With OpenKylin, China continues its quest for high-tech autonomy

With OpenKylin, China continues its quest for high-tech autonomy

Everyone knows Windows and MacOs, the American operating systems used on computers. The Chinese OpenKylin is more like Linux -for specialists- because it is an open source system. And it is the first Made in China operating system, and therefore a source of pride in a country that seeks autonomy in all sectors.

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With RFI correspondent in Beijing, Stéphane Lagarde

It’s not every day that a computer operating system appears on the news on China Central Television. But this is the first homemade. It has already been tested under the Chinese space program, including the Chang’e moon and Tianwen Mars missions, commentators say, and is already working at several universities in China.


Kaifang Qilin, translated as OpenKylin, takes its name from a legendary creature in Chinese mythology, such as the phoenix and the dragon. Some will see it as a mixture of giraffe and unicorn, but it doesn’t matter, the reference is to an immortal being, as this open source operating system should be (open source) which, according to commenters, will be regenerated through improvements made by users.

As in other areas, such as food, China seeks autonomy and multiplies its firsts. It has spent years looking to create its own operating system, a trend that has increased in recent months.

Public companies, but also institutions such as some museums and the Forbidden City in Beijing, for example, have been forced to buy local-brand computers instead of foreign models.

“You need a large number of users to have the money and space to detect failures as soon as possible and therefore to improve systems built in China more quickly,” an engineer recently confided.

The same goes for automation and robotization: in recent months, the Chinese president has created surveillance teams of companies to ensure that the majority of their teams are Chinese.

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