Novell targets Chinese Linux market

The Linux vendor plans to open a number of facilities in China, as it looks to gain a foothold in the emerging market

Novell announced a clutch of initiatives in China on Tuesday, aimed at promoting the adoption of Linux in the Chinese market.

The company plans to strengthen ties with local partners and set up a Linux research and development centre, a local support centre, and new regional branches. It has also launched a Chinese language site for OpenSuSE, the open development project for the SuSE Linux distribution that was launched earlier this month.

Rhonda O'Donnell, president of Novell Asia-Pacific, said in a statement that investing in the Chinese market is a "key strategy" for Novell.

The company will open a research centre in the Beijing this year, which will focus on Linux desktop research and development, Linux internationalisation and localisation and high-performance Linux. The company will also open a support centre in Shenzhen and will open offices in Guangzhou and Shanghai.

Novell also said it had signed an agreement with China Standard Software Company, a consortium of companies supported by the Chinese government, to work on Linux server and desktop offerings for the Chinese markets.

China spent $9.3m (£5.1m) on Linux licences and maintenance in 2004, an increase of 20 percent over 2003, according to recent IDC figures. The analyst firm predicted that the Linux market in China would grow rapidly over the next five years.