Chinese government to dump Windows in favor of Linux

Xi Jinpin smiling with a cross sign over a Windows logo and a tick sign on the Linux penguin

It has happened in other regions before and it's happening again in China: the government has ordered the dumping of Windows in favor of Linux, among other things. This time, though, the reasoning is a bit different. According to Bloomberg, Beijing has ordered government offices and state-backed firms to replace foreign-branded PCs and their associated operating systems with alternatives that can be domestically maintained.

As such, China is set to replace almost 50 million PCs in central government agencies alone. It is important to note that this process will obviously not be completed in one fell swoop but is intended to be carried out in a staggered manner over a period of two years, according to unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

On the hardware side of things, multiple PC OEMs, including Dell and HP, are bound to be negatively affected. On the other hand, local manufacturer Lenovo as well as other software and hardware vendors such as Kingsoft Corp and Inspur Electronic Information Industry Co. saw their share prices rise on mainland China stock exchanges. Similarly, Windows is set to be replaced by Linux.

This move has been long in the making as the Chinese government has been encouraging the use of homegrown hardware and software for the better part of the past decade. It has apparently also hired a firm to vet and monitor local suppliers in the development of sensitive components ranging from semiconductors to the cloud.

It is important to note that "hard-to-replace" PC components such as CPUs and GPUs developed by western firms are likely exempt from this order. Many Chinese OEMs rely on them in their PC-making process since these components are not readily manufactured locally.

Source: Bloomberg

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