China develops cellphone operating system

China develops cellphone operating system

China develops cellphone operating system

China has developed its own cellphone operating system aimed at easing the stranglehold of the US' Google and Apple systems, even as sceptics doubt its efficacy.

Dubbed as the China Operating System (COS) it is a strategic product for national security which has become more urgent in the wake of recent incidents such as the US intelligence scandal of Prism and Windows ending further support of its XP system, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) said in a statement.

Similar to the interface on Google's Android and Apple's iOS, the Chinese system can be used on touch-screen phones and serves as a platform for various apps, it can already support up to a lakh of apps, claimed CAS and its partner, Shanghai-based Liantong Network Communication Technology.

Also compatible for tablets and TV set-top boxes, the system is marked by its safety since it allows only one app store, the official one, so as to ensure that all applications are examined to be safe and non-pirated compared with Android, which is open to any apps, the statement said.

However, news about this system drew almost unanimous doubts and mocking on the Internet, with many questioning why the government has funded yet another ambitious project that will not necessarily weather market tests, the state-run Global Times reported.

Some even speculated that it is a modified Android system.

COS developers have insisted that the system has its own independent intellectual property right as it is all original work from the underlying code to the user
interface, even though it has absorbed the merits of other open-source systems.

"There is a consensus in our field that independent intellectual property rights means the key part of the product is distinct from others," Wu Yanjun, a research fellow from the institute said noting that COS also uses the Linux kernel, like other systems but all the codes above the kernel were written by them.

This is not the first time similar products have been developed domestically.

Coship Electronics, a Shenzhen-based company, released an operating system called 960OS on January 10, boasting its safety features that prevent users' personal information from being stolen.

A system developed by the Alibaba Group in 2012 made itself compatible to Android to attract more consumers but the process of cooperating with phone producers was not so smooth.

Wu said that the company's backer, a state-run investment corporation in Shanghai, has a favourable industry background and various connections with potential cooperation partners in the field, making the market prospects for COS more promising.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox