OSDL gets first Chinese member

Open Source Development Labs Inc. (OSDL), a nonprofit consortium of companies that promotes adoption of the Linux operating system, has its first Chinese member, it said Friday.

Beijing Co-Create Open Source Software Co. (Beijing Co-Create) has joined the group and will participate in Linux kernel development and OSDL’s desktop Linux initiative, which was announced earlier in the week. The company is a joint venture between 10 Chinese companies and was formed in April 2001, according to OSDL.

“Linux has got a lot of enthusiasm in China,” said Stuart Cohen, chief executive officer of OSDL in Beaverton, Ore. “The Chinese government and organizations are very interested in Linux on the desktop.”

So far this interest has been most evident in decisions made by the governments of China, Japan and South Korea to work together on the development of an open-source operating system.

“It’s terrific,” Cohen said of the plan, which was first announced late last year. “It’s a great opportunity for Linux and for these three countries to use more of the software that they develop at home and to start businesses where they can export code they develop.”

With this government enthusiasm as a backdrop, OSDL is looking to expand further in China and attract more members, Cohen said.

“We are interested in working closely with not only the Ministry of Information Industry (MII) but also the Beijing government, Guangdong government, Red Flag (Software Co. Ltd.), Cosix and Kingsoft (Corp.).”

He also hopes to establish an OSDL facility in China sometime this year, he said. Two possible jobs the proposed facility will handle are business development and kernel development, Cohen added. A testing facility has already been established in Japan. It’s unlikely that they will do local testing in China, however, because of the existence of the Japanese centre and a second in the U.S., both of which are accessible via the Internet.