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Chinese Officials to Develop a Custom OS to Replace Windows

China’s decision comes after US President Donald Trump decided to scrutinize trade relations between the two countries due to security concerns

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Source: Pixabay

In the thick of trade tensions between the US and China, Chinese officials have decided to develop a custom operating system (OS) that will replace Windows on computers used by the Chinese military to avoid hacking risks.

The decision, while not been made official through the government’s normal press channels, was reported this month by Canada-based military magazine Kanwa Asian Defence that said that Chinese military officials would not jump from Windows to Linux but instead develop a custom OS, ZDNet reported on Tuesday.

Owing to the Snowden, Shadow Brokers and Vault7 leak cases, China fears the hefty arsenal of hacking tools which are with the US and could get into anything from smart TVs to Linux servers and from routers to common desktop operating systems such as Windows and Mac.

The Chinese government plans to adopt a “security by obscurity” approach and run a custom OS that would make it harder for foreign threats — mainly the US — to spy on Chinese military operations.

US clothing brand Gap has apologised for selling T-shirts which it said showed an "incorrect map" of China.
Accurate Map of China. Pixabay

The task of developing the new OS would fall to a new “Internet Security Information Leadership Group” that would answer directly to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the report said.

In the late 90s, North Korea also developed a custom operating system for use inside the country, called “Red Star” OS, which is still alive, but it never became the “only” official OS for government agencies that continued to use Windows, Mac and Linux in parallel.

Also Read- Huawei Files Motion Challenging US Security Law

China’s decision comes after US President Donald Trump decided to scrutinize trade relations between the two countries due to security concerns.

On May 15, Trump effectively banned Chinese tech major Huawei with a national security order following which Qualcomm, along with Google, Microsoft, Intel and ARM, put restrictions on businesses with Huawei. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook’s Push to Become China’s WeChat May Kill it

As people become increasingly aware of social media’s harm, social media will lose its lustre

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FILE - The Facebook logo is seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

Facebook which accounts for 75 per cent of global ad spend that is likely to hit $110 billion by 2020 is nowhere near an immediate demise and government regulations would only strengthen the social networking giant in the short term, a new Forrester research has forecast.

However, Facebook’s push to become China’s WeChat — more than a messaging app and is full of capabilities to make life easier for its one billion users — would be its undoing.

Facebook‘s no-good-very-bad 2018 may have meant an overworked PR team but the social media behemoth is doing just fine.

It continues to report steady user and revenue growth: a 9 per cent year over year increase in users in Q4 2018 and a 30 per cent increase in revenue in the same time-frame.

“The three parties that could impact Facebook the most — users, brands and regulators — will move too slowly for it to feel any instant impact,” said Jessica Liu, Senior Analyst, Forrester.

The coming years won’t be easier, but the social media behemoth won’t suddenly collapse either, as many predict.

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FILE – The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

“But while Facebook’s short-term outlook might be fine, its long-term outlook is bleak,” Liu added

Despite constant negative news last year, Facebook continued to report strong quarter-

over-quarter user and revenue growth. Brands that mishandle their own users’ data and fail to inform them typically falter.

While these users and advertisers could affect change at the social media giant immediately, they won’t, thus allowing it to continue to defy the odds.

“Enacting and enforcing regulation takes so long that Facebook will be able to shore up its assets and unique advantages in the short term and eliminate any vulnerabilities before serious user, advertiser, or regulatory changes materialize,” Liu emphasised.

The social networking giant with over two billion users globally, is facing regulatory challenges as the Cambridge Analytica scandal has exposed its lapses of data privacy and security.

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FILE – A man poses for a photo in front of a computer showing Facebook ad preferences in San Francisco, California, March 26, 2018. VOA

The downfall for Facebook, said Liu, would come with its desire to build an all-inclusive social media experience, as its CEO mark Zuckerberg is planning to merge all apps like Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram into one.

“Facebook’s hope to recreate WeChat, China’s largest messaging app turned all-in-one portal

to the Internet, presents long-term challenges,” Liu added.

WeChat primarily operates in a single country’s political and regulatory environment.

Also Read: South Korean Tech Giant Samsung Launches 2 New Tablets in India

“Facebook will need to tack on products and services to fulfill its one-app vision while global regulators threaten antitrust. It will also grapple with protecting user privacy globally while appeasing advertiser appetite for hypertargeting,” Liu noted.

As people become increasingly aware of social media’s harm, social media will lose its lustre.

“History has taught us that existing apps max out and then decline as users tire of the services or the company (like AOL, MySpace, Friendster). The Facebook app is already experiencing this; Instagram and WhatsApp will follow in a natural peak and then eventually decelerate, too,” Liu commented. (IANS)