RealTime IT News

Linux Still a Hit in China

Linux continues to make inroads into China according to the latest market research.

A new report from Beijing-based CCID Consulting pegs Linux operating sales revenues up by nearly 31 percent in the first quarter of 2007 to 31 million Yuan (just over US$4 million), as compared to the same period a year prior.

CCID's numbers are close to those of IDC, which, in its "China Linux 2006-2010 Forecast and Analysis" report last year, pegged the compound annual growth rate for 2006 to 2010 of Linux in China to be 34 percent, bringing revenues to $51.1 million.

Linux's share of the overall operating systems market in China remains smaller than either Windows or Unix, according to CCID. For Q1 2007 the total operating system sales revenue in China was reported to be 1.234 billion Yuan (US$160 million). All told Linux in China represents only 2.5 percent of the operating systems market, excluding embedded systems.

The biggest user of Linux in China according to CCID is the government of China, which represents a 34 percent market share. The next biggest user is the financial-services sector representing 22.5 percent of market share followed closely by telecom, which represents 21.2 percent share.

Apparently Linux vendors are taking notice of the Chinese government's appetite for Linux, as well. CCID reports that in Q1 of 2007, Novell won a government project for a centralized procurement and supply bid.

"To sum up, CCID Consulting's research shows that China's Linux market is still small in size at present," the firms wrote in a release." Meanwhile, CCID Consulting forecasts that in the remaining three quarters of 2007, there will be unprecedented competition in China's Linux market."

Competition has always been the name of the game for Linux in China. Trying to determine who leads the Chinese Linux market has never been an easy task.

In March of last year Novell claimed bragging rights as being the market leader for Linux in China based on data from CCID.

Red Hat is also active in China, as is the joint Red Flag Miracle Linux effort called Asianux. TurboLinux, which is no longer a force in North America, remains a leader in China as well laying claims to one of the largest financial services rollouts in the country servicing over 100 million users.