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Turbolinux Signs China's Biggest Bank

Just after claiming it holds the biggest Linux market share in China, Turbolinux further substantiated its claim by signing up China's biggest bank as a customer.

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) has signed an agreement with Turbolinux to integrate Linux across its banking network over the next three years. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by press time.

ICBC is the largest commercial bank in China, holding a reported "one-fifth of the total assets held in all banking institutions in China." ICBC's customer base includes 100 million personal clients across 20,000 branches in mainland China.

According to the disclosed terms of the deal ICBC has purchased an unrestricted user license that will allow it to deploy and run Turbolinux' enterprise Linux through ICBC branches and affiliated operations. The deployment is arguably the biggest Linux implementation in China based on the sheer size of ICBC's operations.

"Optimal stability and security, as well as system flexibility, are key requirements for all our clients, and the banking industry is no exception," said Claude Zhou, general manager of Turbolinux China in a statement. "Financial institutions are continually turning to Turbolinux, because we offer affordable, best-in-breed, Linux-based solutions that maximize these capabilities."

The deal with ICBC is TurboLinux' second high-profile Chinese deployment in the last 12 months. In June, the company struck a deal with China's Ministry of Railways to provide enterprise Linux systems for processing nearly 200 million parcels annually.

ICBC is not the first Chinese commercial bank to employ Linux in its operations. In September, the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC) announced that it would be moving to Linux thin-client terminals based on an optimized Red Hat Linux distribution. ABC also is an IBM case study for Linux adoption in China, though IBM's solution involved Turbolinux.

The Chinese Linux market is becoming increasingly more competitive, with numerous entrants all vying for market share. Earlier this week, Novell announced that it was furthering its involvement in the Chinese Linux market with a new partnership.

Though Turbolinux claims the top spot in terms of server market share by revenue in China, IDC reports that state-backed Red Flag Linux holds the top spot in terms of total shipments. Red Flag Linux is also one of two principal Asian vendors backing the Asianux Linux effort.