China plans to launch its own government-backed operating system in the next few months to lessen its dependence on imported OSes from Microsoft and Google, the government-run Xinhua news agency reported Sunday.
The operating system is expected to launch in October on desktops, with support for mobile devices coming later, the news service reported, citing a report in the People's Post and Telecommunications News, an official trade paper published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
"We hope to launch a Chinese-made desktop operating system by October supporting app stores," Ni Guangnan of the Chinese Academy of Engineering told People's Post, according to a translation reported by Reuters on Sunday. Ni heads heads an official OS development alliance established in March.
The operating system is said to be based on the Linux operating system, according to details revealed in January. According to the Chinese government, the operating system can run on smartphones, tablets, and set-top boxes.
"Creating an environment that allows us to compete with Google, Apple and Microsoft, that is our key to success," Ni said.
The Chinese government has long grappled with American-based technology companies, including Microsoft and Google. The country routinely blocks several Google services, including search, Gmail, and YouTube, in a broad online fight over censorship.
But after facing the government down on censorship, Google decided to move its services to Hong Kong. The move effectively allowed the search company to operate outside the rules and regulations placed upon it by the Chinese government.
The Chinese government has also voiced concern that Android had too much control over the local market. Google's mobile operating system commands more than 82 percent of the Chinese mobile platform market, according to the latest data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.
China took issue with Microsoft in May, officially banning Windows 8 from use on all government computers. Windows XP is still widely used in China, but after Microsoft ended support for that platform in April, it too would present a security risk to the government.
The move came to light after the US charged several Chinese government officials with allegedly hacking networks in the US. China quickly responded by saying that the US has engaged in cyberespionage and cried foul on the charges.