Chinese domestic OS: What does it mean?

As China pushes ahead with plans to develop a domestic operating system, what effect will this have on its relationship with the US and the wider world?

In China, American technology companies dominate the operating system market. Figures put Android at the top, with a 52.18% market share. Meanwhile, Windows is second with 31.97% and iOS is third with 10.9%.

However, in the future, the popularity of American software could start to diminish. In December, Chinese software firms China Standard Software (CS2C) and Tianjin Kylin Information (TKC) announced that they would team up and combine resources to develop a domestic operating system capable of taking on the likes of Google, Microsoft and Apple.

According to a report by ZDNet, they're planning to launch and invest in a new company that will develop, market and sell China's domestic OS. While the firms have not revealed much about the product at this stage, it'll be based on CS2C's NeyKylinOS and TKC's Kylin.

Both companies have connections to the Chinese Government, which wants to ban all state PCs running on Windows by 2022. The Chinese Communist Party Central Office issued the order last month following America's decision to blacklist China-based technology companies. With this in mind, what do these plans mean for the OS incumbents and how do they tie in with current US-China tensions?

A rocky relationship

There's no denying that China and the US have had a difficult relationship in recent times. Multiple trade wars have erupted between both nations, with America particularly taking aim at Chinese technology firms like Huawei over security concerns. All this aside, BOLT.Global CEO Jamal Hassim says they have an interlocked relationship and are mutually co-dependent on various core sectoral strengths to fuel their economies.

He tells IDG Connect: "Cheap Chinese manufacturing produced electronic products for the US consumers, while the US supplied high grade components such as silicon chips and core software systems for the electronic products. Over the years, this smooth trade-off has meant China had spent much of its focus on empowering its manufacturing hubs while side-lining R&D."

To continue reading this article register now