@junko.yoshida: I wonder how much of the "security" aspect of it has driven China to develop its own OS.
I think that depends on what you're talking about when you say the word.
Mostly, I think this is a national pride effort. There's a very strong "Buy Chinese products, made in China, by Chinese" over there, with a corresponding reluctance to use things not Chinese unless no other alternatives exist.
I concur with the other poster who suspects this effort is likely based on something like Linux or Android (which uses a Linux kernel.) It would certainly be possible to write an OS from scratch, but making it compatible with huge numbers of things written to run on other OSes, as this claims to be, is another matter.
The principal safety feature mentioned is that it can only get and install apps from the official app store. (Android has no such requirement, and malware spreads from shady sites because it can.) Apps offered by the official app store will supposedly be vetted to insure they're clean.
But given the attempts by the Chinese government to lock down computer systems and communications, and prevent free access to the rest of the world by Chinese citizens, I'd worry about malware installed by the government, to keep track of where the user was going and what they were doing.
I can certainly see offering consumer grade and military grade encryption, though I am amused by "The Chinese don't want software infrastructure that relies on weak RSA encryption and no western company can ship strong encryption east," Export controls on strong encryption simply demonstrate those making the rules have no understanding of technology. The principles behind strong encryption are well known and documented, and anyone with the technical capability (which China certainly has) can roll it's own.
It is very simple to do yet another Linux distro. There are over 300 of them now, including Hanna Montana Linux and Justin Bieber Linux. They just took Red Hat and put some "extra" stuff in it, no doubt to protect their citizens from anti-revolutionary ideas. It also keeps Windows and its NSA spyware out, something which is beneficial to everyone. http://www.distrowatch.com/
it's unlikely tha tthe Chinese government will even try to enforce that one OS over everyone. It is more likely that they see the opportunity in developing an OS that could compete in international markets and that they develop one to that end.
The reasons for China's efforts to develop an OS are the same for developing other technologies - economics. The recent spying scandal is not a revelation to anyone. Most of the governments around the world do it at some level at it is well understood. The politicians are just publicizing it to further their cause and for political gain.
@JimMcGregor, I take your point. However, here's something that's not clear to me. The development of China's home-grown OS has been going on way before this whole data hacking news by the U.S. government became widespread.
I wonder how much of the "security" aspect of it has driven China to develop its own OS.
@y_sasaki, thanks. Yes, the thought of TRON also came to my mind when I first learned of China's effort for its home-grown OS. And I must say that I can't even imagine Japan today even contemplating to launch something like Tron project.
But here's the thing.
Had Japan started Tron project not in 80's but today, do you think it would have had a better chance of success? Given what the industry knows what it takes to build an ecosystem leveraging an "open source" community on the global scale?
Or, it would have failed anyway, because Japan tends to lack the global perspectives on any home-grown initiatives?