The establishment of China's first-ever open-source software organisation marks a new stage in the promotion of Linux throughout the Far East.
Chinese software houses have joined forces with IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Novell and others to form the China Open Source Software Promotion Alliance.
The alliance, which includes China's leading Linux supplier Red Flag Software, is committed to co-operative Linux development, promotion of open-source development and application in China and north-east Asia, and contributing to the international open-source community.
Red Flag is one of the driving forces behind Asianux, a version of Linux developed as a standardised distribution for enterprise customers in Asia. A 64-bit version of Asianux designed for Intel's Itanium II chip is scheduled for release later this month.
An English-language version of Red Flag's own Linux Desktop 4.1 is due for release later this year.
Other Chinese firms in the alliance are Beijing Co-Create Open Source, Zhongbiao Software, Wuxi Evermore Software, Kingsoft and Beijing Redflag Chinese 2000.
David Legard writes for IDG News Service