China reveals own mobile operating system

China reveals own mobile operating system

Summary: China Operating System (COS) is the official operating system created and sponsored by the Chinese government, with the aim to break the monopoly of U.S. tech giants Google and Apple.

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China has unveiled its own mobile platform, dubbed China Operating System (COS) with the aim to break the monopoly U.S. tech giants Google and Apple currently have in the market. 

The state-approved and government-funded operating system was developed jointly by China's Institute of Software at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS) and Shanghai Liantong Network Communications Technology, Sina news reported on Thursday.

COS is based on Linux and serves as an operating platform for PCs, smartphones, tablets, and set-top boxes as well as supports HTML5 applications. However, due to "safety concerns", COS is not an open source system, revealed a 21cbh.com report.

The OS has one application portal, similar to Apple's App Store.

COS
(Source: CCTV news)

There are several security issues with open source operating systems, including Ubuntu and Android, where hidden security vulnerabilities make it easy to control personal devices, the report added. Moreover, launched by foreign companies, these open source platforms also "failed to acclimatize" in the Chinese market across many aspects, including user's interface, input method, speech recognition, cloud service stability, application downloads, and support, among others, said director of ISCAS, Li Shuming, in a NetEase report.

Learning from the essence of other open source software, the underlying codes and user interface of COS were all built independently, Li added. He said the platform addressed security issues, and consumers who are familiar with Android will also find it easy to start with COS.

He noted that the Linux-based OS also aims to break the monopoly of foreign applications. Currently, 100,000 applications are available on the COS, according to local reports.

promo video of COS uploaded on the internet revealed that variants and features of operating system were very Android-like. China's online community also questioned how COS was able to launched with 100,000 apps, with some summizing that the Chinese platform was "just an OS based on the open source Linux and a strong imitation of Android system".

Topics: Mobile OS, Android, Linux, China

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  • Does not compute

    Quote "There are several security issues with open source operating systems, including Ubuntu and Android, where hidden security vulnerabilities make it easy to control personal devices, "
    then
    "Learning from the essence of other open source software, the underlying codes and user interface of COS were all built independently,"

    How can open source software where you can read the code have "hidden security vulnerabilities" but the closed sourced COS does not.
    frank0-3f91e
    • Hidden

      "Hidden", as in "Hidden from the government". Several of the security vulnerabilities in COS are not hidden from the Chinese government.
      Sacr
  • LOL

    "There are several security issues with open source operating systems, including Ubuntu and Android, where hidden security vulnerabilities make it easy to control personal devices, the report added"

    Of course, the above statement doesn't even pass the laugh test if you understand how Open Source software works. In open source software there are no "hidden security vulnerabilities" because nothing is hidden from the end user. You can compile your application from source code if you want, because the source code is freely available. Do hackers have access tot eh source code to try and find vulnerabilities? Sure. But so do millions of end users who have an overriding interest in keeping the application or OS secure.

    More likely the Chinese government is distributing a closed source OS because its loaded with backdoors and tracking routines that the nation's authoritarian regime put in place to bolster their ever watchful eye on political dissent.

    While its understandable that China (or any nation, for that matter) might want to develop an OS that will help it develop a tech industry that is independent of major, foreign players like Apple, Microsoft and Google, China is undermining this goal by relying on closed source software.
    dsf3g
    • yes open source has security issues

      Your comment in so naiive,
      first no one can read all the source code of a project and understand it to discover a backdoor or something if it is not documented, there no millions of people reading and modifying linux source code, this is not true, only few engineers from IBM and Red Hat and even Microsoft.
      Most famous linux distributions have binary blobs, which are parts that are closed source, so they can feel free to include any backdoors there.
      also, there may be an obscured code that contain backdoors.
      Here i'm not even talking about unseen securty issues, which are of great number, they have to close the telnet port first and then try to find the rest of it!
      FadyNabilNashed
    • You don't pass the laugh test!

      If anything or one doesn't pass the comment the 'laugh test' is your simple minded comment. Of course, this explains why Android commands 79% of all mobile malware, as the BBC link shows below:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23863495
      DEW_M2C
  • Dangerous precedent ...

    China's government needs to be pretty careful about what they spend their money on and do to international commerce. If the West ever decided to retaliate by starting to block Chinese exports, China's economy could go in the tank quickly (the West would struggle with ramping Production back up, but it could be done on MANY non-essential items produced by China). For better or worse, it is an ever increasing World economy. Gotta play by the rules.
    jkohut
  • Trust?

    Could you really trust anything produced with the sanction of the Chinese government?

    I suspect their operating system would make the NSA look like beginners! Why else would they take a Linux based system and close source it, which in itself, is arguably unethical.

    Perhaps I'm doing them a disservice, but how could one be sure?
    lastchip
  • finally

    The security issues in ubuntu, linux, and ios means that all those operating systems send your private data to the nsa. I have been waiting for an alternative to come out for a long time. currently, I dont even use smart phones because theyre all dominated by western os, but i might give it a try if this COS comes out. I would be interested in knowing where i can buy one. I think the question we should all ask ourselves is, can we trust western os, because I have been thrown in jail for criticising western governments. Maybe if we have something that isn't controlled by the west, then it would give better protection to western dissidents. If you disagree with western governments, then I think COS would be a very good alternative. People shouldn't have to use their phones while fearing the CIA will kick down their door. I have never heard of the Chinese government kicking down foreigners doors. However, the CIA, MI6 has black sites all over the world.
    Zack Toth
    • really?

      "The security issues in ubuntu, linux, and ios means that all those operating systems send your private data to the nsa. "
      1. You should add Windows as well there
      2. security issues are not related to purposefully planted backdoors in software (and are easier hidden in closed source software btw)
      3. linux is no western os, but a global one.there are even chinese contributors ;)
      So basically this sentence is FUD. I could add more points for why this is wrong.

      Then, for simply criticising the western governments you don't automatically get thrown into jail, unless you have thrown a brick or something like that, which likely is illegal in every country, including china.

      And basically saying china is dissident-friendly is more or less like saying the sun is green and unicorns are all over the place. Of course it is way easier to handle dissidents if you already filter out most of internet's content or build your own custom OS (which is closed source in the end), or pay people to post FUD comments on tech news sites...

      This news is very unlikely related to real security concerns but more to another attempt of getting more control. But that does not make one or the other government worse, just different attempts. The one side tries and builds secret backdoors, the other side offers an OS.
      neverendingo