Oracle and state-linked Linux operating system developer Red Flag Software will work to certify and support database platforms in the People's Republic.
The move is part of database software maker Oracle's effort to strengthen ties with Linux developers, but will also be strategic in gaining access to China government and military contracts, say observers.
Businesses in China will be able to deploy Oracle's Unbreakable infrastructure on the Red Flag Linux platform and receive full technical support, according to today's announcement.
"Linux is being adopted at a fast pace in China and enterprise-class products are mature and ready. So it is a big milestone not only in the history of Red Flag and Oracle but also in the history of Linux development in China," said Liu Bo, president and chief executive officer of Red Flag Software.
Previously, through a marketing plan called unbreakable Linux, Oracle has signed support agreements with top Linux seller Red Hat and with UnitedLinux, a Linux consortium that includes No. 2 seller SuSE.
The Oracle China Development Centre and Red Flag have completed certification of Oracle9i Database on the Red Flag Linux operating system, and are now working together on certification of the remainder of Oracle's complete product line on the new Red Flag Data Centre Linux operating system.
The other products include Oracle9i Application Server, Oracle Collaboration Suite and Oracle E-business Suite.
"Oracle and Red Flag have jointly identified government, transportation, utility and energy as some of the major sectors where Linux sales and marketing campaigns will be launched to encourage the adoption of Linux," said the statement.
Strategically, the collaboration should also deflect attention away from up-and-coming open source database software MySQL.
Andrew Hu, managing director of Oracle China said: "The Chinese government is encouraging organizations and enterprises to adopt Linux because of its cost effectiveness and superior performance."
The Chinese government considers Linux a desirable alternative to rival operating systems because officials can read and edit the source code to remove insidious back doors. There is also the matter of national pride in having a custom operating system, as well as the perceived lower cost of operation.
Among the state agencies using Linux are China's State Postal Bureau, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Co-operation and China Central Television, while the Beijing Municipal government has installed Red Flag Linux on 2,000 desktops.