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Commentary: Urgent need for China to start new round of self-innovation

(People's Daily Online)    17:13, April 25, 2018

Along with the discussion on the urgency of making chips of our own, developing operating systems independently has also become a recent concern among the Chinese public.

Operating systems are related to the core competitiveness of information technologies. They are the groundwork for controlling a computer or network, and they can even control users’ information and operations if it's necessary, said Ni Guangnan, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

It's a long-cherished dream of Chinese scientists to independently develop an operating system like Windows. To this aim, China has developed the Kylin and other operating systems, but it is extremely difficult to make a system that’s commonly used and widely applied.

People have compared development of the Windows operating system to the US’s Apollo Moon-landing Project to describe how complex and difficult it is. Besides that, the Windows operating system has gone through many upgrades, each costing a huge amount.

The success of an operating system is dependent on the ability to build an industry chain, which holds the hardware developers, software developers and users together. But it also sets up a barrier for new players: even if they could develop a new operating system; they are still unable to jump out of the existing framework.

The current situation won’t be changed unless some revolutionary opportunities emerge. Apple’s iOS system and Google-developed Android system are two successful players emerging in the personal computer era and gaining ground by taking opportunities brought about by the progress of mobile Internet.

In the era of cloud computing and big data, core factors like operating systems will still exist for new opportunities.

Striving for self-innovation and making breakthroughs in core technologies will guard cyber security and propel China forward to become a cyber power. In 40 years of reform, China has built itself into a big player in regards to Internet, science and technology, and it is well-prepared to become a stronger one.

The country has to start a new round of self-innovation and defuse worries of conceding to others in developing chips and operating systems, as well as high-end manufacturing.

China will strive for breakthroughs in core information technologies, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his speech delivered at a recent national conference on the work of cybersecurity and informatization. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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