Here is the Chinese Communist Party approved mobile OS no one asked for

By James Griffiths, January 18, 2014

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Are you concerned by the NSA spying revelations? Always unsure whether government agents might be listening in on you? Be uncertain no longer: use the China Operating System and you can be sure that government agents are listening in on you. 

Developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and approved by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the China Operating System (COS) promises to free users from the stranglehold of "foreign-developed" Android and Apple operating systems. 

The system, dubbed China Operating System (COS), is a strategic product for national security, which has become more urgent in the wake of recent incidents such as the US intelligence scandal of Prism and Windows ending further support of its XP system, CAS said in its press release.

Similar to the interface on Google's Android and Apple's iOS, the Chinese system can be used on touch-screen phones and serves as a platform for various apps - it can already support up to 100,000 apps, claimed CAS and its partner, Shanghai-based Liantong Network Communication Technology.

While visually reminiscent of Android, COS avoids that platform's openness – in the name of security mind you – in favour of an Apple style walled garden, with only one official app store so users can be sure that apps are "safe and non-pirated" (and CCP-approved, just like in the iOS app store). Ironically, according to Endgadget, the creators of COS also criticised iOS in a press conference for being a "closed system". 

Though the revelations by NSA leaker Edward Snowden have raised many valid privacy concerns for users and governments, and though it makes complete sense for the Chinese government to develop its own OS for internal use (particularly with the latest revelations about radio wave spying on computers not even connected to the internet), there seems to be little reason for users to switch to a government-controlled, government-censored, government-monitored platform. Apple and Google are far from being paragons of virtue when it comes to protecting user data and privacy, but they're a damn site better than the CCP. 

[Image via Endgadget]

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