'Made in China' Web Browser Actually Built on Google Chrome

By Tom Smith, August 21, 2018

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Chinese startup Redcore has been subject to social media fury after users discovered that its software was very similar to Google's, the Financial Times reports.

The controversy began after users found an original chrome.exe file, as well as image files of the Google Chrome logo, within the Redcore installation directory. 

The company had previously touted its software as being "innovative and world-leading," claiming it had "launched the world’s only purely China-owned browser... to break the US monopoly."

Redcore boasts several big name institutions and companies as users of its product, including the State Council, PetroChina and the national space administration.

Redcore Browser
Image via ECNS

The public outcry came just one day after the company announced it had raised RMB250 million in its latest round of funding.

In an apology later posted to its official WeChat account, the company confirmed that it built its browser off Chromium, the open-source version of Chrome, according to state-run news broadcaster CGTN

Experts told the FT that Google has the right to stop Redcore from using their open-source elements, provided they didn't disclose the software's origins. The American tech giant has yet to make an official comment on the matter. 

Meanwhile, all download links to the browser have been taken down from the company's official website. All mentions of the software being "fully made in China" have also been removed from the site.

[Top image via Pixabay]

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