25 August 2014

A Chinese-developed operating system may be ready for distribution by October, according to the state-run press agency Xinhua. Likely designed to help reduce the country's reliance on foreign-made operating systems—especially Windows XP, which remains popular despite no longer being supported by Microsoft—the new OS will first be rolled out for desktops, and will allegedly be coming to smartphones and other devices, too.

The news first broke when Ni Guangnan, the head of the country's official operating system alliance, spoke to a trade paper run by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), which deals with the regulation of the country's software industry.

Guangnan said that, "We hope to launch a Chinese-made desktop operating system by October supporting app stores," according to a translation provided by Reuters. He also hopes that Chinese-built software will replace imported desktop operating systems in one or two years time, and mobile systems within three to five years.

The product wasn't named in the reports, however. A previous Chinese-built operating system was called Red Flag Linux, although the company behind it went into liquidation, killing off the project.

There are several reasons why the Chinese may be pushing for their own, home-made operating system again. The first is the end of official support for the aging Windows XP OS, which is still hugely popular in the country. XP makes up 50 percent of China's desktop market, although a huge chunk of the copies are pirated.

Despite calls from the Chinese government to continue security upgrades to XP, Microsoft axed all support for the system back in April. Without those in place, Chinese users are being forced to upgrade to another OS, or face little protection from new malware and hacking threats.

The second driving force behind the development of Red Flag 2.0 (or whatever they decide to call it) is the business monopoly that US companies have over the market.

In March, the MIIT said that Google has too much power in the smartphone industry because of the popularity of its Android OS. After the release of that white paper, some analysts predicted regulation reforms to mitigate the domination of Google over the market, according to gbtimes.

"Creating an environment that allows us to contend with Google, Apple and Microsoft—that is the key to success," Guangnan, the operating system alliance head, said in the Reuters translation. That environment has come about, it seems, from the country's recent ban on all Windows 8 imports for government computers.

Which leads onto the final reason for this new operating system. The ban on Windows 8 came in the wake of the Snowden revelations. After the Guardian and various other outlets detailed how US corporates, willingly or otherwise, have facilitated US spying through their products, companies have had an even more difficult time selling their wares in China.

US companies have felt a tangible effect on both their profits and how much they are trusted in the country.

“They are all under suspicion as either witting or unwitting collaborators in the US government's surveillance and intelligence gathering activities,” Scott Kennedy, director of the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business at Indiana University, told Reuters back in January.

Last month, Chinese officials seized Microsoft computers, emails, and financial info from a number of the company's offices, in an ongoing antitrust probe, according to Computer World.

Indeed, Xinhua—which naturally has an intimate relationship with the state—made the surveillance aspect explicit in the opener of its article on the new OS.

“After concerns about US surveillance and a monopoly probe of Microsoft, there is some good news for China's homegrown operating system (OS): a desktop version may be ready in October,” the agency wrote.

It's not immediately apparent that the Windows 8 ban and subsequent development of China's own OS are direct responses to the NSA leaks, but as a whole, both are certainly indicative of the long-deteriorating relationship between the two countries when it comes to cyberespionage.

Whether or not China's latest effort will be able to take over the country's software market is unclear. As mentioned, Red Flag Linux didn't have much of an effect at all, and the Windows 8 ban only applies to government systems, not private users. However, if state ministries and departments start to use an OS that the NSA have little influence over, it seems that it may create another layer for the intelligence agency to crack.


1 comment :

  1. China’s Reaction: America Is A 'Disgusting Thief Spying Over His Neighbor’s Fence'

    Only hours ago the US government announced that a Chinese fighter jet had intercepted an American military patrol plane over international waters east of China’s Hainan Island.

    A Pentagon spokesman called China’s actions “unsafe and unprofessional”, and blasted such unprovoked aggression.

    There was no mention as to why a US surveillance plane was just off the Chinese coast to begin with. They’re just playing the victim… and rather loudly at that.

    Needless to say, the Chinese government has a slightly different story. I asked one of our Sovereign Man team members in mainland China to translate the following article from Sina News.

    The first part of the article praises the pilot’s skill and boldness, as well as the efficiency and superiority of Chinese aviation technology.

    The Jian-11B fighter, in fact, is 100% Chinese. There is no foreign engine or major component.

    As for the rest of the article– I present it below with only one comment– it should be obvious to anyone paying attention that the US is no longer the world’s dominant superpower. It’s certainly obvious to the Chinese.


    From Sina News

    Stop thief: China rejects the U.S. government calling our aircraft “dangerously close”

    Sure enough, it is the American government who stamps its foot first after a similar event.

    First the famous anti-China military scholar Bill Gertz played his “danger close” speech for the Washington Free Beacon.

    And then the Pentagon also followed and said that it was a “dangerous intercept”. The White House called it “deeply worrying provocation”.

    Adm. John Kirby, the Defense Department spokesman, said Washington protested to the Chinese military through diplomatic channels, and called the maneuvers “unsafe and unprofessional.”

    Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said it was “obviously a deeply concerning provocation and we have communicated directly to the Chinese government our objection to this type of action.”

    Such remarks are laughable. As we all know, the United States is the world’s largest hegemonic force and biggest rogue country.

    Their various reconnaissance aircraft have been wandering around foreign airspace for decades and watching the military secrets of other countries like a disgusting thief spying over his neighbor’s fence.

    However, when the neighbor comes back with a big stick, the thief will turn tail and run away, blaming the neighbor.

    When you show people weakness, they will bully you. When you show people strength, they will respect you.

    We [the newspaper] believe the Chinese Air Force and Naval aviation should maintain a high level of vigilence and morale in southeast coastal region to prevent the further US action.

    America has lost face and does not want to show the world they are sick. They have been lording over other countries for so long, and they will never let it go after they eat this loss.


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