"China is one of the fastest-growing countries to adopt open-source technologies like Linux—and Power Systems is often the best platform for Linux because of its advanced performance, security and virtualization," Colin Parris, IBM general manager of Power Systems, said in a statement. "The center brings together the Linux expertise of Red Hat and SUSE, along with IBM's leading technical and business experts for Power Systems to provide clients and partners the essential open-source building blocks for high-performance, enterprise-level, data-intensive workloads."
In June 2012, IBM announced the opening of two new branch offices in the Chinese cities of Yantai and Yinchuan, bringing its total number of locations in the country to 50. IBM continues to identify new untapped markets in second- and third-tier cities in China, in an effort to distinguish itself and secure competitive advantage over other international players.
"China is a key market for IBM, and we have a major program of geographic expansion in place to ensure that we tap into the country's best growth opportunities—wherever they are," said DC Chien, general manager of IBM's Greater China Group, in a statement. "As the IT market in China's regional cities matures, we are experiencing greater demand for advanced solutions and services, meaning that a local physical presence is essential for our business."
According to research firm IDC, the IT services market in China is expected to almost double through 2015—from $12.2 billion in 2010 to $23.7 billion in 2015. IDC's China Services Market report says the growth will continue to be led by the adoption of next-generation IT systems as well as IT services spend due to the implementation of China's 12th Five-Year Plan.
Meanwhile, in March, Canonical announced that the China Software and Integrated Chip Promotions Centre (CSIP) was developing a new reference architecture for Chinese operating systems based on Ubuntu; it is known as Ubuntu Kylin. CSIP said the move helps strengthen the Chinese government's five-year plan to promote open-source software and accelerate the growth of the open-source ecosystem within China.
Additionally, CSIP, Canonical and the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) have formed the CCN Open Source Innovation Joint Lab in Beijing. The Joint Lab hosts engineers from each organization who will accelerate the development of a China-focused version of Ubuntu for desktop and cloud.
Canonical said Ubuntu Kylin goes beyond language localization and includes features and applications that cater to the Chinese market. In the 13.04 release, Chinese input methods and Chinese calendars are supported, there is a new weather indicator, and users can quickly search across the most popular Chinese music services from the Dash.
Future releases will include integration with Baidu maps and leading shopping service Taobao, payment processing for Chinese banks, and real-time train and flight information. The Ubuntu Kylin team is cooperating with WPS, the most popular office suite in China, and is creating photo editing and system management tools that could be incorporated into other flavors of Ubuntu worldwide.
"The release of Ubuntu Kylin brings the Chinese open-source community into the global Ubuntu community," sMark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, said in a statement. "With Ubuntu Kylin, China now has its own secure and stable desktop operating system, produced alongside Ubuntu's global community. Ubuntu combines proven technology with a mature ecosystem and strong OEM and ISV partners, and this initiative allows the Joint Lab to bring those strengths to China across the full range of platforms: desktop, server, cloud, tablet and phone."